The Braves and Astros discussed an Evan Gattis trade . . . but there was a catch

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Ken Rosenthal reports that, over the summer, the Braves and Astros discussed a trade involving Evan Gattis for a package that could include Dexter Fowler and either a pitcher or catcher Carlos Corporan. But, though the talks “had legs,” they didn’t result in anything because the Braves had one request to go along with it:

The Astros first began targeting Evan Gattis last summer. And when they asked about Gattis again early in the offseason, the Braves came back with an interesting response, according to major-league sources:

Maybe, if you take B.J. Upton, too.

And the $46.5 million he is owed. The Astros understandably balked, but Rosenthal says that they are still interested in Gattis, so perhaps everyone can revisit this again soon.

In other news, the Braves sent me an email with Cyber Monday offers for their team store yesterday. I was gonna get a sweet Freddie Freeman shirsey at 25% off, but they insisted I take a B.J. Upton one at full price too . . .

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.