Just when you thought things were finally winding down in the chase for free agent Bryce Harper, the entire affair just became even more confusing. On Monday morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers joined the fray — right when it had been whittled down to the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, the Dodgers and Phillies appear to be the frontrunners, and rumor has it that L.A. could have the advantage for a pretty understandable reason.
Teams had been falling out of the running left and right, and it was simply a matter of Harper finally saying he was ready to sign. Over the weekend, the Phillies made huge plays for the MLB free agent — and it appeared as if he was destined to land in Philadelphia.
By Monday morning, that had changed entirely.
As reported by ESPN, the Dodgers jumped back into things, and were looking to sign Harper to a short-term deal. Harper and agent Scott Boras didn’t appear to want anything but a long contract, but the money may be just right from Los Angeles — and there are other things on their side, as well.
Believe it or not, the large market of Los Angeles may not be the only thing working out in their favor. Due to a number of other reasons, the Dodgers may win out in signing Harper, if their offer is even comparably close to that of the Phillies.
Bryce Harper update: Some #Phillies officials have grown concerned Harper will sign with the #Dodgers if they make an offer that comes close to Philly’s. The ability to play close to home and train in Arizona both appeal to Harper, who is a @Lakers fan. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 26, 2019
Who would have thought that being a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers would help out a team in the NL West? Harper trains in Arizona, and he lives in Las Vegas — which makes signing with the Dodgers very appealing to him. Signing with Philly would take him far away from his base of operations.
L.A. simply needs to offer Harper the type of contract that is proximate to what the Phillies are offering. According to this new report, even if Philadelphia offers more money, Harper may choose to head west.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Phillies offered Harper $300 million, but rumor has it that amount had ballooned to $320 or $340 million. The Giants are hanging on by a thread in this chase, but the exact amount they’ve offered to Harper has not yet been revealed.
Los Angeles had reportedly been looking at signing Harper to a four or five-year deal, one which could be in the range of around $200 million or more. While Philadelphia is looking to offer him more money, the other factors are possibly more appealing to the free agent.
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) February 26, 2019
If you’re not a true Major League Baseball fan, this entire ordeal may be very confusing and extremely difficult to follow. Even if you are a massive MLB fan, this has been one of the most convoluted situations in almost all of baseball history. The Los Angeles Dodgers are prepared to make their offer. The Philadelphia Phillies have made their offer. What next?
Well, if Philly doesn’t end up breaking the bank for Bryce Harper, there could be a new player in Dodger-blue in 2019.