Report: Padres set to meet with Bryce Harper on Thursday

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The Padres’ offseason is getting interesting.

A couple of weeks ago there was a big story about the San Diego Padres’ finances. It was deployed, I argued, by team ownership as an excuse for why the team isn’t spending any real money on the free agent market. Then, a few days later, a report emerged that the Padres were interested in Manny Machado, seeking an in-person meeting with him and everything.

Now, it is being reported, they’re doing the same for Bryce Harper:

He later added that the meeting would take place tonight.

Harper, of course, has drawn interest from the Phillies and White Sox, and the Nationals are reported to have made him at least one and possibly multiple offers to return to Washington. The Padres would be a new entry into the sweepstakes.

The Padres have an opening at third base, so Machado would make sense for them. They do not have any corner outfield openings, but of course when it’s Bryce Harper, you talk about displacing the current, inferior options, not “making room” for Harper. If he’s genuinely interested in coming to San Diego as opposed to merely using the Padres to try to get larger offers from another team, you send a company memo to all the rando outfielders on the roster and tell ’em “sorry, fellas, but one of ya is gonna be out of of a job.”

Our skepticism of the Padres’ willingness to spend money notwithstanding, they are a club with an excellent farm system that could, if things break right, be contending sooner than you might think. Adding a blue-chipper like Harper or Machado could certainly goose that process.

Stay tuned.