Rangers calling up 21-year-old Martin Perez from Triple-A

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Earlier this month the Rangers chose to give Double-A prospect Justin Grimm a chance in their injury wrecked rotation instead of turning to more highly touted Triple-A prospect Martin Perez, but now they’re both in the big leagues.

Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that Perez has been called up to make his MLB debut at age 21 after ranking as the game’s 31st-best prospect according to Baseball America coming into the season.

Perez’s stock has slipped some since then, as he posted a 4.59 ERA and terrible 49/38 K/BB ratio in 84 innings at Triple-A after also struggling there in the second half of last season. For now he seems destined to work out of the bullpen, which makes the call-up even more curious considering Perez has been a full-time starter for his entire career.

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.