Philadelphia Phillies' owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas on Saturday to meet with Bryce Harper ahead of the star outfielder's free agency decision. Contract talks between the two sides seem to be heating up, but still, no official signing has occurred.
Philadelphia #Phillies owner John Middleton still in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper negotiations and optimism now is that 10-year deal with Bryce Harper is finalized by Monday afternoon.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 24, 2019
While the Phillies are the current favorites in the Harper sweepstakes, Jon Heyman reported that Harper has been in negotiations with two teams in Vegas, both of whom were in the city with plans of seeing the 26-year-old on Saturday.
While Phillies are seen as the favorite (and may well be), team Harper has been negotiating in Vegas with two teams who were there to see Bryce today, “with more to follow”— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 24, 2019
Harper and the Phillies have been linked together for most of the offseason and, now that Spring Training is underway, Harper is expected to sign with a new team soon. Perhaps these mystery teams are reentering the mix for the former NL MVP, something which could be disastrous for the Phillies, who have had their sights set on bringing in a star player this offseason.
Any talks between #Padres and agent Scott Boras are more focused on Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper - and even Keuchel is a longshot, sources tell me and @Dennistlin. Pads have interest in Keuchel at a certain level, but also are considering other SPs.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 23, 2019
Still, despite the rumblings from these two other teams, it seems that signs are pointing towards Harper ending up patrolling the outfield grass at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies.
The White Sox and Padres have reportedly reduced their interest in Harper, but it's wholly possible that they were the teams who sent representatives to Las Vegas this weekend.