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Wire Taps: Philadelphia Phillies meeting with Bryce Harper in Vegas; Nationals and Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough asks + more

What’s going on? Philadelphia’s Phillies are in Las Vegas, Nevada, talking to Washington’s 2010 No. 1 overall pick about where he’s going to sign up for the next decade or so. What will it take for Bryce Harper to sign on in the City of Brotherly Love? Meanwhile, back in D.C., Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office reached agreements on contracts with all but two of their arbitration-eligible players, and with the team’s history of avoiding going to arbitration, the differences between the asks for the two players (Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough) don’t seem insurmountable (see below)… Go read your links!

NATS BEAT:

Bryce Harper set to meet with Phillies as final decision looms – (MASN)
“Few are surprised the Harper saga has stretched into January, but most observers around the sport don’t expect it to stretch much longer.”

Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner avoid arbitration – (MLB.com)
“Typically, the Nats try to settle all of their arbitration contracts and have not been to a hearing since 2015, with reliever Jerry Blevins. They ended up trading Blevins to the Mets before that season began.”

Nationals reach expected 1-year deals with Rendon, Turner to avoid arbitration – (NBC Sports Washington)
“The Nationals are typically loathe to enter arbitration hearings with players.”

Nats top prospects: No. 2 – SS Carter Kieboom – (MASN)
“Baseball America has Kieboom as its No. 2 overall prospect in the Nats top 10. I asked national writer Carlos Collazo: Could Carter play in the majors this summer?”

Rendon, Turner avoid arbitration; Taylor, Barraclough do not – (MASN)
Turner joined Joe Ross (who signed Thursday night) and Sammy Solís (who signed last month) among the Nationals players who avoided arbitration and beat the deadline with time to spare.”

The Nats have built a contending roster without Bryce Harper. What if he stays? – (WaPost)
“Where is the market for Bryce Harper? Whose dog did Manny Machado kick? And how smart-plus-lucky do the Washington Nationals look right now?”

Nats avoid arbitration with Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon by settling before deadline – (WaPost)
“Any tension between the Nationals and Taylor could stem from the end of last season, in which Taylor underperformed at the plate and saw his at-bats dwindle once Victor Robles was called up at the start of September.”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Sarris: Why Brian Dozier is an excellent candidate for a bounce-back season – (The Athletic – $$$)
“Brian​ Dozier has never been​ on the​ disabled​ list.​ That doesn’t mean​ he’s​ been healthy​ his​ whole​ career.​”

MLB Spent Less On Player Salaries Despite Record Revenues In 2018 – (Forbes)
“Earlier in the week, I reported that gross revenues for MLB in 2018 were $10.3 billion.That news had fans and players, such as Sean Doolittle of the Washington Nationals, across social media asking why clubs were not active in free agency.”

What the Phillies’ meeting with Bryce Harper could mean for the White Sox and Manny Machado – (NBC Sports Chicago)
“And because there’s no apparent rush for Harper to ink what’s expected to be one of the biggest contracts in baseball history, perhaps there’s time for a little chess.”

Gio Gonzalez – the forgotten free agent – (Beyond the Box Score)
Gio Gonzalez has flown under the radar this offseason, but is a quality arm that a contender in need of pitching should take a long look at signing.”

Cleveland Indians invite Rob Kaminsky, Daniel Johnson and 4 other minor leaguers to big-league spring training – (cleveland.com)
“The Indians acquired [Daniel] Johnson from Washington as part of the Yan Gomes trade in November. Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez, also acquired in the deal, will be in camp as a member of the 40-man roster.”

MLB Spent Less On Player Salaries Despite Record Revenues In 2018 – (Forbes)
“Earlier in the week, I reported that gross revenues for MLB in 2018 were $10.3 billion.That news had fans and players, such as Sean Doolittle of the Washington Nationals, across social media asking why clubs were not active in free agency.”

What the Phillies’ meeting with Bryce Harper could mean for the White Sox and Manny Machado – (NBC Sports Chicago)
“And because there’s no apparent rush for Harper to ink what’s expected to be one of the biggest contracts in baseball history, perhaps there’s time for a little chess.”

Gio Gonzalez – the forgotten free agent – (Beyond the Box Score)
Gio Gonzalez has flown under the radar this offseason, but is a quality arm that a contender in need of pitching should take a long look at signing.”

Cleveland Indians invite Rob Kaminsky, Daniel Johnson and 4 other minor leaguers to big-league spring training – (cleveland.com)
“The Indians acquired [Daniel] Johnson from Washington as part of the Yan Gomes trade in November. Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez, also acquired in the deal, will be in camp as a member of the 40-man roster.”



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