The Orioles are shopping Mark Reynolds and Kevin Gregg

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Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com is reporting that the Orioles are shopping Mark Reynolds and Kevin Gregg.

Gregg has historically been a useful reliever, though he’s coming off a bad year.  Reynolds is probably the worst defensive third baseman in my lifetime — maybe anyone’s lifetime — and managed the neat trick of hitting 37 homers while still only posting an OPS+ of 119 last season. The year before was even more special: 32 homers and an OPS+ of 97.  I’d call him one-dimensional, but that’s an insult to dimensions.

Thank goodness Chipper Jones didn’t make his retirement effective immediately, or I’d be worried the Braves would be in on that business.

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.