Once-dominant setup man Eric O’Flaherty is close to joining the A’s after Tommy John surgery

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Oakland’s bullpen is close to adding left-hander Eric O’Flaherty, who was a dominant setup man in Atlanta from 2009-2013.

O’Flaherty is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, which is why he managed only a two-year, $7 million contract from the A’s as a free agent despite posting a 1.99 ERA in 250 innings for the Braves.

He’s exactly 12 months removed from surgery, so the A’s may ease him into the bullpen mix with a middle relief role, but if healthy O’Flaherty is a late inning-caliber southpaw with the ability to shut down left-handed and right-handed hitters.

While rehabbing in the minors O’Flaherty made seven appearances at Triple-A with a 4.32 ERA and 5/3 K/BB ratio in 8.1 innings.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.