The Bryce Harper sweepstakes have reached the finish line, and the Philadelphia Phillies may have been passed at the last second.
As the 26-year-old reportedly prepares to make a decision about where he will spend roughly the next decade, the frontrunner Phillies have reportedly gotten some competition in the form of the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. While many still see the Phillies as the frontrunner, San Francisco Examiner columnist Jim Williams says “not so fast.”
Williams, who has known Harper’s agent Scott Boras for 30 years, said Boras is making the rounds for the “last and best offers” from the teams still in the running to land Harper. While the Phillies are believed to be offering a 10-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $323 million, the Giants may actually have the advantage, Williams writes.
The answer would all depend on whether Bryce Harper sticks to his guns about demanding a long-term deal or if he might be willing to take a five-year contract with more money per year and the ability to get one more mega contract in free agency.
“It is yet another master class in how Boras plays the game, and why owners are not thrilled to deal with him,” Williams wrote. “In 48 or 72 hours Harper will choose between doing a long term deal with the Phillies or perhaps his old team in Washington that is 10 years or more at over $325 million.”
“Or, maybe Harper might enjoy a five-year, huge-cash deal that would have him playing on the West Coast with a chance at the age of 31 to cash in all over again.”
There are other indications that Bryce Harper may want to sign anywhere other than Philadelphia. Randy Miller of NJ.com reported on Twitter that Harper’s first choices would have been either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs, and that he “prefers not to sign with [the] Phillies.”
BREAKING: The Dodgers are now the betting favorite to sign Bryce Harper.— OddsShark (@OddsShark) February 26, 2019
Giants +1200 pic.twitter.com/OlcpRMSVM2
If that’s true, then the Dodgers could have an advantage in the dollar figure they could offer to Bryce Harper. Jon Morosi of the MLB Network tweeted that the Dodgers had been in the running for Nolan Arenado, who just signed an eight-year contract with the Colorado Rockies worth up to $260 million. That gives the Dodgers more money to work with and could give the team the ability to sweeten the deal for the star right fielder, or potentially even offer the kind of long-term deal he had been seeking.