Athletics acquire Fernando Rodney from Twins

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The Twins announced on Thursday evening that the club traded reliever Fernando Rodney to the Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Dakota Chalmers.

Rodney, 41, pitched well for the Twins, racking up 25 saves with a 3.09 ERA with a 50/19 K/BB ratio in 43 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander is owed the remainder of his $4.25 million salary for the 2018 season. His contract has a club option for next season worth $4.25 million with a $250,000 buyout.

Chalmers, 21, was selected by the Athletics in the third round of the 2015 draft. He was not rated among the Athletics’ top-30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. He has only pitched five innings this season with Single-A Beloit this season as he has been away from the team due to an undisclosed personal issue.

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.