As the Bryce Harper free agent saga approached the middle of its 18th week on Tuesday, reports have emerged that the Los Angeles Dodgers may be the 26-year-old, six-time All Star's preferred landing spot, as a column in The Los Angeles Times indicated on Monday. But new rumors have offered a possible explanation for Harper's hesitancy to sign with any of the teams that have reportedly offered him contracts valued at more than $300 million.
In fact, according to a report on Twitter by MLB Network "insider" Jon Heyman, the Philadelphia Phillies — long considered the favorites in the Harper sweepstakes — have already offered Harper a contract worth more than the $300 million deal granted to another big-name free agent, infielder Manny Machado, as Inquisitr reported.
The Dodgers, Phillies, and San Francisco Giants are the only teams remaining that are still making active efforts to sign Harper, according to the site MLB Trade Rumors, but so far Harper has been unable to pull the trigger. But why?
A new, at least potential, clue emerged on Tuesday morning via Clint Evans, an editor and writer at the Dodgers site Dodgers Nation. Writing on his Twitter feed, Evans noted that Harper's wife Kayla Varner Harper, as well as other family members, have been pushing Harper away from Philly toward Los Angeles. Also, perhaps just as importantly, Harper and his agent Scott Boras — called "the world's most powerful sports agent" by Forbes — are supposedly "at odds" with each other behind the scenes.
Boras is also "at odds" with Harper's family, and it was the superstar's family who "talked Bryce out of signing with Philly twice," according to the rumors Evans says he "was told."
According to Evans in another Twitter post, Harper and Boras had a "heated disagreement about 10 days ago."
"Harper [is] feeling a ton of pressure between balancing legacy/feeling like family depending on him to do the right thing."The "right thing" in the view of Harper's family, at least according to Evans, is to sign with the Dodgers, and that if Harper hypothetically made a decision today, Chavez Ravine would become his new baseball home. Jon Morosi of MLB Network also reported on Twitter that the Phillies brass have become "concerned" that Harper prefers to sign with the Dodgers due to the fact that not only is Los Angeles less than an hour by air from Harper's Nevada home, but the Dodgers' spring training facility, per MLB.com, is located in Glendale, Arizona, which is also much closer to home for Harper.