Jose Reyes has not signed with the Marlins. Yet.

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Everybody’s in a hurry to put Jose Reyes in Marlin-teal. Er, orange. Or whatever color it is. Pick one. You’ll probably be right. Anyway, it’s funny how so many people — including people who aren’t normally involved in mainstream of the rumor-mongering game — seem to have some inside dirt on Reyes’ plans.

Last week Jorge Sedano of 790 AM The Ticket in Miami said Reyes to the Marlins was a “done deal.”  Yesterday Dino Costa of SiriusXM reported that Reyes had accepted an offer.  Those reports were each followed up by guys who cover the Marlins — in the latter case Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post — saying that, no, nothing was happening.

These kinds of rumors a weird. Despite what a lot of people like to say about the rumor racket, it’s very rare that people just make stuff up. I mean, it’s bad enough to be wrong about something you honestly thought you had some decent information about. No one in their right mind would want to just invent things.

But more to the point, there’s little reward in being right about random rumors anyway. Guys like Heyman, Rosenthal and Olney have built careers on this stuff, but if you’re not dealing in their kind of volume, no one is going to give you anything for happening to have been first about the Shlabotnik signing that one year.

I’m guessing that even if Reyes hasn’t agreed to anything with Miami — and it would make sense for him to listen to other offers before doing so — there is sufficient heat there that all kinds of folks with various levels of connection to the team or to Reyes are talking about it.  And even if that’s not news the way an actual signing is news, it’s still pretty interesting.

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.