Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez underwent surgery to repair his ailing right index finger on Tuesday, Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports. The club expects him to be ready for spring training next February.
Sanchez injured his finger back in June while moving a suitcase. He was on the disabled list between June 22 and August 24. In five starts after his return, Sanchez posted a 6.04 ERA over 25 1/3 innings, failing to reach the fifth inning in three of those starts.
Overall, the 26-year-old right-hander ends his 2018 4-6 with a 4.89 ERA and an 86/58 K/BB ratio in 105 innings. Sanchez will enter his second of three years of arbitration eligibility after earning $2.7 million in 2018.
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.