I guess John Middleton wasn’t kidding when he said that yesterday’s meeting between the Phillies and Bryce Harper’s camp went “really positive.”
Here’s USA Today’s Bob Nightengale with the latest:
The Philadelphia Phillies, and not the Washington Nationals, have emerged as the clear-cut favorite to sign free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper after meeting with him for five hours Saturday in Las Vegas, three officials told USA TODAY Sports.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of ongoing negotiations, but the Phillies have become the most aggressive team in their pursuit for Harper while the Nationals’ interest appears to be waning. Nationals executives are now calling a reunion with Harper a “long shot.”
The stove, it rages.
The Phillies also put on the full razzle-dazzle with “two slideshow presentations.” Wow. Wonder if they used PowerPoint or Prezi. If they went double PowerPoint, I’m not so sure I like that strategy. Being a true journalist, I tried to search for it online, but I couldn’t find anything.
Shrug. Better luck next time.
Nightengale goes on to write that the Phillies are expected to make a formal offer to Harper within the next week and that the team is prepared to make the largest offer to both Harper and infielder Manny Machado while not ruling out the possibility of signing both.
What’s the takeaway here? It’s pretty simple. The Phillies have the interest, money, and need. They have done some good things so far this winter, but they flat-out need to get it done with one of these guys or this is going to go down as the most disappointing offseason in the history of the franchise. It sounds like they’re almost there. Now they have to get to the finish line.
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