David Price is not close to returning to the Rays

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Rays left-hander David Price is eligible to return from the disabled list on Friday. But that will not happen.

According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Price is beginning to feel better but has not begun a throwing program and is still at least a couple weeks away from stepping back atop a mound. He’s been out since May 15 with a strained left triceps muscle.

“I honestly have no idea,” Price told reporters when asked to project a possible date for his return. “You have to give it a chance to heal, a chance to get better, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

Jake Odorizzi will continue to fill in for now. If he struggles, Chris Archer is probably next in line.

Price, 27, had a 5.24 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 49/14 K/BB ratio in 55 innings (nine starts) before suffering his triceps injury. He posted a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio across 211 innings in 2012.

The Rays entered play Sunday with a 24-24 record, six games back in the American League East.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.