Randy Wolf is attempting a comeback at age 37 after missing all of last season and it’ll be with the Mariners, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that he’s agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Wolf hasn’t pitched since September of 2012 because of Tommy John elbow surgery and posted a 5.68 ERA that season before going under the knife, but after a 14-year career spent as a starter he’s apparently willing to shift to the bullpen.
Wolf hasn’t had particularly extreme platoon splits for a left-handed pitcher and struggled to crack 90 miles per hour even before the surgery, but certainly a relief workload would give him a better chance to stick around for another season or two.
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.