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Bryce Harper and Phillies Owner Middleton Meet in Vegas

The managing general partner for the Philadelphia Phillies John Middleton flew on Friday to Las Vegas to meet with Bryce Harper the still-unsigned free agent outfielder, said source in Major League Baseball.

It is not expected that the Phillies and Harper will reach a deal on Friday said the sources, but rather it gives both sides the opportunity to see if a mutual interest exists for a long term deal that is being sought by Harper.

Philadelphia met with Harper in Las Vegas last month as well and the offseason started with Middleton announcing that the Phillies were entering the free agency season expecting to spend.

Last season the Phillies finished 11th in runs scored in the National League, and their lineup at this point is loaded with right-handed hitters and is in need of a left-handed slugger.

The San Diego Padres announced the signing on Thursday of Manny Machado the other marquee name in this year’s free-agent market. Machado and the Padres agreed to a $300 million deal over 10 years, which is the biggest contract by a free agent in the history of American sports.

Teams such as the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals are known to have held meetings with Harper during the offseason.

Harper spent each of his seven seasons in the majors with the Nationals before becoming a free agent.

Harper, who is just 26, wants a deal that is longer than 10 years and more than $300 million that was reportedly offered by the Nationals to him when the 2018 regular season concluded. Harper, who bats left-handed, hit just .249 during 2018, but hit 34 homers and knocked in 100 runs.

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