Update 3 (8:32 PM ET): Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer also disputes Olney’s report. In fact, Gelb reports that the Phillies are moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter.
Update 2 (8:20 PM ET): Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports disputes Olney’s report, which was backed up by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Update (8:18 PM ET): ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Phillies are closing in on a three-year deal with Reed.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Phillies have had ongoing discussions with free agent reliever Addison Reed.
Reed, who turns 29 years old later this month, had a solid season between the Mets and Red Sox this past season. He compiled an aggregate 2.84 ERA with 19 saves and a 76/15 K/BB ratio in 76 innings. Reed has had the two best years of his career over the last two seasons, which is certainly an encouraging trend.
The Phillies signed Pat Neshek on Monday evening, but apparently would like to add another veteran arm to the bullpen. If signed, the Phillies would likely use Reed ahead of closer Hector Neris. Neshek would currently operate in the set-up role, though new manager Gabe Kapler would probably use the two interchangeably on an as-needed basis in that role.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”