The hot stove on Major League Baseball top free agent Bryce Harper has begun to pick up in recent days with the Los Angeles Dodgers brass flying to Las Vegas to meet with him and presumably getting back in the mix.
Prior to that, the Philadelphia Phillies were viewed as the heavy favorites to sign the 26-year-old as they were believed to be the only club willing to offer the long-term lucrative contract he is seeking. Reports indicate that Harper may not want to sign with Philadelphia though, specifically because of Gabe Kapler’s analytical approach as manager.
Along with the Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants also jumped back into the picture by meeting with Harper on Tuesday. They were only believed to be interested in inking him to a short-term contract but that stance may have since changed.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, those are the three teams that Harper is deciding between, although it is still unknown if the Dodgers are willing to commit to him long-term:
Phillies, #SFGiants and Dodgers all appear to remain strongly in Harper mix, and barring something unforeseen, it appears Harper will pick one of those 3 teams. Philly is in for 10 years, SF is too (via @PavlovicNBCS), LA is viewed as desirable locale tho term offered unknown.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 27, 2019
The Dodgers have seemed to be Harper’s preferred destination all winter long, so it could come down to if they are willing to increase their offer to 10 years or not. If not, then Harper could be deciding between the Phillies and Giants.
With Nolan Arenado now off the board for next year’s free agency class after signing an extension with the Colorado Rockies, signing Harper may be the only chance for the Dodgers to land a top-10 player in free agency in the next handful of years.