UPDATE: Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly agreed to a historic 13-year, $330 million deal. Day-um.
Everybody’s talking about the race to sign Bryce Harper. Rumor has it that the yet-unsigned former National may have whittled down the teams in contention to three finalists: the Phillies, Giants, and Dodgers.
Here’s USA Today’s Bob Nightengale excellent summary of the situation:
The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t really need him, but suddenly badly want him. The San Francisco Giants may not win with him, but he can be their greatest one-man marketing act since Barry Bonds. The Philadelphia Phillies may be the most desperate to acquire him, but no matter how much money they offer, are beginning to wonder if it even matters.
Philadelphia has been a favorite to land Harper throughout his free agency, but the two parties just can’t seem to come to an agreement despite talking in terms of a mega-sized contract—10 years, according to sources. Harper seems apprehensive to sign in Philly, and it would be a tough move for him; Philadelphia has a notoriously tough fan base, and staying in the NL East might be a little too close to home after playing in Washington DC for seven years.
Los Angeles didn’t even seem to be interested in entering the running until recently, but could be a good fit for Harper, whose hometown of Las Vegas is less than 300 miles from LA.
Bryce Harper update: Some #Phillies officials have grown concerned Harper will sign with the #Dodgers if they make an offer that comes close to Philly’s. The ability to play close to home and train in Arizona both appeal to Harper, who is a @Lakers fan. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 26, 2019
However, they might be loathe to offer him a longer term deal, and the fact that they’ve won back to back pennants suggests that the Dodgers are doing just fine without him.
There’s a good chance that Harper will end up in a Giants uniform, and it’s looking more likely every day. Like Philly, San Francisco is reportedly set to offer Harper a mammoth 10-year contract, which would get Harper out of the East Coast while giving him the longer term deal he’s looking to sign. As of yesterday, Harper and his agent Scott Boras were deep in negotiations with Giants management.
Only Boras knows exactly who’s offered what for Harper; officials involved are left to guess. Among latest shards of info:
1. PHI believed by some execs to still have highest $ offer.
2. LAD interest still predicated on shorter-team deal.
3. Giants in heavy, unsure of chances.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 28, 2019
Though which city Harper will end up calling home remains to be seen, one thing seems certain; no matter which team Harper winds up inking a deal with, it’s sure to smash some MLB payroll records.
Media source: USA Today