Alex Cobb is on the seven-day concussion disabled list after being hit on the head by a line drive Saturday and manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that there’s no timetable yet for the right-hander’s return to the Rays:
He’s feeling a little bit better, obviously not tremendously better. It’s one of those things that’s just going to take some time. My advice to him was to not try to really rush anything, just permit your body to tell you when you’re ready to do the next thing, and I think he’s pretty much accepted that thought.
Maddon added that he thinks “it’s going to be a long process,” which suggests Cobb’s stay on the DL will last well beyond seven days, and the manager was hesitant to talk about whether the team expects Cobb to pitch again this season.
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.