February 24, 2019
On Saturday, the day after Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas on his own to meet with Bryce Harper and his representatives, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reported that the two sides were not only deep in negotiations, but that Middleton planned on remaining in Vegas until he got the deal done.
The #Phillies are in deep and serious negotiations with Bryce Harper. Owner John Middleton doesn’t want to leave Las Vegas without a deal.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 24, 2019
Nightengale also added that there was optimism that the two sides could reach a deal as early as Monday.
However, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, Middleton has departed Vegas without a deal as negotiations hit a crossroads. But that doesn't mean he failed his original mission. Olney is also reporting that a deal could be reached by Tuesday, and that the Phillies are still confident that they'll be able to land the free agent.
Negotiations between the Philadelphia Phillies and Bryce Harper could be resolved by Tuesday, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Phillies remain confident that they are going to sign Harper, but sources told Olney that the sides are nearing a crossroads in their negotiations. ...
Phillies managing general partner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for meetings with the Harper camp on Friday, sources previously confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Those discussions continued into Saturday before Middleton departed. [espn.com]
With the Nationals recently dropping out of the Harper sweepstakes, and other suitors like the Padres, White Sox and Dodgers all dropping out of the race sign the free agent outfielder to what will likely be the richest free agent contract in American sports history, the Phillies still remain the favorites.
The question now is whether or not they will actually get the deal done — and how much it ultimately costs them.
It certainly seems like this thing is close to happening (why do I feel like I've heard that before?) and the Phillies remain in the best position to throw "stupid" money at Harper. As we do every day — and will continue to do until Harper inks a deal — let's take a look at the latest news and rumors surrounding the Phillies, Harper, and the rest of the baseball world.
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