It was the Bryce Harper show Wednesday, or as agent Scott Boras cleverly called it, “Harper’s Bazaar.’’
It has nothing to do with the fashion industry, and everything to do with a man who’s about to become the richest player in baseball history, unless fellow free agent Manny Machado happens to topple him.
“It’s fashionable,’’ Boras said. “It’s historical. It’s elite. Global certainly. It has inspirations that deal with great shoes and great hair, inspirations on the part of Bryce.’’
The free agent outfielder, touted to be more popular than the Liberty Bell, looks to be headed to Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love.
It appeared all along that Harper would remain in Washington, where he has spent his entire career. But that was before word leaked Tuesday that he flatly rejected a 10-year, $300 million contract in September.
You can eliminate the rest of the suitors, too.
The Chicago Cubs don’t want to spend the money unless someone takes Jason Heyward or Yu Darvish off their hands.
The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t have interest.
The St. Louis Cardinals don’t have bright lights.
The San Francisco Giants are changing course.
It leaves one team for Harper, which won’t mind giving him at least $400 million.
The Phillies are the most desperate team to land a star, and with Machado wanting to go to the New York Yankees, and the Yankees having the greatest need for him, Philadelphia is the logical destination for Harper.
He will be standing in right field with the Phillies on March 28 at Citizens Bank Park when they open the season against the defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves.
Bank on it.
It’s hard to find an executive, scout, or rival agent who doesn’t believe that Harper will eventually sign with the Phillies, maybe a month from now when he can drive from his Las Vegas home to Mandalay Bay and make the official announcement himself.