Phillies’ deal with Astros for Wilton Lopez falls apart after physical exam

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UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com now says the Phillies’ trade for Lopez “hit a roadblock and is unlikely to happen” despite being agreed upon pending a physical exam yesterday. Sure sounds like the doctor saw something worrisome in Lopez’s elbow.

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Yesterday the Phillies were reportedly on the verge of trading for Astros reliever Wilton Lopez and the 29-year-old right-hander was actually in Philadelphia taking a physical exam, but now the deal might be on hold.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the trade “appeared to stagnate” and speculates that perhaps the Phillies saw something they didn’t like after examining Lopez’s elbow, which sidelined him briefly this year.

There’s also been some speculation that another team or two jumped into the mix late in an effort to top the Phillies’ offer. As for where the trade stands at this point, that’s unclear, but Salisbury suggests it’s still a possibility.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.