With the Winter Meetings upon us, the race for stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado is bound to heat up.
As teams meet with Harper and his agent in Las Vegas, they're getting the sense that the star outfielder is likely to sign with one of three teams: the White Sox, Phillies or Dodgers.
Rival executive told me today that he believes the Bryce Harper sweepstakes (as of Mon.) is down to three teams: #Phillies #WhiteSox and #Dodgers. A lot of other moves would need to be made first for LA to land Harper, AND I'm told team is hesitant to meet Boras asking price.— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) December 10, 2018
The Phillies and White Sox make complete sense in this case, as both have seemingly infinite funds at their disposal and can insert Harper as the instant face of the franchise.
LA is a head-scratcher, as they'd require some financial gymnastics to get that kind of cash.
Considering the #Dodgers are letting teams know that Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson are available, if they're able to move one or two of the outfielders, they'll certainly have plenty of room for Bryce Harper.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 10, 2018
Scott Boras' asking price for Harper is reportedly in the $300-to-$400 million range, and that's a thought only so many MLB teams can entertain. LA is a preferable market for Harper, who's emerged as one of the faces of baseball the last few years in Washington. But even the Dodgers would have to cut payroll to land him.
Philadelphia and Chicago, in the meantime, have proven willing to spend whatever money is required to add Harper to their already-entertaining young squads.