Coffee and Clippings: Harper’s contract could lead to grievance hearing

Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) of the Washington Post reports that Bryce Harper’s contract could lead to a grievance hearing…

As the Washington Nationals seek to augment a roster core they believe is built for long-term success, an unusual and previously unreported aspect of outfielder Bryce Harper’s contract remains unresolved.

Harper, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 draft, reached an oral agreement on his current deal less than a minute before the Aug. 16 midnight deadline to sign picks. The five-year major league contract, rare for a draftee, called for Harper to be paid $9.9 million, including a signing bonus of $6.25 million.

Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) of the Boston Herald writes that with their aging rotation, Boston is in need of a young ace for the future…

The Red Sox rotation was deep and potent enough this year to be the major force behind a successful championship campaign.

But there’s something — actually, someone — missing from the starters’ equation.

And that’s its future.

With Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz each turning 30 next season, Jake Peavy turning 33 and John Lackey at 35, the Red Sox’ four best starters are hardly ready to be put out to pasture. But, they are not up-and-comers with their best years ahead of them, either.

Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) of the Dallas Morning News talks about what the Rangers could do about their middle infield…

The Rangers have a bit of a pickle.

Between their roster and top tier of prospects, they have an abundance of middle infielders. It’s all the stuff that goes around them — a catcher, a left fielder, a DH and perhaps a first baseman — that they are missing.

The Rangers have three talented middle infielders in the big leagues in Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar. Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas are two of their top five minor league prospects and two of the most advanced.

Bill Madden of NY Daily News writes that the team that signs Masahiro Tanaka could become ‘hot-stove champs’…

The next few weeks will tell if baseball owners have really learned their lesson from the stupidity of contracts of 7-10 years and $100 million-plus for players 30 years or older when Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo all sign their free agent deals. In the meantime, however, the latest expected posting process for Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka — and the speculation of a bidding war between the super powers, Yankees and Dodgers, driving the posting fee far above the record $51.7 million Yu Darvish cost the Texas Rangers two years ago, possibly to the $100 million range — further accentuates the big issue in baseball, which is the overall dilution of talent and the desperation of clubs to find star-quality players.