Royals release Brett Tomko

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Brett Tomko signed a minor-league contract with the Royals in an effort to make it back to the majors for the first time since 2011, but the 41-year-old’s comeback is over now.

Tomko posted a 3.80 ERA in 48 innings at Triple-A, but it came with a poor 32/19 K/BB ratio and the Royals decided to release him today.

His comeback was always a long shot because Tomko turned 41 years old in April and … well, he was never that great to begin with. He has a 4.65 career ERA in 14 seasons as a big leaguer and posted an ERA under 4.00 exactly one time since 1998. He did make more than $21 million though, so … solid career.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.