Phils meet with Harper in Vegas, make pitch

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies spent Saturday with Bryce Harper, his wife Kayla, his agent Scott Boras and a few others in Las Vegas.

They made their pitch for Harper to join the Phillies.

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies spent Saturday with Bryce Harper, his wife Kayla, his agent Scott Boras and a few others in Las Vegas.

They made their pitch for Harper to join the Phillies.

“I think it was really positive,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton told 6ABC outside the Philadelphia airport late Saturday night.

“Yeah, I do, too,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said.

Latest Harper rumors

Middleton, Klentak, team president Andy MacPhail, manager Gabe Kapler and assistant general manager Ned Rice represented the Phillies in Las Vegas, where they made a lengthy presentation to Harper and company. It is unknown if they made a formal contract offer before leaving town. The Phillies made a similar pitch to Manny Machado late last month at Citizens Bank Park. Of course, Machado also toured the facilities there.

The Phillies have made at least one formal offer to Machado and reportedly planned to make a second. Machado is the team’s No. 1 choice because of his combination of offense and elite defense at third base, while Harper is the people’s choice because of his offensive prowess and star power.

The Phillies have been optimistic for the past couple weeks that they will sign one of the two superstars. (It is their sole focus at the moment.) The Phillies not only have the most money to pay Harper or Machado, but they also seemingly have few competitors for them.

A source said recently that the Phillies know they must make a significant upgrade to their roster to keep up with the Nationals, Braves and Mets in the National League East. Each team either played better than the Phillies last season, made notable improvement this offseason or both.

Harper would help.

“We got to understand the man,” Middleton said about meeting Harper. “We got to understand what he’d be like in the dugout, the clubhouse and the community. He and his wife are really an impressive young couple.”

“It was really impressive to spend some time with him, get to know him better, answer his questions, and we got to ask some questions, learn about him and I think that’s a really important step in any negotiation is kind of understanding what the other party is looking for. And now we’ll see where it takes us,” Klentak said.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

from PHI Homepage News https://atmlb.com/2M8xM3Y
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