Brett Gardner downplays talk of missing season, seeks second opinion on elbow

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After his latest setback wiped out another planned minor-league rehab assignment Brett Gardner is getting a pair of opinions on his injured elbow from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Tim Kremchek.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees “refused to fully divulge what doctors have learned” and “declined to share details about the condition of his elbow” until after hearing from both doctors.

In the meantime manager Joe Girardi ruled out a torn ligament and Tommy John surgery, which would have ended Gardner’s season.

For his part Gardner insisted to reporters that he’ll play again this year, saying: “It really doesn’t matter what [Dr. Andrews] said. I think I’m going to play.” Of course, that’s not really how elbow injuries and doctors work, and the fact that missing the remainder of the season is now even in the discussion seems like a pretty discouraging sign.

Gardner has already missed two months with an injury initially described as an elbow strain.

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.