Padres and Maybe More Mystery Teams Emerge on Bryce Harper (UPDATE)

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Padres and Maybe More Mystery Teams Emerge on Bryce Harper (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

I like this. I really like this. Of course I’d much rather it were the Cubs suddenly popping up to take advantage of a depressed market for superstars, but if it’s not going to be the Cubs, then I want to see some surprise teams *TRYING* to compete. The Padres, with their unbelievable overload of prospect power, make as much sense as any organization in baseball to try to land a 26-year-old generational superstar right now.

First, they started trying with Manny Machado, and now they’ve set their sights on Bryce Harper:

Why not see what’s up, right? Even at 10 years and $300 million (the originally rumored Nationals offer back in September), Harper can provide a great deal of value to an organization, and I am dubious that there are clubs that cannot afford him.

That said, I’m not so sure that’s what the contract is going to wind up being at this point. It’ll likely be much more creative than just a straight 10-year deal, and it’s also possible that the AAV will be much lower than Harper and his agent Scott Boras had hoped.

Then again, maybe they’re going to be able to draw some more teams out of the weeds to get the bidding going, as Rosenthal adds that, “Harper and/or his agent, Scott Boras, have met with a number of clubs in recent days, including second and third meetings in some cases, sources say.” No deal is close, according to Rosenthal, but this is what it would look like when things were getting a little closer to the final stages, especially with Spring Training less than two weeks away.

Those other team meetings? Well, most likely they have been with teams we already know about (Phillies, White Sox, Nationals) if they’re not being grossly exaggerated. But with the Padres coming out of nowhere, who knows, right? Maybe there are other mystery teams sliding into the mix. (Or maybe Boras is really trying to turn the screws on one of the existing bidders and needs to take a public meeting to apply pressure.)

Stay tuned. Maybe things’ll get really crazy and word will break during the Super Bowl!

UPDATE: It would not surprise me in the least to learn that the peripheral team referenced here – the one with whom it is overwhelmingly unlikely that Harper signs – is the Cubs:

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.