NEW YORK – The San Diego Padres have doubled down on their pursuit of free agent infielder Manny Machado. Padres general manager A.J. Preller flew to Miami last week to have a second meeting with Machado, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Multiple media outlets subsequently confirmed the report on Thursday.
The most recent meeting included Machado’s wife, the Union-Tribune reported, signaling the possibility that the sides were trying to work toward an agreement. There was no comment from Machado or the Padres regarding the latest meeting.
Machado, a four-time All-Star, is one of the marquee players still unsigned with spring training camps opening. Other teams reportedly in the running for Machado include the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, all of whom have met with the 26-year-old infielder this offseason.
Padres representatives, including Preller, general partner Peter Seidler and manager Andy Green, also met with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper in Las Vegas on Jan. 31. Harper and Machado reportedly are seeking in the neighborhood of $30 million a year.
In other MLB news, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow confirmed that the Astros were tantalizingly close to landing Harper at the July 2018 trade deadline.
“There was an agreement in principle in place and it didn’t get over the finish line for whatever reason, out of our control. But yeah, we had interest,” Luhnow told reporters at the Astros’ spring training site in West Palm Beach, Fla. “We had worked out an agreement with players both ways.”
Harper remained with the Washington Nationals and finished the 2018 season with 34 homers, 100 RBIs, 103 runs and a National League-leading 130 walks.
New York Yankees relief pitcher Danny Farquhar debuted a custom cap that includes head protection, nearly 10 months after suffering a brain hemorrhage during a game, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported.
Then with the Chicago White Sox, Farquhar collapsed in the dugout between innings during his relief appearance last April 20. The brain hemorrhage was attributed to a ruptured aneurysm. Farquhar had surgery at a Chicago hospital and was sidelined the rest of the season.
On the field, he will wear a specially designed protective padding that fits inside his cap. The gear weighs 170 grams and is made by Unequal Technologies. It consists of an insert and an outer flap similar to a batting helmet and is designed to protect his temple and the area of the skull where he had the surgery.
Jacob deGrom’s 2018 Cy Young Award will be shipped back to the manufacturer because it was damaged in transit, ESPN reported.
The award was sent from New York to the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but when it was unpacked, four letters in the word “OUTSTANDING” were damaged on the front of the plaque. On the back, a chunk of wood was missing.
When the NL’s Cy Young Award voting was revealed, deGrom had received 29 of the 30 first-place votes. The right-hander was just 10-9 for a disappointing Mets team last season, but his 1.70 ERA led the majors.
Los Angeles Angels right-hander Matt Harvey strained a glute muscle during agility drills and will be sidelined for about 10 days, manager Brad Ausmus said.
“You can recover (in) a week and a half,” Ausmus told reporters at the team’s spring training facility in Tempe, Ariz. “It depends on how he feels when we re-evaluate him, and how he feels and how quickly he can get back on the mound and what he’s done in the interim.”
Harvey, an All-Star with the New York Mets in 2013, signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Angels in December. Harvey, who turns 30 next month, went 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 32 games (28 starts) last season with the Mets and Cincinnati Reds.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5