There’s plenty of negativity on which to dwell in times such as these, but many of the game’s top players continue to their efforts to help those in need and inspire hope. To that end, Bryce Harper announced Thursday (via Twitter) that he and his family are donating $500,000 in partnership with Direct Relief, Three Square Las Vegas and Philabundance to “those in most immediate need” of aid against the spreading COVID-19 virus.
“Now is the time to come together and adhere to the guidelines of medical professionals!” wrote Harper. “We are wishing the best to all with our prayers during this time.” Harper joins Dexter Fowler, Freddie Freeman, Adam Wainwright, Shin-Soo Choo and dozens upon dozens of other big leaguers who have been active in their communities and made charitable contributions in the fight against the pandemic.
A couple more notes out of Philadelphia…
- A decision on right-hander Seranthony Dominguez’s right elbow is on “pause” for now, general manager Matt Klentak told reporters Thursday (link via Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer). The Phillies’ medical staff recommended Tommy John surgery after an MRI, and Dominguez was slated to receive a second opinion shortly thereafter. However, that recommendation coincided with the implementation of travel restrictions in Dominguez’s native Dominican Republic, and the righty quickly traveled back home to be with family while he was still able. Now, Dominguez’s second opinion and potential surgery are both on hold. Klentak acknowledged that Tommy John is still a definite possibility but stressed that the situation is not black-and-white. “For a lot of players, surgery is the last option they want to consider,” said Klentak. “…Before we go down that road we just want to make sure that everybody’s in agreement that [Tommy John surgery] is the right course of action.”
- Also on hold for the time being are the team’s extension talks with star catcher J.T. Realmuto. The league mandated that extension talks be halted during MLB’s league-wide roster freeze, so the two sides can’t even talk about a potential long-term deal. Klentak emphasized today, though, that he hopes to eventually rekindle talks with Realmuto’s camp. “I think you all know that we love J.T., and he’s a player that we would love to have with us for the long haul,” said the GM. Realmuto was reportedly seeking to top Buster Posey’s $159MM guarantee and set a new average annual value precedent for catchers — which could’ve meant an asking price upwards of $26-27MM annually over a six-year term. He’s slated to become a free agent in the 2020-21 offseason.