MLB Rumors: New Team Emerges As Oddsmakers’ Favorite To Sign Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals at bat in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on September 18, 2018 in Miami, Florida.
Mark Brown / Getty Images

Multiple reports in recent weeks have pointed to the Philadelphia Phillies leading the way in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. However, a new report suggests that at least one oddsmaker has a new favorite to sign the talented free agent outfielder with less than two weeks before this year’s spring training kicks off — the San Francisco Giants.

As reported last week by the Inquisitr, Harper met with multiple Giants executives, as well as with longtime manager Bruce Bochy, in a move that suggested the team is interested in signing the 26-year-old MLB All-Star for the long term. While it was noted that the extent of the Giants’ interest in Harper was unknown at that point, the people behind the BetOnline AG sportsbook now appear confident that he will be taking his talents to the Bay Area for the 2019 MLB season, according to a new report from NBC Sports.

As of early Monday afternoon, Bryce Harper is a 1/1 favorite to sign with the San Francisco Giants, with the San Diego Padres coming in at second with 5/2 odds. The erstwhile favorite Phillies, as noted in a Twitter post from CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee, are now third most likely to sign Harper, with odds of 4/1, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are fourth with 15/2 odds. The Washington Nationals, whom Harper has spent his entire MLB career with, are well behind the Giants at fifth place, with 10/1 odds of re-signing the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft.

While BetOnline had the San Francisco Giants as favorites at the time of NBC Sports‘ report, another leading bookmaker has the Philadelphia Phillies leading the way in the chase for Harper, as detailed in a report from PhillyVoice. At 4 p.m. ET on Monday, OddsShark took to Twitter to post an update suggesting that the Phillies are once again the favorites, with the odds at +150, or 3/2.

Per NBC Sports, Bryce Harper has met with “over half a dozen” teams since he became a free agent by turning down a 10-year, $300 million contract offer from the Nationals on the final day of the 2018 MLB season. The outfielder’s representatives, however, have remained silent since that time and have yet to confirm Harper’s preferred destination in free agency.

As spring training has yet to kick off, there’s always the possibility new or old favorites may emerge or re-emerge. However, as PhillyVoice cautioned, it isn’t unusual for bookmakers to get things wrong when it comes to a top free agent’s landing spot, with their odds sometimes influenced by information that turns out to be “completely bogus” at the end of the day.