Free agent Geoff Jenkins likely to retire

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jenkins headshot.jpgFree agent outfielder Geoff Jenkins hinted Saturday to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s likely to retire if he isn’t offered a contract soon.

“There were some calls (in the spring) but they were to go to
Triple-A,” said Jenkins. “That just
wasn’t in my heart.  Part of it is ego but you’ve tasted this life so long. We weren’t asking for the world. We put it out there to everybody.”

Veteran major leaguers rarely go quietly and it can sometimes get ugly at the end.  But Jenkins has to realize that no team would offer him a 25-man roster spot after he failed to register a major league at-bat in 2009 and put up an ugly .246/.301/.392 batting line for the Phillies in ’08.  If he wants to prove that he still has something left in the tank, it will have to be in the minor leagues.  The 35-year-old from Olympia, Washington owns a .275 career batting average and 221 career home runs.

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.