MLB rumors: Phillies call their chances of signing Bryce Harper 'remote'

MLB rumors: Phillies call their chances of signing Bryce Harper 'remote'

Ramp up the rivalry. The Bryce Harper sweepstakes could be down to the Dodgers and Giants. 

Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips has learned from a source that the Phillies believe their chances of signing Harper are "remote." While Phillips isn't known as an MLB Insider, he was the GM of a team in the same division as Philadelphia for seven years, and certainly knows plenty of people around the league. 

The Phillies grew concerned about the Dodgers jumping them on the totem pole once they re-entered talks with Harper, but perhaps that isn't the NL West team they should fear most. 

Giants CEO Larry Baer and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with Harper for a second time in Las Vegas on Tuesday, reports Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News. Earlier this month, Baer, Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Harper, his wife Kayla, and agent Scott Boras. 

[RELATED: Bryce Harper to Giants rumors has Smash Mouth sending hot takes]

Perhaps the Brinks truck seen at Giants camp in Scottsdale on Tuesday was headed for Sin City. 

One of the best rivalries in baseball is now at the front of what could be the biggest contract in the history of the game.

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

You're forgiven if you lost track of everything that happened at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night for the Giants. 

A 12-11 loss to the Cubs was one of the wildest games of the year, one in which both starters got rocked, both bullpens buckled, and seven balls left the yard. It was the first time since 2002 that these two teams faced off and each scored double-digit runs. 

The final blow, a two-run shot by Kris Bryant off Reyes Moronta, decided the game and put the Giants in a difficult spot. Here are three takeaways from the second night at Coors Field By The Lake:

A Tough Spot

It's pretty amazing that the Giants played well enough for a stretch to get into the Wild Card discussion, but the climb is once again really, really steep. 

Even before this game, FanGraphs gave the Giants just a 1.4 percent chance of grabbing a wild-card spot, and they're further back after dropping the first two against one of the many teams they're chasing. The problem with trailing so many teams is that on any given night at least one or two of them is going to win. It's hard to make up ground, and the Giants failed to do so Wednesday. 

The four teams at the top of the NL Wild Card race all won Wednesday. The Cubs have the second spot currently, and the Giants are 5 1/2 games back. They're 6 1/2 back of the Nationals with just 35 to play. These guys did what they had to do against the Diamondbacks, taking three of four, but this series in Chicago was the big one on the trip, and so far the Giants have dropped two games to a team they need to catch. 

A Sneaky Timeshare 

It's gone under the radar, but Buster Posey and Stephen Vogt have come pretty close to splitting time this month. Vogt made his 10th start of August on Wednesday night and has 48 at-bats in the month. Posey has started 12 games this month and has 49 at-bats. 

Vogt has provided another power bat against righties and helped spur the sixth-inning comeback, ending a long at-bat against Yu Darvish with a two-run blast to right. He tied the game in the seventh with an RBI single up the middle. There's a reason he's playing so often. 

Another Find?

The Giants put Jandel Gustave on the 40-man roster in July but didn't call him up right away. They saw something in the right-hander and wanted to keep him in the organization, and lately, the rest of us have seen why they were excited. 

Gustave came one pitch away from throwing an immaculate inning and calmed things down with a perfect seventh. He struck out two, lowering his ERA to 1.32 in 10 appearances. 

[RELATED: Longo's homer has Samardzija in awe]

The 26-year-old primarily relies on a fastball that sits 97-98 most nights and led to three swinging strikes out of his 14 pitches Wednesday. He has allowed just eight hits in 13 2/3 innings since a promotion and has worked his way into a bigger role. With a few more like this one, he could be a true late-innings guy for Bochy down the stretch, and given the way the bullpen looks right now, maybe the Giants should take a long look and see what Gustave can offer for 2020. 

Giants prospect Jaylin Davis attributes home run surge to consistency


Giants prospect Jaylin Davis attributes home run surge to consistency

To say that Giants prospect Jaylin Davis has made a positive impact ever since arriving in Triple-A Sacramento after being acquired in the trade that sent relief pitcher Sam Dyson to the Twins would be the understatement of the month.

Over 59 at-bats across 16 games with the River Cats, Davis has been as advertised, putting his power on the display to the tune of nine home runs with a .390/.486/.932 slash line.

How does one build a .932 slugging percentage? By getting scorching hot.

Seven home runs over his last five games. Yowzers.

"I had a real good series in Reno, so that's all I'll say about that," Davis summarized in a recent interview with ABC10's Lina Washington.

No need to be so modest, Jaylin.

Factoring in the recent power surge, Davis has now hit 34 home runs in the minors this season after never hitting more than 16 long balls in any prior professional or collegiate season. So, how does he explain the increased output?

"I think this year I've been more consistent with [my power]," Davis told Washington. "I think that's the biggest thing for me."

Whatever the explanation is, it's working. Clearly. With power numbers like that, it's getting harder and harder to overlook Davis, regardless of how productive San Francisco's outfield has been as of late.

[RELATED: How Giants outfield became team strength after dismal 2018]

So, how close does he feel to making his major league debut?

"Pretty close," Davis confessed, "so I'm excited."

If he keeps hitting the ball over the fence on the regular, he certainly won't be the only one feeling that way.