February 16, 2019
UPDATE [3:15 p.m.] — According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, there's actually some momentum in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, and it appears to be very good news for Phillies fans. When discussing on CBSSports.com the latest odds on where Bryce Harper will sign, Bowden had the Phillies as his far and away favorites with the Nationals in "a distant second."
"I keep hearing there's a lot of momentum and traction here on him going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, and he could be rounding third and heading to home shortly," Bowden said. "I'm hearing they're pretty well down the process here."
Bowden said he had reached out to both Klentak and Harper's team seeking comment but has not heard back yet. He also said he believes the deal is going to be, uh, massive.
"I don't think he's going to sign a short-term deal," he added. "That's what the San Francisco Giants offered him... Every indication I get is that he's going to get at least 10 years and he's going to get more than $300 million. That has not changed."
You can watch the entire video here (with the good stuff beginning about a minute in).
Is Bryce Harper any closer to signing? Are the Phillies any closer to landing the star free agent? Are we reading too much into every clue that's out there?
Unfortunately, I can only answer the last question definitively. And the answer is yes.
From parsing Bryce Harper's comment on Rhys Hoskins' Instagram to speculating on a Bryce Harper giveaway already scheduled for this summer at CBP (seriously), we've officially gone overboard on the Harper hype — although, to be fair, we probably crossed that threshold months ago.
The Phillies, on the other hand, seem to be patient as they wait for Harper and fellow free agent Manny Machado to make their decisions.
“We’re just half the equation,” Phillies president Andy MacPhail said Friday when asked why he thought no deal has been made yet. “We’re just half the equation.”
Meanwhile, over on SportsRadio 94 WIP, Washington radio host Chris Russell said he believes a Harper deal is already in place, and they're just ironing out the particulars.
"But I'm lead to believe by the people that I've talked to that are close to the situation—and I have, again, a real good source that has helped me through this process, let's just leave it at that," Russell said. "That Bryce was in a mood to celebrate yesterday. Now, the source said, 'I believe it's done.' I don't have concrete, 100 percent proof for you guys. I wish I did, otherwise I would have it and I would be running around with it. But I don't have that, so I want to caution everybody in Philadelphia. But that's what I was lead to believe, that this thing is now decided.
"Now, what comes then is hammering out a contract. And if we were to believe the report that the Philadelphia Phillies had not even extended a formal offer—and I assume that to be a termed, written agreement, that type of thing, which I find hard to believe—then there might be more leg work to this. And therefore, hey the decision may be done but the contract still needs to be ironed out." [94wip.radio.com]
Russell also said that a deal would be announced on Friday, which obviously never happened, so take this with a grain of salt.
So, it turns out, the wait is going to continue at least another day.
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