Adrian Beltre moved up another rung on the all-time home run list after recording a two-RBI home run off of the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka on Friday, the 469th such blast of his career to date.
The home run — a 365-footer that put the Rangers on the board after three scoreless innings in the Bronx — was just his seventh of the season, but added to an impressive total that now ranks higher than that of Hall of Famer Chipper Jones (468 home runs, 34th all-time). He needs just four home runs to pass up Carlos Delgado (473 homers, 32nd all-time) and another six to pass up both Stan Musial and Willie Stargell (475 homers, tied for 30th all-time).
Beltre currently holds the second-most home runs by an active player, though he’s unlikely to surpass Albert Pujols‘ 632 career homers in his lifetime. Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, is close to catching Beltre after putting up 465 career home runs of his own, even if the biceps surgery he underwent in June means that he won’t try to eclipse Beltre’s record until 2019 at the earliest.
The Rangers currently lead the Yankees 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.