After weeks of speculation, rumors, and cryptic social media posts, it appears as if the Bryce Harper sweepstakes is coming to an end. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Sunday that negotiations between Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies could be finalized by Tuesday.
He also added that the Phillies remain confident that they are going to sign the 26-year-old superstar outfielder, but nearing a crossroad in their negotiations.
This latest news from Olney comes on the heels of USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reporting on Saturday night that the optimism now is Harper’s 10-year deal with the club will be finalized by Monday afternoon.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported on Friday that Phillies managing partner Jon Middletown flew out to Las Vegas, Harper’s hometown to meet with his camp.
The two sides have talked a couple of times over the offseason, starting at the winter meetings back in December. Throughout the offseason, it was widely reported that Harper, along with the recently signed Manny Machado would both sign lucrative long-term contracts worth at least $300 million.
Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal this past week with the San Diego Padres, giving him the biggest free agent contract in the history of North American sports.
With all that being said, Phillies fans should expect the front office to throw “stupid money” at Harper. Late last year, it was reported that the 26-year-old generational talent turned down a 10-year, $300 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals on the last day of the 2018 regular season.
Scott Boras, Harper’s agent, has held out for months, trying to drum up a market for his client’s services.
However, that has not worked up to this point as the Phillies have been the favorites throughout, despite varying interest from the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Nationals, and Padres.
Last season with the Nationals, Harper slashed .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs. But in 50 games at Citizens Bank Park, the 26-year-old is slashing .268/.365/.564 with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs.