Yankees release Carlos Silva

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According to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune, the Yankees have released right-hander Carlos Silva.

Silva, 32, signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in early-April after being released by the Cubs during spring training. He had an impressive 2.75 ERA and 26/8 K/BB ratio over seven minor league starts between High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that he was having shoulder problems.

Bartolo Colon returned from the disabled list today (and is looking great, by the way) and Phil Hughes isn’t far behind him, so while the Yankees would surely upgrade their starting rotation if the right pitcher is available, it doesn’t look like the glaring weakness we all thought it was a few months ago. In fact, entering play Saturday, Yankees’ starters rank sixth in the American League with a 3.73 ERA.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.