Phillies

MLB Notes: Mets' Matt Harvey to DL, may need season-ending surgery

MLB Notes: Mets' Matt Harvey to DL, may need season-ending surgery

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey has symptoms consistent with thoracic outlet syndrome, and the struggling New York Mets star could be facing season-ending surgery to treat a serious condition that has jeopardized the career of other major league pitchers.

General manager Sandy Alderson announced the diagnosis Thursday after Harvey was examined in St. Louis by a specialist, Dr. Robert Thompson. Alderson said a decision on surgery is likely to come in the next few days before the All-Star break.

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition caused by the compression of nerves, blood vessels or both in the area between the neck and armpit. After his start Monday, the 27-year-old Harvey complained of some common symptoms, which include numbness in fingers and shoulder discomfort. 

The former ace was seen by Mets doctors, referred to Thompson for further examination and placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to Tuesday. 

Another temporary treatment option is a "nerve block" that might help Harvey return to the mound fairly quickly, but surgery is probably inevitable at some point and the operation usually requires a four-month recovery period, Alderson said.

Harvey had been scheduled to start Saturday night at Citi Field against Max Scherzer and the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. Right-hander Logan Verrett (3-5) will pitch in his place and could get a chance to hold down that spot in the rotation.

"We'll evaluate it, but right now he'd be the guy we would lean toward," New York manager Terry Collins said (see full story).

Home Run Derby: Defending champion Frazier, MLB leader Trumbo headline field
NEW YORK -- Defending champion Todd Frazier and Mark Trumbo lead the field for Monday's All-Star Home Run Derby in San Diego.

Frazier, second in the American League with 23 homers, will take on Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez in the first round, while Trumbo -- the No. 1 seed and current major league leader with 26 -- faces the Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager.

Cincinnati's Adam Duvall is paired with the host Padres' Wil Myers and Seattle's Robinson Cano will go against Miami's Giancarlo Stanton in the other matchups. The Trumbo-Seager winner will face Cano or Stanton in the semifinals, while the Frazier-Gonzalez winner will go against Duvall or Myers.

Brackets were based on season home run totals through Wednesday.

Each batter gets four minutes per round. A batter may call a 45-second timeout in each of the first two rounds, and two in the final. Players can earn 30 seconds of bonus time with two homers of 440 feet or more.

Cardinals, Indians: Diaz, Kluber added to All-Star teams as injury replacements
SAN DIEGO -- St. Louis rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz will replace his teammate, infielder Matt Carpenter, on the National League roster for next week's All-Star game.

The American League also made a change, with Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber stepping in for Toronto pitcher Marco Estrada, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The replacements were announced Thursday by NL manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets and AL manager Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals.

Carpenter made his third All-Star team, but left Wednesday night's game against Pittsburgh with an injury. Diaz is batting .319 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI, 22 doubles, 54 runs scored, a .382 on-base percentage and a .534 slugging percentage (see full story).

Braves: Gordon Beckham off DL, Emilio Bonifacio cut
CHICAGO -- The Atlanta Braves have activated infielder Gordon Beckham from the disabled list and designated utility player Emilio Bonifacio for assignment.

Beckham was in the starting lineup at shortstop and batting second for Thursday night's game against the Chicago Cubs after being sidelined 33 games with a left hamstring strain.

The 31-year-old Bonifacio batted .129 with no extra-base hits and 11 strikeouts in 31 at-bats over 15 games. He was signed by Atlanta in the offseason, released April 6, and then re-signed to a minor league deal four days later.

Beckham was hitting .284 before he was injured June 1.

Pete Rose sues former baseball investigator over rape claims
Former baseball star Pete Rose on Wednesday sued the lawyer whose investigative report got him kicked out of baseball for gambling, alleging the lawyer defamed him last year by saying on radio that Rose raped young teen girls during spring training.

Rose said in the federal lawsuit that John M. Dowd damaged his reputation and endorsement deals during a July 2015 interview on WCHE-AM in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Dowd investigated Rose for Major League Baseball in 1989, leading the league's all-time hits leader to be declared ineligible for the Hall of Fame.

The lawsuit states Dowd said during the radio appearance that Rose associate Michael Bertolini told investigators he "ran young girls" to Rose during spring training, which Dowd called "statutory rape every time." Bertolini's lawyers issued a categorical denial last summer.

"Rose never did any such thing and until the Dowd accusations, no one had ever claimed he did," Rose's lawyers wrote in the complaint. "What Dowd attributes to Bertolini is false: Bertolini states he never told Dowd any such thing."

Rose, who lives in Las Vegas, had applied for reinstatement to the game last year and was about to appear at an All-Star Game in Cincinnati, where he coached and played, when Dowd said on Jim Rome's radio show on June 23, 2015, that Rose "had Bertolini running young women down in Florida for his satisfaction," the lawsuit said (see full story).

Twins: Pitching coach Allen back 6 weeks after DWI arrest
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Twins pitching coach Neil Allen has rejoined the team six weeks after his arrest on suspension of drunken driving. 

Allen was back with the team Thursday for the start of a four-game series at Texas, the last games before the All-Star break. 

The Twins suspended Allen indefinitely after his arrest in the early morning hours of May 27 in downtown Minneapolis. 

Without getting into specifics, manager Paul Molitor said Allen had completed the club's requirements and things that he needed to do (see full story).

Red Sox: INF Aaron Hill acquired from Brewers
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have acquired infielder Aaron Hill from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for two minor leaguers.

The Red Sox will also receive cash in the deal that sent right-hander Aaron Wilkerson and infielder Wendell Rijo to Milwaukee.

To make room for Hill on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated outfielder Ryan LaMarre for assignment. 

Hill, 34, is batting.283 with eight homers and 29 RBIs in 78 games this season. In his career, he has hit .269 with 159 homers for Toronto, Arizona and Milwaukee. He was an All-Star with the Blue Jays in 2009.

Wilkerson is 6-3 with a 2.14 ERA in Double-A and Triple-A this season. Rijo, 20, was named Boston's 15th-best prospect by Baseball America last offseason.

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Source: Phillies finalizing 2-year deal with Tommy Hunter

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USA Today Images

Source: Phillies finalizing 2-year deal with Tommy Hunter

Matt Klentak keeps adding to his bullpen.

The Phillies are finalizing a two-year deal with reliever Tommy Hunter, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury on Tuesday night.

The experienced right-hander will join veteran righty Pat Neshek, who is on the verge of re-signing with the Phillies, multiple sources said on Monday (see story).

Hunter, 31, has played for five teams over parts of 10 seasons. In 61 games (58 2/3 innings) with the Rays in 2017, Hunter posted career bests with a 2.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and .202 opponents' batting average, to go with 64 strikeouts and 14 walks. He started his career as a starter after he was taken in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Rangers. Since 2013, he has come out of the bullpen, compiling a 3.12 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.

Hunter and Neshek will complement an already promising group of Hector Neris, Luis Garcia, Adam Morgan, Edubray Ramos and Hoby Milner.

"I think if we can run out a bullpen of seven or eight guys that are all high-leverage type arms, then we can start matching up in the fifth or sixth inning," Klentak said Monday at the winter meetings. "If there are days when our young starters throw 100 pitches to get us through five or six innings, we shouldn't be in a position where that’s taxing our bullpen because we have the ability to carry an eighth bullpen member next year. We shouldn’t be in a position where we lose our competitiveness in the sixth inning because we should have a deep bullpen where we start throwing really good players out there early in the game. If it turns out that’s the best way for us to improve our run prevention, then that’s the way to do."

Phillies seem content to wait on Manny Machado, pursue him as free agent next year

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Phillies seem content to wait on Manny Machado, pursue him as free agent next year

Updated: 9:50 p.m.

ORLANDO. Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles are shopping Manny Machado for a trade.

The Phillies love Machado.

So the Phils will do the deal, right?

It's not that simple.

Machado remained a hot topic on Day 2 of the winter meetings Tuesday and the lobby buzz made it all the way to the Phillies' war room. General manager Matt Klentak would not take questions about any specific players — that would be a tampering violation — but he was posed with a scenario that would reflect Machado's situation.

Machado, 25, will be a free agent after the 2018 season. Therefore, he is under contractual control for just one more season.

So, Klentak was asked whether he would be willing to give up a slew of young talent — that's what it would take to get Machado — for a player under control only for a short period of time.

Klentak mulled the question. He covered all sides in his answer. But in the end, it sure sounded as if he would not be willing to pay the price to trade for a player like Machado. It sounded as if he'd rather roll the dice that Machado became a free agent in a year then try to get him for just money and not prospects.

"It obviously becomes more attractive to us if a player is under control for future years, plural," Klentak said. "If it’s a one-year contract before free agency, it’s less attractive. It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t do it. I realize these are less notable players than what you’re suggesting, but we’ve done that with some bullpen and starting pitcher additions the past couple years to acquire a player on a one-year deal. It really depends on what the return is, what would we have to give up in exchange for that player, whether that makes sense to acquire a player on a short-term contract. The years of control matter.

"I think we have to be open-minded to those scenarios, but the scenario you outlined presents some challenges that make it less likely. But we’re open-minded to just about everything."

Any team that acquires Machado, a slugging left-side infielder, this winter would have to be granted a 72-hour window from the Commissioner's Office to hammer out a contract extension before the deal is consummated. Even then, the deal would cost a team prospects and money. Look for the Phillies to stay in touch with the Orioles and monitor their asking price throughout the winter. But clearly, the Phillies prefer to hold on to as many of their young core players and prospects as they can as they seek to acquire players who would propel them closer to the top of the National League East.

This doesn't mean the Phillies would not be willing to subtract a young player or two for the right talent. The Phillies are looking for starting pitching and sources say they've investigated the possibility of acquiring young, under-control pitchers such as Chris Archer of the Rays and Michael Fulmer of the Tigers.

The Phillies are likely to add starting pitching through a trade, possibly one that involves shortstop Freddy Galvis or second baseman Cesar Hernandez. A person with a club from a team seeking a second baseman was asked about Hernandez on Tuesday. The person said the Phillies were being more aggressive in their efforts to move Galvis than they were Hernandez. That does not mean Hernandez will not be traded. The Phillies have set an extremely high price on him because he has three more years of contractual control and that is very valuable.

The Phillies' need for starting pitching and their deep pockets have led to a connection to free-agent Jake Arrieta. The Phillies, as is winter meetings custom, met with Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, but it's highly unlikely they would sign the pitcher because he will be 32 next season and word is he is seeking a deal that could approach $200 million. The Phillies don't believe they are far enough along in their rebuild to commit those dollars and the years it would take to get Arrieta. So don't hold your breath on that one (see story). If Arrieta is still out there in February and his price tag came way down, well, check back then.

"We've spent the last day and a half meeting with most of the prominent agents in the industry — a lot of agents represent players we're targeting and players we're not targeting — and I can understand why sometimes the connection will get made that may not be perfectly accurate," Klentak said. 

"We're very cognizant of the fact that we're a large-market team that has carried large payrolls in the past and does not have a lot of future commitments. We know this about ourselves, the agents know this about us, the fans know this about us. I think it's natural to connect the Phillies to players who are going to command a lot of money. 

"I've said this before: There will come a time where those connections will be accurate and we will spend again. For where we are right now, we are very committed to giving the reps to our young players and it would take a pretty special set of circumstances for us to deviate from that."

Klentak wants to improve the Phillies' "run prevention." It would be nice to add a starting pitcher — you can pretty much bet the Phillies will — but run prevention can also be addressed in the bullpen. Klentak suggested it was likely that the team would add another veteran reliever beyond Pat Neshek in the coming days (see story), and it is as the Phillies are finalizing a two-year deal with right-hander Tommy Hunter, according to a source Tuesday (see story).