"Harper's Bazaar" is officially underway.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Yankees are reportedly among the teams that have already met with Harper, with many more set to follow, including the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.
Major League Baseball's annual winter meetings are set to begin Sunday in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The Dodgers' recruitment of Harper was reportedly led by part-owner Magic Johnson, who helped lure LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson denied that report, however, telling Passan and Brown that his lone meeting with Harper came two years ago when he was introduced to the outfielder during one of the Nationals' visits to Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers plan to stay under the luxury-tax threshold for the next four seasons, according to documents leaked earlier in the offseason.
Meanwhile, the White Sox reportedly enlisted Hall of Famer Jim Thome as part of their sales pitch to Harper. As a first baseman and designated hitter, Thome spent four seasons with the White Sox between 2006-09, hitting 134 of his 612 career home runs with Chicago.
Philadelphia completed a blockbuster trade Monday that sent first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop J.P. Crawford to the Seattle Mariners for shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos. The move comes after Phillies ownership said it was prepared to be "a little bit stupid" about the team's spending this winter.
Despite an October report suggesting the Yankees were not planning to pursue Harper, they have constantly been mentioned as possible suitors. New York has reportedly had some internal talks about trying to sign the outfielder to play first base - a position he's never played professionally.
The Washington Nationals are also expected to be involved. The Nationals drafted Harper first overall in the 2010 MLB Draft and were rumored to have offered the outfielder a 10-year, $300-million contract on the last day of the 2018 season.
Other teams reportedly in the mix are the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros. Harper is said to like the Astros, who made a push to acquire the six-time All-Star prior to last season's non-waiver trade deadline.
Harper is coming off a season in which he posted a .249/.393/.496 slash line with 34 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 159 games. The 26-year-old won unanimous National League MVP honors back in 2015 as a 22-year-old, authoring a 1.109 OPS.