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Latest on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper

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As the hot stove barely takes the chill off of this frigid offseason, let’s check in on the two blue chip free agents who remain unemployed:

  • Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies are expected to make another offer to Manny Machado this week. We do not know what the previous offer was and, while one presumes that Machado countered or another team also made Machado an offer because only morons bid against themselves, we don’t know the terms of that stuff either. It all remains a mystery, but as Salisbury reports, the Phillies seem more jazzed for Machado than Harper;
  • The White Sox have reportedly made an offer to Machado. The Yankees too, though as Ken Davidoff writes today, it’s thought to be something of a lowball deal, at least in terms of contract length. Davidoff mentions five-years, $130 million, but it’s not clear if he’s just speculating or if that’s what someone has told him. Either way, it sounds like New York’s interest is good on the average annual value but poor on the length and guaranteed dollars;
  • Even if they are more jazzed about Machado, the Phillies have a meeting with Bryce Harper scheduled for this Saturday in Las Vegas. Unlike the Winter Meetings confab between Scott Boras and Philly GM Matt Klentak, this is an all-hands-on-deck thing, with the Phillies owner, team president Andy MacPhail, Klentak, Gabe Kapler and, most importantly, Bryce Harper himself. Know what? If I was interested in Harper, I’d probably let it slip to the media that I was more jazzed about Machado too for negotiation purposes. Just throwing that out there!

Given that there’s a Saturday meeting, it seems obvious that Harper won’t sign anywhere this week. No one knows with Machado, but given that there are offers out there, it could happen whenever.

Now if you excuse me, I’m off to have these third-degree hot stove burns treated. Just scorching stuff. Wear oven mitts, kids.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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