After another day of rumors circulating, the Phillies appear closer to a deal with Bryce Harper. Just where do they stand with the star free agent?
Phillies fans spent the weekend constantly refreshing Twitter as talks between the team and Bryce Harper intensified. Talks reportedly got close to the finish line with rumors of details for a potential contract being reported. Reports even circulated that box office workers were told to come to work Monday on a normally scheduled day off, but that proved to be false.
Alas, Harper remains a free agent as the two teams continue to talk. Just where does the club stand with Harper in negotiations?
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com threw some cold water on any notion that a deal was close, reporting Monday morning that no deal is imminent. Zolecki stated the two sides have made progress but he restates a report from Jon Heyman that other interested teams are still in the mix.
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Zolecki also wrote that Harper and Manny Machado‘s agents may be using their “stupid money” comment to drive up the price for their coveted clients from other teams. Zolecki warns that if one goes too far with that, they wind up pushing Philadelphia right to the other, losing their leverage in the process.
Matt Breen of Philly.com wrote Monday morning that the vibe in Clearwater was not one of a team about to sign such a big-name free agent. Breen also wrote that the team still believes they will come out of the offseason with one of Harper and Machado.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Sunday night that Philadelphia is indeed willing to meet Harper’s asking price.
While Nightengale makes sure to say no deal has been made, Harper is expected to get more than the 10 years and $300 million offered to him by the Nationals at the beginning of the offseason.
A deal with Harper certainly appears closer than it did when the weekend began, but from all accounts, there’s still some way to go.