The list of teams interested in signing free agent outfielder Bryce Harper continues to grow, with some becoming increasingly aggressive in their pursuit.
Even celebrities have begun attempting to court Harper, including NBA Hall of Famer and part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Magic Johnson.
In an effort to see if he could pull off his second massive recruitment of 2018 (hello, LeBron!), Magic flew to Vegas to meet with Harper's reps recently, ahead of the Winter Meetings.
The recruitment of Bryce Harper has heated up, as Magic Johnson led a Dodgers delegate that met with the mega-free agent in Las Vegas, sources tell me and @TBrownYahoo. White Sox, Phillies, Yankees lead long list of others interested. News at Yahoo Sports: https://t.co/AfeLtkcxtK— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 4, 2018
The fact that Johnson traveled to Nevada to personally meet with Harper likely indicates the team may be willing to spend as much money as they can to get him. It's one thing for a former or current Dodger player to go, but to have the team co-owner and Los Angeles icon fly out shows just how serious they are.
The Chicago White Sox, meanwhile, have sent Hall of Famer Jim Thome as their main representative.
The Chicago White Sox's interest in Bryce Harper is either very real or they're putting a lot of effort into something that isn't, because they enlisted Hall of Famer Jim Thome to go to Las Vegas and meet with Harper, sources tell Yahoo Sports. News: https://t.co/AfeLtkcxtK— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 4, 2018
While the Dodgers are no strangers to spending an absurd amount of money on one player, it's a bit surprising to see the rebuilding White Sox pushing hard for Harper. While they have a lot of money to spend, they also have several holes to fill while they wait for prospects, if they intend to compete for the playoffs next season.
However, it certainly seems they view Harper as the first piece of a new core, with other moves to follow.