Another week has passed by and Bryce Harper remains unsigned. Over the weekend of February 22-24, John Middleton flew to Las Vegas to meet with Harper in hopes of closing a deal. It seems he ended up leaving empty-handed, though, as this saga continues through the second week of spring training.
Things may be getting a little more interesting, though. The Phillies are still seen as the favorite, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have apparently re-entered the picture. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the Dodgers are interested in the 26-year-old native of Las Vegas, but with a catch. Short term.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-entered the Bryce Harper sweepstakes and are interested in a short-term deal with the free-agent slugger, according to ESPN and multiple reports.
Harper is seeking a long-term deal and, despite being unsigned just over a month before the start of the season, has given no indication that he is willing to change that demand, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Dodgers met with Harper on Sunday night.
The Dodgers, while an appealing option on the west coast, would not make sense for Harper at this juncture on a short-term deal. The regular season starts in just about a month and Harper’s camp has made it clear during the offseason that they are seeking a long-term deal. Going all offseason with these expectations just to sign a short-term deal with the Dodgers doesn’t seem like something that super-agent Scott Boras would do.
#Dodgers’ interest in Harper is short-term, sources tell The Athletic. After turning down #Nationals’ $300M, Boras/Harper obviously want to go long. If short-term is in play, other teams also might jump in. All hinges on whether #Phillies are willing to top $300M and close deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 25, 2019
Harper enters the 2019 season looking to bounce back from a 2018 campaign that saw him hit a career-low .249. Despite the low averge, he still hit 34 home runs, drove in a career-high 100 runs and walked a career-high 130 times.
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