Tom Haudricourt just tweeted something pretty eye-opening:
Just had long talk with agent Scott Boras about
Prince Fielder. I’ve never been more convinced that Brewers have 0%
chance of keeping him . . . When Boras starts talking about “rare
commodities,” teams such as the Brewers have no chance of retaining the
player without breaking bank.
It’s probably way too early to seriously handicap Prince Fielder’s free agency scenarios, but given how much money the Phillies gave to Ryan Howard — a guy who, however nice his past has been, doesn’t have as promising a future as Fielder does — I agree that the odds don’t favor the Brewers doing what Boras and Fielder think is necessary to keep him.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.