Bryce Harper Rumors: Phillies Favorites to Sign Star as Market Has Intensified

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 17, 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

Major League Baseball's frigid hot-stove season may finally be ending for one superstar at least.

Outfielder Bryce Harper, a six-time All-Star who spent his first seven years with the Washington Nationals, could be moving to a different NL East team.

Per Jon Heyman of Fancred, "Things are heating up with Harper. Intensified is the word I heard. Phillies are the favorite, but word remains that nothing’s done yet. Will be a long-term deal."

However, Heyman added that other interested teams have not been told they are out of the running. Heyman said that included the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Nationals and "multiple mystery teams."

Harper, who is entering his age-26 season, had 34 home runs and 100 RBI and slashed .249/.393/.496 last year.

David P. Samson of CBS Sports also reported Sunday that Harper could sign for 10 years and $310 million.  Jim Bowden of The Athletic said (h/t Jack Fritz of WIP) Philadelphia and Harper were "rounding third base" in regards to a new deal.

If Philadelphia crosses home, then the Phils will immediately become the clear NL East favorites.

Philadelphia has been active this offseason in acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto, shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and new closer David Robertson. The Phils also gave staff ace Aaron Nola a four-year, $45 million deal.

Harper would likely slot into right field, moving Nick Williams into a bench role. That would give the Phils a much deeper bench considering Williams' power (17 home runs in 407 at-bats).

Philadelphia opens the 2019 season against the 2018 NL East champion Atlanta Braves on Thursday, March 28. The Phils' first game against the Nats will be on Tuesday, April 2, at Nationals Park.

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