Report: White Sox the front-runner to sign Bryce Harper
The Chicago White Sox are one of a handful of teams that are said to be willing and able to sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to a record contract this winter, and they are reportedly the favorite to land at least one of the two.
Harper is a Scott Boras client, and Boras clients almost always end up with the team that offers the most money. According to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports, indications at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been that the White Sox are likely to be the highest bidder.
“The front runner right now, believe it or not, is the Chicago White Sox.”@JimBowdenGM tells @AdamSchein that it’s the White Sox who are in the lead for Bryce Harper's services. #T2S pic.twitter.com/XoXndaF0F2
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 12, 2018
“They’ve done a very good job of selling. One of the things they’ve pointed out is how good their minor league system is,” Bowden said. “There’s a possibility they end up with the best offer — the most years and the most dollars — even though they’re not ready to win.”
Of all the teams that have been linked to Harper, the White Sox are probably the furthest from contention. They won just 62 games last year and 67 in 2017, but Harper is in a fairly unique position of hitting free agency at the young age of 26. If Chicago is offering the best deal and can convince Harper they are set up to succeed in the not-so-distant future, that might make the star outfielder’s decision easy.
Bowden mentions the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies as two other teams other than the Washington Nationals that are real contenders for Harper. Given what we have heard about the amount of money the White Sox are willing to spend this winter, it would not be a surprise if they do whatever it takes to land him.