Bryce Harper

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Latest: Phillies meeting with Bryce Harper

Andrew Porter
January 11, 2019 - 8:54 am

The Phillies' front-office, including John Middleton, will meet with Bryce Harper and agent Scott Boras on Saturday in Las Vegas, a story first reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

It appears the meeting could be starting soon, as the Phillies has apparently landed in Las Vegas. 

What will the result of the meeting with Harper be? Nightengale has consistently stated he believes Harper will become a Phillie

Nightengale tripled-down on Harper to Philly on the 94WIP High Hopes Podcast with Jack Fritz and James Seltzer. 

"I'm gonna stick with the Phillies with Bryce Harper. I just think it's more probable than ever before, particularly that the big boys aren't involved," Nightengale said on Thursday afternoon. "The Cubs aren't involved, the Dodgers—the Dodgers would probably be his first choice because he lives in Vegas, Spring Training in Arizona and everything else. I still got Bryce Harper going to the Phillies."

Nightengale originally wrote that you "can bank on" Harper signing with the Phillies on November 8th.

Has anything changed since then?

"It really hasn't," he said. "The only thing that has come into affect since I wrote that column, was the Nationals haven't gone away. At that time, the Nationals said, hey, we offer him $300 million. He turned it down, see you later. Since that time, the Nationals have remained engaged. To what degree? No one's really sure. That's the only difference. They're still in the mix.

"I think the Phillies will blow away the White Sox in an offer. The Cubs and Dodgers haven't stepped forward with any offers, so I really think it comes down to Phillies and Nationals."

As for Harper's price, Nightengale believes the offer will creep towards 12 years, $350 million. 

"I would think for them to make sure the Nationals aren't involved, you gotta go more toward the 350 (million) mark," he said. "I would think a 10, 12 year contract between 300 and 350 (million) would be at least the starting point to get it done. Probably 12 years."

On  November 16th, Phillies managing partner John Middleton told Nightengale, “We’re going into this expecting to spend money. And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.’’

It's now January 11th and both Harper and Manny Machado remain free-agents. Machado has visited Philadelphia already and on Thursday, the Phillies hired hired former Orioles third base coach and Machado mentor Bobby Dickerson as an infield coach.

"I think it would be a huge disappointment in Philadelphia if they don't get one of those two guys," Nightengale said.