Ryan Braun likely to “miss much more than the minimum 15 days”

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Ryan Braun played through a thumb injury for a long time before finally being placed on the disabled list this week and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that it now “seems likely he’ll miss much more than the minimum 15 days.”

That makes the Brewers’ decision to let Braun remain on the active roster for so long seem even more questionable, although for the most part the former MVP remained productive with what the team is now calling an inflamed nerve in his right hand.

Because the disabled list stint was backdated Braun is eligible to return Monday, but that’s obviously not going to happen and missing the remainder of the first half sounds possible at this point.

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.