Report: “Optimism” Phillies Will Have Harper Deal Done By Monday
As sleuths on Twitter such as NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark have been tracking, Phillies owner John Middleton's plane made the cross-country flight this evening from Las Vegas to Clearwater, Florida. But it appears that Middleton is not on it. The Phillies owner reportedly remains in Las Vegas trying to work out a contract with free agent Bryce Harper. A deal could come soon.
Note the words "finalized".
That could mean the club already has the parameters of a deal in place, and necessary steps such as physicals need to be done. Of course, Phillies president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak were not on the original trip to Las Vegas, remaining behind in Clearwater. Maybe the plane that headed to Clearwater is to pick them up.
A 10-year deal would be the longest in Phillies history. The longest contract signed was a seven-year deal signed by Chase Utley back in 2007. This contract presumably would include the opportunity for an opt-out, something agent Scott Boras has been known to do.
Speaking of Boras, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com noted that the Phillies met with Boras in Florida last week about Harper in addition to the well-documented meeting in Las Vegas in January. Zolecki joined Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia in debunking rumors that Harper does not want to play in Philadelphia.
We have said this before, but it appears this may finally come to an end soon. Stay tuned.