Phillies rumor: Team in Las Vegas courting Bryce Harper today
The latest Phillies rumor has them back in Las Vegas today
What’s the latest Phillies rumor surrounding Bryce Harper? First, multiple media outlets are reporting that the Phillies and Harper are scheduled to meet today, Saturday, in Las Vegas.
After researching flight records, TBOH found a CL35 aircraft matching a description of Phillies owner John Middleton’s leaving Trenton-Mercer airport Friday night at 9:25 p.m. and landing in Las Vegas a few hours later.
Middleton’s son, John Powers Middleton, shared a picture of the plane being in Trenton on his Instagram last week, so it’s highly plausible the Phillies contingent left out of Trenton instead of Philadelphia.
It’s unknown who went out to Vegas to meet with Harper and his agent Scott Boras. Obviously, executives Matt Klentak, John Middleton, and Andy MacPhail went out and it’s highly-likely manager Gabe Kapler was on that plane. It’s unknown if any players joined, though Rhys Hoskins, a client of Boras, has been courting Harper this offseason.
Saturday’s meeting with Harper comes days after the New York Yankees removed themselves from the Manny Machado sweepstakes. After signing D.J. LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki, there seems to be very little room for Machado on the Yankees infield.
With New York out the Phillies and White Sox appear to be the only teams with heavy interest in Machado. A rumored mystery team could be out there, but that notion is likely an agent’s ploy to hype interest.
Philadelphia is right to court Machado and Harper hard because coming out of this winter without either of them would be a disappointment. With stupid money to spend there’s no reason one of these superstars shouldn’t end up in Phillies pinstripes.
If the Phillies do land Harper they could use one of their young outfielders as trade bait for a left-handed pitcher. They could also sign Mike Moustakas to replace Maikel Franco at third and swap Franco to a team like the Padres, who have wanted him for years.
Should Machado sign with Philadelphia another outfielder such as A.J. Pollock could be signed. Franco would more than likely be moved to make room for Machado at third base.
Buckle up, because the next week could be very interesting for the Phillies.