Rangers activate Ian Kinsler from disabled list, keep Jurickson Profar around

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Ian Kinsler has been activated from the disabled list and will bat leadoff and play second base this afternoon against the Blue Jays. In turn, the Rangers have optioned Leury Garcia to Triple-A Round Rock and will keep Jurickson Profar around in a utility role.

Kinsler has been sidelined since May 17 due to a right intercostal strain, but he made it through two rehab games with Double-A Frisco without any issues. The 30-year-old returns to a .302/.369/.500 batting line to go along with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and three stolen bases in 40 games this season.

Profar, who was called up from the minors after Kinsler was injured, is batting .278/.326/.392 with two home runs, three doubles, and seven RBI in 87 plate appearances. It could be a challenge to get him enough at-bats to justify keeping him with the big club, so Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com notes that the Rangers plan to have him work with third base coach Gary Pettis on outfield drills. It should be an interesting situation to monitor.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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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.