The Indians announced this evening that they have claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from the Phillies. Carrera went 1-for-13 in 13 games with Philadelphia prior to being designated for assignment earlier this week when Delmon Young was activated from the disabled list.
Of course, this will be Carrera’s second stint with the Indians. The 25-year-old batted .255/.306/.347 with two home runs, 25 RBI, 18 stolen bases and a .653 OPS in 116 games with the club from 2011-2012. The Indians lost him to the Phillies at the end of spring training after designating him for assignment, but he’s now back with the organization and will presumably function as a reserve outfielder.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians have designated first baseman Michael McDade for assignment. The 23-year-old was hitting .230/.313/.284 with zero homers, seven RBI and a .597 OPS through 21 games this season with Triple-A Columbus.
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.