It’s never a good sign when a player goes into the All-Star break on the active roster and leaves the All-Star break on the disabled list, but that’s what just happened to Andrew Bailey.
Boston has placed Bailey on the DL with a shoulder injury, shutting him down after four straight scoreless appearances to end the first half. This is the second time Bailey has been on the DL this season, with his first stint being for a biceps injury.
Bailey has struggled with injuries throughout his career and pitched himself out of the closer role with the Red Sox, but did post a 3.77 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29 innings.
UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Bailey has labrum damage that may require surgery and is “probably out for the year.”
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.