The Bryce Harper waiting game continues, but it appears the list of potential destinations is dwindling.
And if one MLB analyst is to be believed, the list is down to two.
Harper and Manny Machado are two of the most prized free agents remaining on the open market, but the lucrative deals they reportedly are in search of have led to a lengthy wait for them to sign somewhere. But with A.J. Pollock agreeing to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, another possible landing spot now is off the board for Harper.
Because of that, Harper “most assuredly” will end up with either the Philadelphia Phillies or Washington Nationals, according to Jim Bowden, a former big league general manager who currently contributes to The Athletic and CBS Sports.
The Nationals are fascinating because it’s the club Harper has spent his whole career with, but they appeared unwilling to match his salary demands. For much of the offseason, it seemed like a long shot for Harper to return to the nation’s capital.
Meanwhile, the Phillies have been among the teams most often linked to Harper this winter. They make plenty of sense, as they have money to spend, an exciting young core plus a quality group of veterans. Though the Phillies faded down the stretch last season, they were a surprise out of the National League East, and adding Harper would make them legitimate contenders with the Atlanta Braves.
It may still take some time before some real traction gets made on Harper and the team he ultimately ends up with, but it sounds like we’re getting much closer.