MRI on Brandon McCarthy’s shoulder rules out major damage

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The A’s sent Brandon McCarthy back to the Bay Area on Tuesday to get an MRI on his right shoulder.

The results are in, and the news is positive.

According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, structural damage has been ruled out and Oakland skipper Bob Melvin is optimistic that the 28-year-old right-hander won’t need another stint on the 15-day disabled list.

McCarthy will likely throw a bullpen session later this week to test the shoulder. If it goes well, he should remain on the active roster.

The impending free agent has registered a superb 2.79 ERA in 71 innings this year for the 27-35 Athletics.

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.