Finally some good news for the Anaheim Angels.
According to beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, staff ace Jered Weaver could be activated from the disabled list for a start next week if everything goes well during his appearance in an extended spring training game on Wednesday.
Weaver has been out since suffering a fracture in his left (non-throwing) elbow while trying to move out of the way of a comebacker on April 7 at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington. He was originally expected to miss four-to-six weeks. It’ll take him closer to seven.
Weaver, who earned Cy Young votes in 2012, had thrown just 11 total innings before hitting the shelf.
The Angels’ hideous 4.77 team ERA ranks 28th in the major leagues, in front of only the Blue Jays and Astros. Which probably played a big role in Anaheim’s decision to rush Weaver back without a rehab start.
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.