David Freese may not be ready to return Monday

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When the Cardinals placed David Freese on the disabled list to begin the season the idea was that he’d be ready to return from his back injury for the home opener on April 8, but that now looks iffy.

Mike Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the Cardinals would like Freese to play in multiple extended spring training games to evaluate his readiness for Monday, but there aren’t a ton of games scheduled. So it may take more time.

Matt Carpenter, who was slated to start at second base, has been subbing for Freese at third base, with Daniel Descalso moving into the lineup at second base.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.