Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers met with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper in Las Vegas on Monday night.
Harper, expected to command a contract worth $300 million or more, turned down $25 million annually from the Washington Nationals in September to hit the open market.
Competition for his services was initially thought to be lighter than expected given his salary demands, with at least three major bidders are known to be pulling up to the table: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and now the Dodgers.
But Yahoo Sports reported Monday that at least 12 teams requested meetings with Harper: the White Sox, Cubs, Padres, Nationals, Cardinals and Astros among them.
Harper, who is from Las Vegas, is not expected to meet with every team showing interest.
Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers lure LeBron James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers in NBA free agency in July and was a key part of the Dodgers’ contingent on Monday, per MLB.com. Johnson is part of the ownership group of the Dodgers.
Rookie of the Year in 2012 and MVP of the National League in 2015, Harper and Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado are considered the prizes of the 2018 free agent class.
The Nationals are kicking the tires on starting pitching, including Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin, and general manager Mike Rizzo said the team will remain active in talks with Harper.
–Field Level Media