White Sox, Mariners, and Rangers reportedly interested in Mike Lowell

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Now that David Ortiz is hitting again the Red Sox have found almost zero playing time for Mike Lowell, giving him a grand total of three starts and 17 plate appearances in the past three weeks.
Lowell has made it clear that he’d welcome a trade, noting last month that third baseman Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis rarely need time off and “I refuse to wish injuries to good players.”
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reports that “it does appear the Red Sox are listening to Lowell’s request to try to move him.” According to McDonald, the White Sox, Rangers, and Mariners have expressed interest in Lowell, but a source “ruled out any possibility of” the Angels getting involved in the wake of Kendry Morales’ broken ankle.
Chicago would use Lowell at third base in place of Mark Teahen, who was put on the disabled list yesterday with a broken finger. Seattle would presumably use him at first base, perhaps in a quasi-platoon with Casey Kotchman. Texas could also use him at first base, although that would likely mean sending top prospect Justin Smoak back to the minors after just a few dozen games.

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.