Bartolo Colon somehow cleared waivers. Not sure how given how the Angels could desperately use a starting pitcher, but he did. Maybe no one wants to pay him $11 million next year. Seems to me that you’d want to do everything you can to improve on Wade LeBlanc and avoid having to play in the wild card game where you may be facing Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer or Danny Duffy, but what do I know?
I know this much — because I read Andy Martino’s story about it — there is still interest in Colon:
There is still active interest in Colon. One American League executive identified that Angels, Dodgers and Royals as teams he expected to be most engaged.
“The Angels will be all over him,” the exec said. “They don’t have many prospects, but I believe the Mets want to clear the money.”
Which again makes me wonder why they didn’t just claim him, but whatever.
What I don’t get is why the Royals would be interested. They are fourth in starter ERA in the American League and have four above average starters. Their fifth — Jeremy Guthrie — is having a year about the same as Colon is. You’re going to give up a prospect for that upgrade?
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.