The Bryce Harper sweepstakes continues to get dragged out, as the offseason nears an end. Rumors emerged suggesting Harper would sign with the Phillies earlier this week, but nothing came to be.
Now another team has entered the mix to land the coveted outfielder.
#Padres officials meeting today or tomorrow with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas, sources tell The Athletic. Meeting expected to include ownership representatives.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2019
Harper has had multiple teams inquire about his services throughout the offseason, but he still somehow hasn't inked a big deal.
The 26-year-old stud was expected to sign the most lucrative contract in MLB history. However, as the offseason progresses, the interest in Harper isn't as high as many thought it would be. Perhaps the Padres will shake things up and offer the superstar the deal he is seeking.
The Padres have a loaded farm system, but have made mistakes in free agency in the past. Would they be wise to try and sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper? https://t.co/0tpGlSxDMp— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 31, 2019
San Diego's farm system was recently rated as the best in the MLB, with 10 players appearing in the MLB's list of Top 100 prospects. They have the funds to bring in either Harper or Manny Machado this offseason, but their history of poor free agent signings may be deterring them from signing either star to a long-term deal.
In 2018, Harper slashed .249/.393/.496, while crushing 34 home runs and driving in 100 RBI. He scored 103 runs and walked a league-high 130 times, as he made his sixth All-Star appearance of his seven-year career.