Could a deal finally be looming?
Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies have been connected all offseason, with the 26-year-old expected on multiple occasions to ink a deal. However, the two sides still remain apart on some facet of Harper's potential contract. In the wake of uncertainty, John Middleton has reportedly flown to Las Vegas, which just so happens to be Harper's hometown.
Coincidence? We think not.
Barring something completely unexpected, Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies will not be consummating a deal tonight, league sources tell ESPN. Owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas for more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal, sources said.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2019
Harper is expected to earn more than Manny Machado's 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. With that in mind, it seems likely Bryce is holding out for more money.
The Phillies have routinely expressed that financials will not get in the way of them landing a generational talent this offseason. With Harper on the doorstep, why would they hold back now?
My col: Bryce Harper may sign the least-satisfying nine-figure contract in the history of money. He's "free" yet without choices. He probably can't "go home" where he was wanted. He has himself & agent Scott Boras to thank. https://t.co/CFddavBd6U— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) February 22, 2019
Harper would be a major addition to a Phillies lineup which will already welcome JT Realmuto this coming season.
If Middleton is meeting with Harper and agent Scott Boras, let's hope a face-to-face arrangement can fix whatever remaining obstacles are keeping Bryce from committing to the City of Brotherly Love.