Placido Polanco “had a series of injections to relieve pain”

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Anti-inflammatory medication didn’t do the trick, so Placido Polanco “had a series of injections to relieve pain and swelling caused by a bulging disc in his lower back” yesterday, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

He hasn’t been in the Phillies’ lineup since July 4 and has struggled to hit while playing through the injury for much of the season, finally opting out of the All-Star game to rest after initially saying he planned to start for the National League.

Polanco is already eligible to come off the disabled list, but there’s no timetable for his return yet and players are typically shut down for several days after receiving injections.

Philadelphia has MLB’s best record at 61-36, so rather than rushing Polanco back the Phillies’ goal should be getting him as healthy as possible for September and October so a move for help at third base isn’t needed.

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.