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MLB Roundup 1/5: Nationals back on top for Harper?

And the Yankees may be changing their tune on Sonny Gray

Washington Nationals v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Nationals re-emerge in Bryce Harper market

There wasn’t any real concrete news in the baseball world on Friday, but we did get a hot new rumor regarding the biggest star on the free agent market. Earlier in the winter the Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and others to the Reds and that seemed to pave the way for a sure Harper signing in Los Angeles. Well, now it looks like that won’t be happening. According to Michael Duarte of NBC LA, the Dodgers are only willing to offer a four- or five-year deal, which clearly isn’t going to get it done. The Nationals, however, seem to be willing to do what it takes to get their homegrown star back in Washington. For a long time, the word was that the Nats wouldn’t budge beyond their initial ten-year, $300 million offer from before the offseason began and that they even took that off the table after he declined. Jim Bowden is now reporting that their latest offer exceeds that. It seems like whatever happens, Harper is going to stay in the National League, with the White Sox the only American League squad that has any real traction with him. The Red Sox shouldn’t really be affected by this signing, though my biggest takeaway from this is what the hell are the Dodgers doing?

Yankees may hold on to Sonny Gray

Heading into the offseason, one of the few sure things that seemed inevitable from the get-go was that the Yankees were going to trade Sonny Gray. Brian Cashman even made a point to tell reporters that a deal was going to happen at one point or another. Well, here we are in January and the starter is still in pinstripes, and he may be for a while longer, too. If you recall, CC Sabathia underwent heart surgery at the start of the winter, and the Yankees are apparently holding off on any sort of move with Gray until Sabathia moves further along in his recovery. It makes sense, though it really seems hard to see them holding onto Gray beyond spring training given Cashman’s public desire to trade the righty. Sure enough, even now Cashman is saying that a trade will be done at some point. It would be very awkward for Gray to have to stick around this situation for too long knowing the team desperately wants to move him.