Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has an update on Bryce Harper’s injury status, reporting that the Nationals outfielder has yet to resume baseball activities as he recovers from left knee bursitis (and crashing into the wall at Dodger Stadium).
That means he definitely won’t be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible Tuesday and in fact Zuckerman reports that Harper will be examined Monday by Dr. James Andews. That news isn’t quite as grim as it is for pitchers, but obviously it’s also not good.
Harper won’t rejoin the Nationals without first going on a minor-league rehab assignment, but it seems silly to speculate about a timetable until after he gets looked at by Dr. Andrews.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.