Roy Oswalt looks sharp in extended spring training start

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Veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt should be back in the major leagues at some point in early-to-mid June.

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Oswalt allowed just one hit — a leadoff bunt — over five innings Saturday in an outing at extended spring training against a group of Brewers minor leaguers. He struck out nine batters and did not issue a walk.

Oswalt signed a minor league contract with the Rockies on May 2 that will carry a prorated $2.3 million salary if he climbs onto the 25-man roster.

Oswalt will report this week to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers for four or five tuneup starts. If those go well, he’ll then head to Denver.

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.