After his meeting with the Phillies in Las Vegas, Bryce Harper was reportedly “extremely impressed” by the team and their presentation.
The Phillies and Bryce Harper held their long-awaited meeting in Las Vegas Saturday. Fans were hoping owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak would return with a signed contract, but alas that did not happen. Details were hard to come by early, but they are slowly starting to trickle out.
After landing back home, Klentak and Middleton said they felt positive about the meeting with the team “optimistic” about landing one of the two big fish in this year’s free agency class. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the team is the “clear-cut favorite” to land Harper. Now, we may have an idea of how Harper felt walking away from the meeting.
Former general manager and writer for The Athletic Jim Bowden went on MLB Network to discuss the meeting. He said he spoke to someone who was in the meeting who told Bowden that Harper was “extremely impressed” with both the team and their pitch to him.
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According to Bowden, Harper and team officials felt a mutual, strong connection from the get-go. He said the team was “very aggressive” in their interest in Harper.
Notably, Bowden said he could not get any potential contract numbers from the person who was in the room. This coincides with the notion that Philadelphia has played this entire offseason close to the vest. All Bowden could say was that the club won’t be spending “stupid money”, but closer to “market money” for the type of player Bryce Harper is. This may mean a deal closer to $300 million than $400 million if that.
Altogether, Bowden said that the front office is indeed optimistic about their chances of landing Harper. In addition, he said Harper left the meeting with “serious interest” in becoming a Phillie. Bowden said the meeting “could not have gone better” if you are a Phillies fan.
While it would have been great to lock Harper up while in Las Vegas, it seems that the meeting went well as a whole. There should be optimism in Philadelphia for the team’s free agency chances.