Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals are in “serious discussions” with the Indians regarding a trade for catcher Yan Gomes.
The Nationals already brought back Kurt Suzuki on a free agent deal, so picking up Gomes would constitute a total catching overhaul going forward. If the trade happens it’ll be a $17 million total investment for 2019, with Suzuki making $10 million this coming season (and for 2020), with Gomes making $7 million. There are also club options on Gomes for $9 and 11 million in 2020 and 2021.
Gomes, an excellent defender, has had up-and-down offensive numbers over the years. He looked to be a star in the making after posting strong numbers at the plate in 2013 and 2014, but he cratered over the next three seasons. This past season, however, he rebounded to a respectable .266/.313/.449 and hit 16 homers.
What the Nats might send back to Cleveland is unknown.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.