Travis Snider sidelined by rib injury suffered while golfing

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Travis Snider has sat out the early workouts in Blue Jays camp because of a rib-cage injury suffered while golfing last week.

Snider told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com that he’s “taking a very cautious approach with the idea in mind that the ultimate goal is to be ready for Opening Day.” In other words, don’t expect to see him in the lineup when exhibition games begin shortly.

Snider has shown very good power through 183 games in the majors, smacking 25 homers and 40 doubles in 612 at-bats, but the 23-year-old former top prospect has batted just .255 with 180 strikeouts and missed two months of last season with a wrist injury.

Once healthy he’ll be the favorite to claim the everyday job in left field, but he may want to stay off the links for a while.

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.