December 12, 2018
Major League Baseball's top free agents are being recruited, remotely, to join the Philadelphia Phillies — from Las Vegas.
Mobile billboards popped up in Sin City on Tuesday night, where the Major League Baseball winter meetings are taking place. The signs' bold statements are a campaign for the Phillies to to sign one or both of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
The Phillies entered free agency with plenty of gusto after owner John Middleton claimed the team would "be a little bit stupid" about throwing money at the league's marquee players. Scott Boras, the agent representing both Harper and Machado, is known to drive a hard bargain for his clients.
The Phillies have thus far acquired Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen as they look to bolster their roster for a run at the NL East crown next season. The team is expected to meet with Boras about Machado and Harper this week.
"We are excited about the current signings the Phillies have made and the upcoming season," said Joe DiBiaggio, owner of Phans of Philly. "We would love for them to sign a superstar and finish it off."
DiBiaggio said the billboards were visible Tuesday night night for two hours and will be there again Wednesday for three hours. The MLB Network planned to broadcast the truck live on their show at some point in the day, he added.
We've seen these billboard campaigns before, notably when Chester-based Power Home Remodeling group wooed then-free agent LeBron James to join the Sixers earlier this year. Those efforts didn't sway James away from his likely landing spot in Los Angeles.
This time around, Harper and Machado have both been linked to Philadelphia for months. A little extra push never hurts.