Dodgers Meet with Harper
Bryce Harper met with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, a sign the market for the star free agent might be picking up as spring training enters its second full week.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed the Sunday night meeting, saying it was “good” and a chance for the sides to “get to know each other.” Roberts says the Dodgers were “vetting a certain process.” Roberts declined Monday to comment about possible terms for a contract with Harper, saying “I personally have to focus on the 61 guys that are here.”
Harper has been connected to the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants during a second consecutive slow free-agent market for the sport. The 26-year-old Harper was the 2015 NL MVP and made six All-Star teams in seven big league seasons with the Washington Nationals. He batted .249 with 34 home runs, 100 RBIs and an .889 OPS last season.
Don’t call Marwin Gonzalez a utilityman. At least not around the Minnesota Twins. A veteran of seven seasons, all with the Astros, Gonzalez has played every position except pitcher and catcher -- and played them well. In Houston’s 2017 World Series championship season, his best year, he committed eight errors in 134 games while batting .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs. He finished in the top 20 of the AL MVP voting. Despite a dropoff last year (.247, 16 HR, 68 RBIs), the Twins will pay Gonzalez $21 million for the next two years even though they don’t really have a spot for him.
Making another move to keep their core of players together, the New York Yankees agreed to a $70 million, seven-year contract with outfielder Aaron Hicks. Hicks’ agreement adds $64 million in guaranteed money over six seasons and club option for 2026 that could make it worth $81.5 million over eight seasons. A 29-year-old switch-hitter, Hicks took over as the Yankees primary center fielder last year and set career-highs with 137 games, 27 homers and 79 RBIs.
Zion to sit again
Duke freshman Zion Williamson will miss a second straight game with a mild right knee sprain he suffered last week. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that the national player of the year candidate won’t play Tuesday night when the third-ranked Blue Devils visit No. 20 Virginia Tech. Williamson was hurt in the opening minute of an 88-72 loss to North Carolina.