Who are the actual favorites for the 26-year old Free Agent? At one point in the past week or so, the Phillies were considered to be the “Front Runners” for Harper but now that may seem a bit questionable.
Some may remember the rumor in December when Magic Johnson reportedly flew to Vegas and met with Harper. That was quickly shot down by Magic himself. For the time being, the Dodgers have only met with Harper this one and only time.
As of this past Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a formal meeting with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas. Stan Kasten, Mark Walter, Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts were the few representatives that flew to Vegas to meet with Harper. When all four returned to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, none would answer any specific questions or go into too much detail about the meeting.
Roberts said in an interview that, “The meeting was good” and that the meeting was to just get to know the player and his character. Personally, I don’t believe those statements at all. If all the Dodgers planned on doing was getting to know the player, they wouldn’t have went through the effort of making a trip to Vegas while Spring Training was taking place. Especially since Dave Roberts has said he’s talked to Bryce Harper multiple times during the years. Most recently being last year at the All-Star Game in Washington DC.
One of the biggest issues with Harper and the Dodgers is that Harper wants a long term, record setting deal. The Dodgers aren’t willing to go long term for Harper and would rather have a four or five year deal with an insanely high AAV (Annual Average Value). The market for Harper is virtually nonexistent as only the Phillies and Giants have had serious interest. Could the Dodgers possibly see an opportunity to entice Harper?
Here are a few things the Dodgers could offer for Harper:
- Sunny California. The weather is always nice in Southern California and the climate is similar to Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas.
- Los Angeles has a long lasting history in MLB with a handful of moments that have defined the ball club. Bryce Harper respects baseball history and wore “34” because 3+4=7, Mickey Mantle’s number.
- The biggest draw of all, the Dodgers can offer Bryce Harper a shot at a World Series title in his first season in blue.
With everyone being a “source” (rolls eyes), it is impossible to know what is exactly happening until it is currently happening and being reported by real Insiders and not a random account on Twitter. There is a rumor swirling on Twitter at the moment saying that Phillies owner, John Middleton, is giving Bryce Harper a deadline to sign accept the Phillies offer. No telling how much that offer is and no telling if that rumor is even true. However, it is interesting that Bryce Harper has yet to accept an offer from Philly.
My theory is that Harper has an offer from the Phillies and it is the offer he wants but, he is starting to realize he’ll have to live and play in Philly for the next ten years. If that is the case, maybe Harper is going to rethink this offer and decide on somewhere he would actually want to play (San Francisco or Los Angeles). If it means accepting a shorter term deal, I think that could be a possibility for him. Five years, $200 million and playing in Los Angeles for a World Series seems more intriguing than playing in Philadelphia for a team that is still in not 100% ready to contend.
Granted, I know nothing and I’m just trying to generate a theory that I find entertaining. With Machado signing last week, I do believe that Harper ends up signing a deal sometime this week. Fingers crossed it’s with the team that wears blue and white.