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David Price could return to the mound this month

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Good news in the Red Sox’ camp today: David Price is nearing a return to the mound, and WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford estimates that it could come as soon as May 29. No official return date has been posted by the club yet, and it will likely be several more weeks until Price’s status becomes more clear, but the left-hander appears to be making considerable progress as he rehabs a left elbow injury.

The veteran lefty was diagnosed with left elbow soreness at the start of spring training and found himself sidelined well before his scheduled Grapefruit League debut in early March. It’s been slow going since then, but the club has successfully avoided any invasive surgical procedures so far and still projects a 2017 return for their ace. Pregame reports from manager John Farrell on Saturday revealed that Price is expected to make another four appearances this month: a four-inning simulated game on May 9 and three minor league outings on May 14, 19 and 24. According to Bradford, that should bring Price up to speed by May 29 or 30, which would allow him to make his first official start of the season during the Red Sox’ away series in Chicago.

Prior to his setback, Price turned in a 3.99 ERA in 2016, going 17-9 with a 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 in 230 innings for the Red Sox.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.