The Rangers signed Colby Lewis to a contract extension

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A few minutes ago the Texas Rangers announced that they signed Colby Lewis to a one-year extension. It has a $2 million base salary with incentives that could make it up to $6 million.  He made $3.25 million in 2012.

Sounds like a win-win, inasmuch as Lewis was facing free agency apocalypse, what with his 2012 season ending with an elbow injury back in July. Having a one-year deal with a team likely to give him a starting job next year will help him set up for another crack at the market in 2014.  Meanwhile, the Rangers get a quality starter back without having to take a long-term gamble and not having to pay much more than they did this year.

Lewis was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 105 innings in 16 starts before shutting it down.

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.