Chicago Cubs: Philadelphia Phillies now the favorite to sign Bryce Harper?

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The pipe dream of many Chicago Cubs fans may be drawing to a close after Bryce Harper met with the Philadelphia Phillies for five hours over the weekend.

Like it or not, the Chicago Cubs and their long-shot romance with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper may finally be nearing its end. For years, fans have waited for this offseason in hopes the club would pair up a duo of former NL MVPs in Harper and childhood friend Kris Bryant. But in the coming days or weeks, he seems likely to have a new home – and it seems unlikely said home will be in the Windy City.

According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player and his camp hosted the Phillies’ brass over the weekend in Las Vegas and the team emerged as the ‘clear-cut’ favorites to land the outfielder.

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Harper, coming off the first 100-RBI season of his still-young career, represents a generational talent – headlining this winter’s free agent class along with infielder Manny Machado, who seems likely to come to Chicago. In the last week-plus, the White Sox have emerged as the leader in the race for the former Orioles and Dodgers standout. Of course, they inked former Cubs outfielder Jon Jay along with Machado’s brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, in hopes of luring him to the South Side.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs remain quiet. There is some optimism that once Machado and Harper sign, the market will open up a bit and maybe, just maybe, the Cubs can get some additional pieces on the cheap.

The team has pretty glaring holes in the bullpen – and with an offseason headlined by the signing of Daniel Descalso, suffice to say it’s been a fairly underwhelming few months since the team’s loss in the NL Wild Card game in early October.

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What’s Next

We’re now less than a month from pitchers and catchers reporting to camps in Arizona and Florida. Meanwhile, the annual Cubs Convention takes place in downtown Chicago this weekend. We’ll be there – so check our social media channels for the latest updates all weekend long.