Josh Beckett feeling better, hoping to return next week

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Things are improving quickly for Josh Beckett.

The Red Sox right-hander played long-toss from about 250 feet on Saturday afternoon in Tampa Bay.

He had no trouble striding into his throws and did not appear to be bothered at all by his right ankle, which was sprained this past Monday while the Boston ace was making a start against the Blue Jays.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Beckett is hoping to throw a bullpen session next Tuesday or Wednesday with an eye on returning to the Red Sox rotation by the end of the week.

Beckett, 31, has posted a stellar 2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 155/46 K/BB ratio in 173 2/3 innings this season.

Mets, Orioles have discussed a Matt Harvey trade

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.

Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.

There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?

All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.

If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.