Major League Baseball hot stove: Dodgers pursuing Bryce Harper again

Washington Nationals Bryce Harper rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday

Washington Nationals Bryce Harper rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) jogs into the dugout in between innings in an Major League Baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 7, 2017, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Los Angeles met with the free-agent star this weekend in Las Vegas, MLB.com first reported, and is trying to sell a shorter-term deal to the outfielder, who just watched his on-the-market challenger, Manny Machado, accept a 10-year, $300 million deal from the Padres.

But before jumping that far ahead as far as any potential World Series run, the main focus needs to be on what's most important for Philadelphia at the moment, which is hoping these negotiation rumors are true, and a deal does in fact get done.

While the Giants aren't yet resigned to the fact that Harper is going to sign elsewhere according to Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News, there isn't exactly a buzz around the clubhouse that he'll soon be in Orange and Black.

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Meanwhile, spring training continues for the Phillies in Clearwater, and they're caught up in the Harper madness as well. "Club officials, including manager Dave Roberts, were seen in Las Vegas on Sunday", he reports. Their ESPN colleague Buster Olney says any deal between Harper and the Dodgers would be a "very short-term" deal.

The Phillies owner John Middleton was quoted in November saying his club would be aggressive in acquiring talent this off-season, even saying that ownership might even be "a little stupid" with money. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have always been opposed to very long-term deals.

As it stands, the Dodgers are pretty set in the outfield.

Harper enters the 2019 season looking to bounce back from a 2018 campaign that saw him hit a career-low.249.

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