Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez has played in just one game since jamming his right shoulder on August 4 when he fell into the stands along the third base line at Wrigley Field while tracking down a foul ball. But the situation is now rapidly improving.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that Ramirez had “no issues” with the shoulder during a pregame workout on Tuesday and should be back in the starting lineup for Wednesday night’s series finale against the Mets.
Ramirez is batting .359/.410/.641 with 11 home runs, seven steals and 37 RBI over 210 plate appearances this season for Los Angeles. Dee Gordon and Nick Punto have been filling in at shortstop.
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.