The Mariners made a second trade today. On the heels of the Seth Smith–Yovani Gallardo deal, they have acquired Jarrod Dyson from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Nate Karns.
The speedy Dyson, who is somehow 32 already, hit .278/.340/.388 with 30 stolen bases in 107 games last year. That was the best season of his big league career so far, and his 337 plate appearances were the most he has ever had. Despite being primarily a part timer in Kansas City, he has had at least 30 stolen bases for four of the past five seasons. He’ll line up in center field for the M’s, who will feature a speedy, defense-first outfield along with some combination of Leonys Martin, Ben Gamel, Mitch Haniger and Guillermo Heredia.
In Karns, the Royals get a four year veteran who has pitched from the rotation and the pen. Karns has a 4.41 ERA in 54 games, 46 of them as a starter, with a K/BB ratio of 270/111 in 265.1 innings.
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.