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Pirates place Francisco Cervelli on seven-day disabled list

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The Pirates placed catcher Francisco Cervelli on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, according to a team announcement. In a corresponding move, catcher Jacob Stallings was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to participate in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Brewers.

While Cervelli was officially reinstated from the concussion DL on July 8, he’s been limited to just four starts behind the plate and batted an underwhelming .071/.235/.143 in five total outings. The Pirates have yet to specify the severity of his condition — MLB.com’s Adam Berry notes that the veteran catcher had reported recurring concussion symptoms last month, but exactly what triggered the move this week is still unclear — but it seems likely that he could take the field again after the All-Star break, assuming everything goes smoothly during his recovery. Through 60 games this season, he carries a .243/.379/.460 batting line, nine home runs and an .839 OPS in 235 PA.

Stallings, meanwhile, is gearing up for his third stint with the Pirates in 2018. The 28-year-old backstop has looked halfway decent in Triple-A over the first half of the season, slashing .293/.337/.401 with 16 extra-base hits and a .738 OPS, but has yet to make his mark in the majors after going 1-for-7 with a base hit.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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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.