Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Padres have signed pitcher Garrett Richards. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for two years and around $15 million in total.
Richards, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in July and will miss at least a large chunk of the 2019 season. Over the course of his eight-year career spent entirely with the Angels, Richards owns a 3.54 ERA with 645 strikeouts and 268 walks in 744 2/3 innings.
This is obviously a speculative deal on the Padres’ part, hoping he can be a big contributor in the 2020 season when he will be 32 years old.
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.