Report: Phillies brass to meet Harper in Las Vegas on Saturday
Members of the Philadelphia Phillies' front office are flying to Las Vegas to meet with superstar free agent Bryce Harper in person on Saturday, a source with direct knowledge of negotiations told Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Phillies owner John Middleton will be among those taking part in the meeting, Nightengale reports. It was Middleton who now famously proclaimed earlier in the winter that the Phillies were planning to be "stupid" about spending money in free agency.
During the winter meetings in Las Vegas, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak sat down with Harper's agent, Scott Boras, though Harper himself didn't take part in that meeting, according to Nightengale.
Harper's free agency has hit something of a snag, as he's still on the open market seeking what's believed to be a record contract. Last month, he was said to have met with multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
The Washington Nationals, once thought to be out of the running to retain Harper, have re-emerged as a favorite in recent days. Washington's most recent offer to Harper was said to be well north of the $300 million the team initially proposed to him at the end of the season.
Harper and Boras met with Nationals owner Ted Lerner in California last month, according to Nightengale.
It was reported last week that both the Phillies and White Sox are willing to give Harper a 10-year contract, though it doesn't appear that either team has made an offer yet.
Despite the Phillies' claims about wanting to spend, the team's only major free-agent signing to date has been reliever David Robertson, who they inked to a two-year deal last week. They were spurned by left-hander Patrick Corbin - who joined the Nationals - and are one of three teams waiting on a decision from superstar free-agent infielder Manny Machado.