Bench coach Tim Bogar won’t be back with Red Sox

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The Boston Globe reports that Tim Bogar, the assumed lead Bobby Valentine backstabber, won’t be back on Boston’s coaching staff next year, the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reports.

It’s already been reported that Torey Lovullo is set to make the move from Toronto to Boston with John Farrell and take over as bench coach.

Bogar was offered Houston’s bench coach job earlier this month, but he opted to stay with the Red Sox and take his chances that he’d remain in the plans for 2013. There’s no word yet on if he was offered another position in the organization.

Despite the Bobby V controversy, it seems unlikely that Bogar will be out of work for long. The Astros knew all about it when they offered him a gig. Bogar’s status as a managerial candidate may have taken a hit this year, but given that he’s just 46, he still has plenty of time left to redeem himself.

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.