NEW YORK – Bryce Harper reportedly met with representatives of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Las Vegas as the drawn-out pursuit of baseball’s top free agent extends deep into spring training.
Multiple outlets reported Monday the Dodgers are back in the Harper sweepstakes, which had been presumed to be down to a three-team race in the National League as recently as Friday. The San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres were the other teams thought to still be alive in the bid to land the left-handed slugger.
ESPN reported that the Dodgers re-engaged Harper’s camp two weeks ago, inquiring about his interest in a shorter-term contract with a higher average annual value.
Harper is reportedly seeking a contract worth more than $300 million over 10 years, which is the value of the contract free agent Manny Machado signed with the Padres on Thursday. The Dodgers let Machado hit the open market after acquiring him from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline last July.
In other MLB news, outfielder Aaron Hicks signed a seven-year contract extension with the New York Yankees. The deal, which will run through 2025 and includes an option for 2026, is reportedly worth $70 million.
Hicks, a 29-year-old switch hitter, is coming off a career season in which he hit 27 home runs, drove in 79 runs and scored 90 runs in 2018.
Acquired from the Minnesota Twins in 2015, Hicks has played in 348 games and hit 50 home runs in his three seasons with the Yankees.
Manager Bud Black and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a three-year contract extension that runs through 2022.
Black, a finalist for National League Manager of the Year in 2017 and ’18, is preparing to begin his third season on the Rockies’ bench.
In two seasons with Colorado, Black has a record of 178-147, leading the Rockies to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Black, 61, has 827 wins in 11 seasons as a manager in the major leagues. He spent the first nine years of his managerial career in San Diego.
Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote was examined by a team doctor again, one day after he was hit in the head with a pitch from San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Bote was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Bumgarner during the second inning on Sunday in Scottsdale, Arizona. In his first start of the spring, Bumgarner struggled in his second inning of work, throwing 29 pitches and not retiring any of the six batters he faced. All six eventually scored.
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