Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video on FOX Sports.
- Rosenthal suggests that Bryce Harper’s recent praise for manager Matt Williams could be a genuine expression of support that could help dissuade the Nationals from firing Williams, or it could be a “politically savvy” move to bolster his own reputation as a team player by offering praise for a manager he thinks will eventually be fired anyway.
- The downside of Giancarlo Stanton’s long-term deal was that he committed to be with a questionably run Marlins organization for at least six years. Rosenthal notes, though, that 2015 hasn’t been the first season in which Stanton has struggled to stay healthy — he has only averaged 118 games played per season for his career. In signing a long-term deal, Stanton reduced the risk that injuries could limit his career earnings.
- The Cubs have plenty of talented infielders and could still trade Starlin Castro, who has improved his stock by hitting well since the beginning of August and capably handling a new position, second base. Now, the Cubs can market him either as a shortstop or as a second baseman.
- Jeff Samardzija hasn’t pitched well for the White Sox, but his health record is pristine, with one executive says the health of his right arm is “right out of the womb.” The Yankees or Pirates could be good fits for Samardzija, Rosenthal suggests, given their recent successes at helping struggling but talented pitchers. Samardzija might do surprisingly well on the market this winter, Rosenthal says.