Bryce Harper Rumors: 'Hints' Mets 'Haven't Totally' Ruled out Ex-Nats Star

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs out a ninth inning double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The New York Mets haven't been linked to outfielder Bryce Harper, but they may not be out of the running to sign one of the biggest free agents in MLB history.

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, there are "hints" that the Mets "haven't totally ruled [signing Harper] out."

While the Mets haven't privately said that they won't sign Harper, Heyman reported that he has heard from people within the organization that fellow big-ticket free agent Manny Machado will not be pursued.

Although Mets people stopped short of ruling out the idea of signing Harper, Heyman noted that he may not be a great fit since the Mets already have three lefty-hitting outfielders in Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Jay Bruce.

Moving Harper to first base could be an option since he has reportedly shown interest in playing the position, but according to Heyman, the Mets want to give Peter Alonso a chance at first, plus they can use Bruce at the spot.

Heyman reported that the Mets sat down the Harper's agent, Scott Boras, at the GM meetings, but that may have been to discuss some of Boras' other clients in catcher Martin Maldonado and utilityman Marwin Gonzalez.

The Mets are coming off a 77-85 season and have missed the playoffs in two straight campaigns, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has expressed a desire to win immediately.

While signing Harper would undoubtedly be a win-now move, Heyman reported that the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are the favorites to land him.

The 26-year-old Harper is a six-time All-Star and one-time National League MVP who is coming off a 2018 campaign that saw him hit .249 with 34 home runs and a career-high 100 RBI.

He would provide a huge boost to a Mets team that ranked just 23rd in Major League Baseball in runs scored last season, and signing him would also hurt a division rival since the Washington Nationals would lose Harper's services.

If the Mets do want to sign Harper, they may have to pony up for a record-breaking contract, as Harper reportedly wants a deal worth more than $350 million.