Mark Teixeira wants to return from wrist injury by May 1

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As of two weeks ago Mark Teixeira was saying he might not return from his wrist injury until June, but now he’s apparently aiming for May 1.

Teixeira was initially given an 8-10 week timetable on March 5 and according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com the Yankees think May 1 would be really optimistic, but if the first baseman is cleared by a doctor next week he could begin swinging a bat and then a minor-league rehab assignment would be the next step.

He also noted that surgery remains a possibility, but “only if it never gets better.” And so far “it’s progressively gotten better, at this point … absolutely it has.”

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.