Phillies rumors: Bryce Harper deal to be done by Monday afternoon
With Phillies owner John Middleton in Las Vegas to meet with Bryce Harper, a deal should reportedly be done by Monday afternoon.
UPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Phillies owner John Middleton remains in Las Vegas Sunday night working towards a 10-year deal. Nightengale states there is optimism the deal will be done by Monday afternoon.
UPDATE II: Buster Olney of ESPN reports the deal could be done by Tuesday.
After a week of rumors swirling around Bryce Harper, Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas Friday night to meet with the star free agent. While early reports said the meeting was only a meet and greet, the mood around the meeting is quickly shifting.
Jeff Passan of ESPN said on SportsCenter Saturday that this meeting served a larger purpose than just exchanging pleasantries. Passan capped off the appearance by saying that while a deal is not done yet, “it seems to be trending that way.”
Interestingly, Middleton is in Las Vegas without general manager Matt Klentak or team president Andy McPhail. This supported the early indication that Middleton wasn’t there to negotiate, but that no longer seems to be the case.
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Jim Bowden of the Athletic characterized the negotiations between Middleton and Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, as “intense” but noted they are progressing at a snail’s pace.
As it becomes clear Harper will get the record-setting deal he is looking for, it appears Philadelphia is the only one willing to give it to him. The White Sox and Nationals have both declared themselves out of the race with the Giants taking themselves out by only looking to give Harper a short-term deal. The Padres are not expected to sign a second record-breaking contract.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine a situation where Middleton leaves Las Vegas without getting Harper to sign.
The team reportedly feels spurred on after missing out on Manny Machado and feels confident they will get a deal done with Harper. There was reportedly a split in the front office about which player they preferred to sign, but now they are full steam ahead on Harper.
UPDATE: Middleton has reportedly left Las Vegas without a publicly known deal. His flight took off before 7:00 PM EST. Now we wait and see if any real progress was made towards a deal before Middleton left.
With Middleton meeting with Harper, it may not be long before a deal starts being reported.