A’s pull back Rich Harden after Indians claim him on waivers


Last month the A’s had a Rich Harden trade worked out, only to have the Red Sox back away because of concerns about his health.

And now Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the A’s put Harden on waivers only to pull him back when the Indians claimed him and “couldn’t work out a deal.”

That means Harden is no longer eligible to be traded and will finish the season in Oakland after throwing 53 innings with a 3.91 ERA and 60/24 K/BB ratio.

Cleveland will presumably continue to be on the lookout for a veteran starter, although the Indians are now 4.5 games back in the AL Central and in danger of falling into third place.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.