Alex Rodriguez is looking good

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An A-Rod update:

Alex Rodriguez’s hip seems to be healing well. The Yankee slugger was spotted at dinner with girlfriend Torrie Wilson … Rodriguez “looked happy and in great shape.”

This simply can’t be. The experts at the Daily News told me that A-Rod was so injured and busted and old and broken that he’d rather retire and relieve the Yankees of having to pay him the remaining $114 million on his deal than try to come back.

Call me crazy, but I’m almost starting to believe that that was a talking point disseminated by the Yankees in an effort to try to shame A-Rod from coming back. One which was so attractive to the A-Rod hating Daily News writers that they passed it along without any critical thought.

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.