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Report: White Sox are “staying in touch” with Mike Moustakas

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Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas continues to draw interest from a number of teams around the league, including the White Sox. On Friday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the White Sox are “staying in touch” with the infielder, though the level of their interest isn’t currently known.

Moustakas, 29, is coming off of a seven-year run with the Royals. After undergoing right knee surgery in 2016, he rebounded with a .272/.314/.512 batting line and franchise-best 38 home runs in 598 plate appearances last year.

The Royals aren’t interested in bringing back their slugger — as they’ve made clear numerous times this winter, they’re more focused on replenishing their farm system than taking on marquee players and big contracts — but Moustakas remains one of the most intriguing free agent options left on the market, especially after enjoying one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2017. Still, even with the Braves and Yankees showing some signs of interest, teams have been reluctant to offer anything longer than a one-year deal, and it doesn’t look like any serious multi-year offers are currently on the table.

Granted, the White Sox are also in the middle of a rebuild, so if they engage in contract talks with Moustakas at all, it seems more likely that they’d be willing to discuss a long-term arrangement. As MLB Network’s Jon Morosi noted last week, the veteran infielder could bolster the White Sox’ lineup and give them a substantial talent to build around in the years to come.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.