It looks like the Philadelphia Phillies have some more competition in their pursuit of star free agent Bryce Harper.
In a surprising twist to what seems like a neverending rumor mill around Harper's next landing spot, the Los Angeles Dodgers have entered (or possibly reentered depending on what report you believe) the bidding war for Harper's services.
Sources: The Dodgers are back in the mix for Bryce Harper. Club officials, including manager Dave Roberts, were seen in Las Vegas on Sunday. https://t.co/cBRqZx4kOO— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 25, 2019
The Dodgers have deep pockets and aren't afraid to spend big on talent. However, before we get too excited, it looks like if they are getting back into the fray, it'll be on a shorter-term deal.
If the Dodgers get serious about Harper, it almost certainly would be on a VERY short-term deal, in keeping with their operating philosophy. Phillies, on the other hand, prepared to do a monster, long-term contract.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 25, 2019
Not sure if Buster's talking a record-breaking one-year deal, but this certainly adds another wrinkle to the offseason drama.
The Phillies have reportedly been in close communication with Harper and his representatives for the last few weeks, and some reports suggest there's going to be a resolution (IE: deal) to those talks in the coming days. They're viewed as the front runners to land Harper and are reportedly offering him a massive long-term deal.
However, there were also reports that Harper was speaking with multiple teams at the same time as the Phillies, and perhaps the Dodgers were one of those mystery teams. The Giants and Padres were also rumored to be in the Bryce sweepstakes.
Dodgers’ late Harper involvement is quite a surprise. Their presence in Vegas (via @JesseSanchezMLB) suggests they are serious tho there was no hint of this earlier. Uncertain if it was triggered by Padres’ splash, #SFGIants involvement or something else. But it’s quite a twist.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 25, 2019
Of course, we still don't know where Harper will sign, and we're seemingly no closer to having an answer. But we do know things are heating up and Harper has plenty of options as the season approaches.