Phillies firm up meeting with Bryce Harper, continue their pursuit of Manny Machado


The Phillies have firmed up their face-to-face meeting with free agent Bryce Harper.

A source confirmed a USA Today report that the meeting will take place Saturday in Las Vegas, Harper's hometown.

A contingent of Phillies officials, led by managing partner John Middleton, will make the trip to Las Vegas to meet with Harper and his representative, Scott Boras. In addition to Middleton, the Phillies will be represented by club president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler.

Phillies officials met with Boras last month at the winter meetings. This will be their first meeting with Harper. One of the matters Phillies officials want to discuss with Harper is his desire to play for the Phillies. Some media reports have suggested that Philadelphia is not high on the slugging outfielder's list of potential destinations. Boras has maintained that Harper always enjoyed his trips to Philadelphia with the Washington Nationals. In 50 career games at Citizens Bank Park, Harper has 14 homers, 32 RBIs and a .930 OPS.

While the Phillies have interest in Harper, they have not made an offer to him and it's unclear if they will. The Phillies remain primarily interested in infielder Manny Machado, the other megastar on this winter's free-agent market. The Phils are currently in negotiations with Machado. The White Sox and Yankees are also in the hunt for Machado. He visited with all three clubs before Christmas.

Though Middleton is on record as saying the Phillies could spend "stupid money" this winter, it remains unlikely that the Phils would sign both Machado and Harper.

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