National League exec on Bryce Harper: ‘He’s simply overrated…he’s a losing player’

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Robert Murray of FRS wrote yesterday that he had been in contact with an anonymous National League executive, talking about Bryce Harper, and Murray’s contact had some pretty strong words about the upcoming free agent outfielder. These sentiments were communicated to Murray via text message:

“He’s simply overrated. The good ain’t worth the bad . . . Cares about himself more than the team. If I was in charge and had money, my team would not pursue him . . . If he gets more than 10-years, $300 million, I’d be surprised. I would not give him 10 years period and certainly not at that AAV. He’s just not worth it. He’s a selfish, losing player.”

Worth noting the “if I was in charge” line, which suggests to me that Murray was not talking to a general manager or ultimate decision maker, so take that all for what it’s worth insofar as it impacts Harper’s free agency prospects.

That aside, I’ll grant that Harper is (a) having a really weird year, good as far as power and patience goes, but not up to his MVP-level potential, particularly in the contact department (he’s batting .228). I’ll also grant that, though his injuries have been somewhat freakish as opposed to predictable and chronic, he has had some issues staying on the field over the course of his career, and that will at least be on the minds of front office folks. The stuff about him being a “losing player” and “selfish,” however, is bizarre.

I’d be curious as to how that executive defines “losing player” and what he means by Harper being “selfish.” The former is not born out in any way I can tell based on how he and his team has performed over the past several years. The latter seems like warmed-over, knee-jerk stuff people were saying about Harper when he was 17. When was the last time you heard about Harper being some sort of distraction or problem in the Nats clubhouse? What incidents, of any kind, has he been involved in that are notable or unusual? None that I can tell.

Given Harper’s odd year so far and given the way the free agent market has gone the past couple of years, I will not be at all surprised if Harper falls short of some of the crazy-high contracts people have predicted he’ll sign, but I have a really hard time believing that the sentiment of Murray’s text correspondent is prevalent in Major League Baseball.

Here’s Dan Patrick talking about that some more earlier today:

Report: Joe Girardi withdraws from consideration as Reds’ next manager

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Former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has reportedly withdrawn his name for consideration in the Reds’ managerial search, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Per Rosenthal, Girardi was considered the frontrunner for the position, but elected to keep his current gig as an MLB Network analyst for the foreseeable future.

The 54-year-old skipper holds a lifetime 988-794 record in 11 years with the Marlins and Yankees. He cut his teeth on the Marlins’ 2006 season, during which the team skidded to a fourth-place finish in the NL East, then helped the Yankees to 10 consecutive winning records and a World Series title. While Mark Feinsand of MLB.com adds that Girardi “absolutely wants to manage again,” it’s unclear when and with whom he might choose to do so.

Without Girardi, the Reds still have several candidates left in play, not the least of whom is retired MLB third baseman David Bell. Bell previously served as the Reds’ Double-A and Triple-A manager from 2008-2012 and racked up a cumulative 227-332 record during that span. His resume also includes several coaching positions with the Cubs and Cardinals, and most recently, a role as VP of player development for the Giants in 2018. As Rosenthal points out, however, the 46-year-old coach is hardly a lock for a managerial spot with the Reds, as he’s also made a strong impression on the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Giants this fall.