Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reported on Monday that the Cubs have contacted the Tigers about a potential trade involving reliever Justin Wilson.
The Cubs have already made one major bullpen acquisition this offseason, trading with the Royals for closer Wade Davis to fill the gap left by Aroldis Chapman. Wilson and Mike Montgomery would give the Cubs two lefties in the bullpen.
Wilson, 29, is under team control through the 2018 season. Over parts of five seasons in the majors, Wilson has a career 3.28 ERA with a 258/98 K/BB ratio in 258 innings. He doesn’t have much of a platoon split over his career and even showed a reverse split last season, suggesting that he might fit better in a full-inning role rather than being used as a lefty specialist.
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.