Joel Hanrahan exited Monday night’s game with a strained forearm and the Red Sox have placed him on the disabled list. Manager John Farrell has already said that Junichi Tazawa, not Koji Uehara, will serve as the fill-in closer with both Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey on the shelf.
And to add another arm to the pitching staff the Red Sox called up prospect Allen Webster, who made his MLB debut on April 21 with a Quality Start against the Royals before being optioned back to the minors. He’ll start Wednesday versus the Twins, which means left-hander Felix Doubront is headed to the bullpen–perhaps only temporarily–after posting a 5.67 ERA through five starts.
Webster, a hard-throwing right-hander who was acquired from the Dodgers as part of last year’s Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford blockbuster, ranked as a top 50 prospect according to Baseball America and was off to a strong start at Triple-A. Doubront had a solid first full season for Boston last year, throwing 161 innings with a 4.86 ERA and 167 strikeouts, but has struggled to consistently throw strikes.
Oh, and Alfredo Aceves remains at Triple-A.
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.