Kurkjian: Phillies are favorites to sign Harper

Ben Krimmel
December 08, 2018 - 1:32 pm
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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With the Nationals seemingly ending their pursuit of free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian sees the Philadelphia Phillies as the top contender to land Harper.

"I still think the Phillies are at the top of the list because they have money and clearly they're willing to spend it," Kurkjian said Friday. "Plus, they have a need and now that they've acquired a shortstop in (Jean) Segura, they have less of a need for Manny Machado, so maybe now more of a need for Bryce Harper."

The Nats' NL East rivals have been active this offseason trading for Segura, a two-time All Star, who has averaged a .308/.353/.449/.803 slash line in the last three seasons with a 116 OPS+.

Kurkjian ranked the Los Angeles Dodgers as the second most likely spot for Harper and the Chicago White Sox third.

However, while principle owner Mark Lerner seemed to indicate the Nats were moving on from Harper, Buster Olney says not so fast.

"Before anyone completely slams the door shut, it's worth remembering: Stuff happens," Olney wrote for ESPN. "Negotiations take many twists and turns, and if there is one lasting tether between any organization and a particular agent right now, it's between Harper's representative, Scott Boras, and the Nationals."

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