Report: Dodgers, White Sox send celebrities to Las Vegas to court Harper

Josh Luckenbaugh
December 04, 2018 - 10:15 am
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We've officially reached the "teams sending local celebrities to court the superstar" part of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, per Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Harper is spending the offseason in his hometown of Las Vegas, and according to Brown and Passan, "officials from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are among upward of a dozen teams that have traveled or plan to travel to Nevada to meet with Harper."

Several of these pitches also reportedly contained some star power: the White Sox sent Hall-of-Fame slugger Jim Thome to sell Harper on the south side of Chicago, and the Dodgers contingent brought along some Magic.

"According to sources, (Magic) Johnson and other Dodgers officials traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Harper," reads the Yahoo report. "Johnson in 2012 bought into the Guggenheim Partners’ $2.15 billion purchase of the Dodgers with $50 million of his own, a 2-plus percent investment that is more significant for his name, reputation and L.A. credibility."

Johnson has already lured LeBron James to Los Angeles this year. Could he do the same with one of MLB's biggest stars in Harper?

Passan and Brown also claim the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres will pay Harper a visit, while "Harper’s affection for the Houston Astros is well-known, as is the St. Louis Cardinals' for him."

Meanwhile the Phillies, along with sending representatives to visit Harper, opened up a spot in their outfield Sunday, trading Carlos Santana to Seattle so Rhys Hoskins can move back to first base.

And by acquiring shortstop Jean Segura in the deal, Philadelphia may have taken themselves out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes to focus on Harper and pitching targets like Patrick Corbin. 

As for the Nationals, the report indicates Washington "will circle back" at some point with the free agent outfielder.

But with so many teams now courting Harper, it appears the Nats may now be on the outside looking in for a player who called D.C. home for seven seasons.

UPDATE: Apparently Magic Johnson actually did not meet with Bryce Harper in Vegas.

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