Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies got their hopes up about a Bryce Harper signing when Harper commented on the Instagram of Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins on Friday night. And while that comment was not followed by any announcement, there’s now another report that a deal between Harper and Philadelphia could be close.
Jim Bowden, the former baseball general manager who now works for the Athletic and Sirius XM, said on a CBS Sports show Saturday that Harper and the Phillies “could be close to a deal.”
“I keep hearing there’s a lot of momentum and traction on him signing with the Philadelphia Phillies,” Bowden said on the show. “He could be rounding third and heading home shortly.” He added that if Harper doesn’t go to Philly, he could return to the Nationals.
Bowden was formerly the general manager of the Washington Nationals, Harper’s current team, although he was gone from the organization by the time Harper was drafted.
“I am hearing they are well down the process… I keep hearing their could be momentum there in Philly. I think Harper is ready to go,” Bowden added.
Also on the CBS show, analyst Kenny White said that he had expected before Harper’s free agency that he would end up with the New York Yankees, but that it didn’t appear New York made much of a serious effort to pursue Harper this off season.
Harper, who is currently in Las Vegas with his wife and his agent Scott Boras, is believed to be choosing between the Phillies and the San Francisco Giants. Various reports have stated that the Giants are offering a shorter-term deal, but others have said that Harper is looking to sign with his new team for a longer time.
The former GM also said that Harper is looking to sign for somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 years and $300 million, and that Harper prioritizes the idea of going to a team that’s prepared to win right away.
This is BIG free agency news. According to Jim Bowden, the Phillies and Harper are "rounding third base" during their contract talks. https://t.co/TMFvtUDfF3
— FansOfCubs (@FansOfCubs) February 16, 2019
Bryce Harper, who is only 26 years old, has been one of baseball’s best players for his entire seven-year career, all of which has been spent with the Washington Nationals. He was drafted at age 17, after he got his GED to finish high school a year early in order to qualify for the draft.
Chris Russell, a radio host in Washington who is considered well-sourced with Harper’s camp, told WIP in an interview Friday that he believes Harper has probably already made his decision as to which team he’ll be choosing.