Brad Lidge eyes Friday return to Phillies’ bullpen

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Brad Lidge made his eighth minor-league rehab appearance today, throwing a scoreless inning at Single-A, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that he may be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as Friday.

Lidge has been mostly impressive in the minors, allowing three runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 10 and walking just one, but he hasn’t pitched for the Phillies since last October due to arm problems.

Philadelphia is said to be in the market for bullpen help, with some reports pegging them as the front-runners to acquire Heath Bell or Mike Adams from the Padres, but Lidge returning Friday and putting together a few impressive outings could change the Phillies’ plans a bit heading into the July 31 trade deadline.

Lidge figures to return as a setup man, with both Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo ahead of him on the closer depth chart.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.