Mark Teixeira hits, fields and jogs in first workout

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Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira is making slow but steady progress in his recovery from a calf strain.

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the first baseman took batting practice, fielded grounders and did some light running on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium for the first time since suffering the injury on September 8. He reported no abnormal pain or discomfort during or after the workout and will aim to intensify those three activities later this week.

“Overall, it’s getting better a little bit each day,” Teixeira told reporters.

The 32-year-old is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 81 RBI in 120 games played this season. The Yankees are optimistic that he’ll be ready before the end of the regular season.

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.