Free agent Bryce Harper still has a number of options on the table with less than a month to go until the regular MLB season starts. At the end of last week, it was just the San Diego Padres, the San Francisco Giants, and favorites the Philadelphia Phillies still in the running after the Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox stepped away.
But over the weekend the Los Angeles Dodgers also jumped back into the mix. After it was announced that Phillies owner John Middleton’s plane was spotted in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also made the trip to Nevada.
Despite the fact that it’s highly unlikely the Dodgers will be able to compete with other offers on the table for Harper, Roberts explained the purpose in organizing a meeting with Harper. According to The Chicago Tribune, Roberts stated that the Dodgers are just “doing their due diligence” in speaking to Harper.
“We’re always trying to make our team better,” he said. “You’re always trying to improve in any way, whether it’s off the field, on the field. So that’s sort of where we’re at. But the focus is obviously on the players here in camp.”
Dodgers officials met with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper in Las Vegas on Sunday night, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. https://t.co/C2BpTYSKwQ— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 25, 2019
“It was good,” he added. “Just trying to get to know each other. In the spirit of us, the Dodger (organization), vetting a certain process makes sense. And (it makes sense) for those guys to do due diligence as well.”
Aside from that, Roberts wasn’t sharing any details about his meeting with Harper, stating firmly that his main focus is the players already on the team. He did, however, state that he’s not particularly hopeful that the side will be able to win him over.
Harper and Roberts had met before, during the All-Star game in July last year. The Dodgers’ manager sung Harper’s praises, not only on a professional level, but also as a wonderful person.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they probably won’t be able to meet Harper’s demands. The outfielder has already turned down multiple $300 million offers already, and is on the hunt for a long-term deal. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Dodgers don’t have the budget to make the kind of record-breaking offer Harper is looking for.
They’re also looking to sign Harper on a similar short-term deal to the one they’ve just signed with center fielder A.J. Pollock for four years, another report by The Inquisitr indicated.