Harper meets with Phillies as field narrows

The owner of the Philadelphia Phillies flew to Las Vegas Friday for a meeting with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, but that doesn’t mean a deal is imminent, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.
Instead, Passan characterized the summit between Harper, who lives in Las Vegas, and John Middleton as more of a chance to talk again about their mutual interest and the long-term contract the 26-year-old star is seeking.
The two sides previously met in January.
Harper also has talked to the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and his former team, the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals are out of the running for Harper, who spent his first seven seasons in Washington.
“We’ve moved on,” said Mark Lerner, Nationals principal owner, in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.
Harper is the final marquee position player left on the free-agent market.
Infielder Manny Machado signed Thursday with the San Diego Padres, who gave him the biggest free-agent deal ever at 10 years for $300 million.
The Nationals reportedly made Harper that same offer at the end of last season, which he turned down, and he also shook off several other teams that were in the same ballpark.
Philadelphia might be the place to give him the contract he’s seeking.
“We’re going into (free agency) expecting to spend money. And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” Middleton said at the start of the offseason.
Harper has made six All-Star teams and was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 when he posted career highs with 42 homers, a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage — all league-best totals.
Last season, he hit .249 with a .393 on-base percentage, a .496 slugging percentage, 34 homers and a career-best 100 RBIs. He led the National League with 130 walks.
–Field Level Media

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