<
>

Bryce Harper Watch: Who will land the superstar free agent?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The winter meetings are underway in Bryce Harper's hometown of Las Vegas, where we're tracking all of the latest Bryce buzz all week long.

Key Harper links

Boras: Harper deal could happen at anytime
Choose Your Own Adventure, Bryce Harper edition
How Harper, Machado fit on all 30 teams
Why Harper is a better bet than Machado

Where will Harper sign? Our predictions

Phillies: 4 votes (Eddie Matz, Tim Kurkjian, Jesse Rogers, Sarah Langs)

Why we picked Philadelphia: With that short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium, Harper could make home run history as a Yankee. But the kind of history he could make with the Phillies ($$$$) -- they of the deep pockets and even deeper outfield need -- matters more, both to him and his agent. -- Matz

We've heard that the Phillies might "be a little stupid about it" with offseason spending, but we haven't seen it yet on the free-agent market. Hard to believe they won't sign Machado or Harper, and in many ways they look like the best fit for both. Ultimately, I think if they sign one, it'll be Harper for their outfield. -- Langs


Dodgers: 3 votes (Arash Markazi, David Schoenfield, Dan Mullen)

Why we picked the Dodgers: Los Angeles is a city that runs on star power, and the Dodgers know they are one star away from getting over the hump and winning their first World Series since 1988 after just falling short the past two seasons. That star is Harper, who will gladly take the Dodgers' monster offer to move to the West and a new home that is just a 39-minute flight in a private jet to his hometown of Las Vegas. -- Markazi

I think it comes down to the Dodgers and Phillies here. But the lure of Los Angeles and a team that is already at the level Philly is hoping to get to on the field could be enough to send Harper west if L.A. goes all-in to pursue the outfielder -- and recent clues seem to suggest the Dodgers might do just that. -- Mullen


White Sox: 1 vote (Bradford Doolittle)

Why I picked Chicago: We're getting odds on these, right? Just the fact that the White Sox are sniffing around Harper's trail makes me think they'll go the extra mile (the opt-out) to get him. Harper wouldn't be teammates with Kris Bryant, but their families could still hang out at Navy Pier. -- Doolittle


Angels: 1 vote (Sam Miller)

Why I picked the Angels: The classic Arte Moreno splash is the one you never hear any rumors about, and I haven't read any rumors linking Harper to Angel Stadium, which is, by the way, the MLB stadium closest in driving distance to his hometown of Las Vegas. -- Sam Miller


Giants: 1 vote (Tim Keown)

Why I picked San Francisco: Farhan Zaidi makes a big move, and the team immediately alters the HR line on right-field wall to accommodate Harper. -- Keown

The latest winter meetings Harper buzz

In his annual winter meetings address with reporters, agent Scott Boras said a Bryce Harper signing could come at any time -- or still take a while: "We've had a lot of meetings over the last 3 weeks. When you get to that point..something can happen quickly and then something can also happen in a matter of weeks...Bryce is open to a lot of different venues (teams). It's really about what a lot of owners have said to him about their commitment."

Jesse Rogers, ESPN Staff Writer23h ago

Buster Olney: As the winter plays out, it's seen as increasingly possible by agents and executives that the Phillies will be unable to land either Harper or Machado, after five years of working to reshape their payroll angle to land a centerpiece position player.


In a session with Yankees reporters here in Las Vegas, Yankees GM Brian Cashman reiterated his top personnel concerns of the offseason: looking for starters and a way to address the loss of Didi Gregorius. BUT "At no time all winter have I said I'm looking for an outfielder. The (Bryce) Harper stuff ... I'm surprised you're still asking."

Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer3d ago

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler spoke glowingly about Bryce Harper when asked if he still thinks the free agent ranks among the very best players in the game: "Bryce Harper does a number of things well, but one of the things I found most fascinating about him last year was even through the times of his struggles, he still worked an incredible at-bat. So it wasn't like rolling over to the second baseman on the first pitch when he was struggling, although that happened from time to time. But when he struggled he still put together a quality at-bat. He still worked the pitcher. He still made the opposition uncomfortable. And sometimes he'd end that at-bat with a walk, which I think there's a lot of value in that. Now, when he's going good, he's one of the more difficult players to get out in the game. And I love the way he plays. I think there's so much to like about what Bryce Harper brings to the table. His play on the field and then also what he brings to a clubhouse environment."

Dan Mullen, ESPN.com3d ago

Baseball's winter meetings are officially underway in Las Vegas and the one topic on everyone's mind in Sin City is Bryce Harper. Will the superstar free agent sign a mega-deal while the baseball world is gathered in his hometown or wait to let the hot stove process play out?

Dan Mullen, ESPN.com3d ago

Vote on Harper's landing spot