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Bryce Harper Rumors: Star Free Agent to Meet with Padres

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2019

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 latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Bryce Harper's free agency will include a meeting with the San Diego Padres

Per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Harper will meet with Padres officials on either Thursday or Friday in Las Vegas. 

Per Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman, Harper's meeting with the Padres will happen on Friday. The Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams known to be interested in the 2015 National League MVP. 

Rosenthal added Harper and/or his agent, Scott Boras, have had meetings with "a number of" teams recently, but there is no indication any deal is close. 

The Padres are emerging as a late player in the free-agent sweepstakes for Harper and Manny Machado. 

Per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego is pursuing Machado. MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Wednesday that the Padres have yet to meet with the four-time All-Star. 

One factor that could work in San Diego's favor is money to spend. The team currently has MLB's sixth-lowest payroll ($74.2 million). The team also has a wealth of talent in the minors, including 10 players in MLB.com's top 100 prospects list for 2019.

Harper's free agency has been an ongoing topic throughout this offseason. The 26-year-old made his sixth career All-Star appearance in 2018 after hitting .249/.393/.496 with 34 homers and 100 RBI for the Nationals. 

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