Rays set to activate Ben Zobrist from the disabled list

5 Comments

Ben Zobrist will come off the disabled list and rejoin the Rays on Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Red Sox, returning after missing the past two weeks with a dislocated left thumb.

Zobrist suffered the injury on May 15 while sliding head-first into second base on a steal attempt and always hoped to miss the minimum of 15 days.

Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe split time at second base in Zobrist’s absence and the Rays went 5-8 without him in the lineup. Zobrist hit .260 with three homers and a .716 OPS in 40 games before the injury, drawing more walks (23) than strikeouts (21).

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Getty Images
4 Comments

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.