Byron Buxton cleared to join High-A Fort Myers

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Byron Buxton — rated by most publications as the top prospect in baseball — is finally recovered from his mid-spring wrist injury and ready to resume his climb through the Twins’ minor league system.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Buxton has been activated from the disabled list at High-A Fort Myers in time for Sunday’s series opener against the Florida State League affiliate of the Pirates. The 20-year-old outfielder will likely be eased into everyday action.

Buxton, the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amatuer Draft out of a Georgia high school, batted .334/.424/.520 with 12 homers, 19 doubles, 18 triples, and 55 stolen bases in 125 games last season between Low-A Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He has the goods to be a mega-star.

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.