Is John Lackey taking a physical for the Red Sox?

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I put this in the form of a question, because the very guy tweeting qualifies it. It’s FanHouse’s Ed Price who is tweeting the Lackey-Sox rumor, but his own tweet says he’s “Working to confirm.”  Price is a nice fellow, but he’s been a bit quick on the draw before. Such as last week when he tweeted that the Mets had acquired Edwin Jackson, when they most certainly did not.

Who knows if this has any legs?

Here’s a take I can get on board with: From Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors, talking directly to Price about whether it’s right and proper to tweet this sort of thing as news when the story isn’t even confirmed yet: “Glad you trust the source…but Twitter is the web…I think it should have the same standard reqs that a FanHouse story does.”

UPDATE:  Now ESPN is reporting it too.

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.