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Report: Dodgers ‘back in the mix’ for Bryce Harper

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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are “back in he mix” for free agent Bryce Harper. Sanchez was told this by a source who said that Dodgers officials, including manager Dave Roberts, were seen in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas yesterday. It’s a short hop there from Camelback Ranch, after all.

This comes two days after Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas to meet with Harper, representing what was thought to be the only team seriously pursuing him with a long term deal. The Giants are reportedly interested but on a short term pact. There are rumors that the Padres may still be in on Harper as well, despite the fact that they have already signed Manny Machado, but people don’t seem to really by buying their interest.

Buster Olney of ESPN added a few moments ago that, if the Dodgers are in on Harper, they may, like the Giants, be interested in a short term pact which he says is “in keeping with their operating philosophy.” At the moment the Dodgers don’t have anyone under contract for longer than five years. Their last free agent signing, of A.J. Pollock, came on a four-year pact. A Clayton Kershaw extension was for three years. Kenley Jansen is under contract for three more seasons. Justin Turner is signed through 2020.

Whether Dave Roberts’ visit to Los Angeles represents serious interest on the part of Los Angeles or whether it’s just an extraordinarily late exercise in kicking the tires will likely be revealed soon.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.