Cole Hamels was scratched from yesterday’s start against the Mets because of what the Phillies called “a gastrointestinal illness” but he apparently felt much better today and is now scheduled to start Sunday versus the Braves.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the source of Hamels’ stomach problems was “a bad salad,” which is why I personally have played it safe for 29 years by never eating a salad. Too dangerous, can’t take that chance.
Tyler Cloyd was called up from Triple-A to make his MLB debut in place of Hamels and tossed six innings of three-run ball, so that bad salad will get Cloyd at least a couple starts in the big leagues.
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.