Jason Giambi still wants to play

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Jason Giambi was nearly the Rockies manager and turned down a chance to be their hitting coach. One of the reasons he’s not a coach right now? Dude still wants to play:

 

Giambi hit .225/.372/.303 with one homer in 113 plate appearances in 2012. The mojo for Giambi lasted longer than a lot of folks probably thought it would — not many former superstars continue on as role players after their elite skills have faded into average ones —  but it seems like it’s over. I could see him getting some spring training at bats anywhere, but he had the last job one can have on a major league team — pinch hitter — and there’s really nowhere else to go from there, is there?

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.