After meeting with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday, the Phillies are reportedly the No. 1 contenders to sign the six-time All-Star. On the heels of the Phillies’ summit with Harper, owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak shed some light on what the team accomplished by meeting with him and Scott Boras. “I think it was really positive,” Middleton told 6ABC (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com), and Klentak agreed. “We got to understand the man,” Middleton continued. “We got to understand what he’d be like in the dugout, the clubhouse and the community. He and his wife are really an impressive young couple.” The Phillies’ contingent made a long presentation to Harper’s camp, though they reportedly haven’t issued him an offer yet.
More on a couple other NL East clubs…
- The Braves, with an opening in their outfield, are among potential bidders for free agent A.J. Pollock, Buster Olney of ESPN observes (subscription required). Although, Mark Bowman of MLB.com notes there’s “hesitance” in submitting a multiyear offer to Pollock, who’s already 31 and has battled significant injury issues on an all-too-regular basis. A one-year deal could be sensible for Atlanta, however, as Bowman contends that the team has the financial flexibility to make such a move. But as Olney points out, signing Pollock – who rejected the Diamondbacks’ qualifying offer – would cost the Braves their second-round pick in this summer’s draft. The club could view that as a fairly steep price to pay for a short-term solution.
- More on the Braves, who have hired Dana Brown as vice president of scouting, per Bowman. The 51-year-old Brown will help take over for longtime director of scouting Brian Bridges, whom the Braves dismissed Wednesday, as Carlos Collazo of Baseball America was among those to cover. Brown had been with the Blue Jays the past nine seasons, and he’ll now reunite in Atlanta with close friend and Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who was Toronto’s GM from 2009-15.
- While the Nationals have been connected to free-agent left-hander Wade Miley as a potential No. 5 starter, it’s doubtful they’ll add anyone else to their rotation on a guaranteed contract, Jamal Collier of MLB.com hears. That should rule out Miley and other free agents who are in line to receive major league deals, though Collier doesn’t close the door on the Nationals bringing in rotation candidates on minors pacts. Regardless, Washington’s starting staff is already in enviable shape, as the team has signed Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez to accompany Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and perhaps either Joe Ross or Erick Fedde.