Matt Kemp undergoes MRI on shoulder, will miss rest of weekend series with Giants

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If the Dodgers are going to make up any ground in the playoff race this weekend, they are going to have to do it without Matt Kemp.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Kemp will undergo a dye contrast MRI on his left shoulder today which will force him to miss the rest of this weekend’s series against the Giants.

Kemp is just 3-for-30 (.100) since colliding into the center field fence in Coors Field on August 28. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise above his knee and a bruised jaw at the time, but the shoulder has emerged as the bigger issue.

Shane Victorino will slide start in center field in Kemp’s absence this afternoon while Juan Rivera will play left. Losers of three straight, the Dodgers open play today at 73-66 on the year, 5 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

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UPDATE, 8:06 PM: According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the MRI showed inflammation and “some fraying of the labrum.” The Dodgers are hoping he can return on Tuesday.

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.