Phillies rumors: New team meeting with Bryce Harper Thursday night
The Phillies now have additional competition in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes as the Padres are now ready to meet the star free agent.
Up until now, the Phillies have been the main suitor for Bryce Harper with the Nationals and White Sox also in the mix. Now, reports are emerging that the Padres have entered the fray.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported Thursday that Padres officials will meet with Harper Thursday night. He noted that members of ownership will be part of the meeting.
In addition, Rosenthal reported that Harper and his agent Scott Boras, have met with various clubs in the past few days. This includes second or third meetings in certain cases (likely Philadelphia and Washington). He made sure to say that nothing is close.
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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote that San Diego’s interest in Harper is not as high their interest in Manny Machado. Acee stated that the Padres are doing “extended due diligence” with only a few suitors out there for Harper.
As it stands now, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, and San Diego are the main suitors for Harper. Jon Morosi of MLB.com noted that one more team is still in the mix “on the periphery.”
However, in all likelihood, Harper will go to one of the four aforementioned clubs. Philadelphia is still the “heavy favorite,” but things are still way too close to call.
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The Padres have a loaded outfield already, but Harper is obviously an upgrade over all of them. Plus they would be further able to deal from that stockpile in a trade to address other needs on the team.
The Padres do not have the capital to field a large payroll but only have two large contracts on their books currently with Will Myers and Eric Hosmer. Given the large amount of talent they have in their farm system, they may not need to load up on contracts to compete in the coming years. This would give them the ability to add on Harper’s potential hefty salary.
Philadelphia shouldn’t be threatened too much by the Padres just yet, but they will be worth keeping an eye on as this process continues.