Update: Jeff Passan retracted his report that Magic Johnson was part of the group that went to Las Vegas to meet with Bryce Harper:
Originally, two sources told Yahoo Sports that Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson had joined a Dodgers contingent in Las Vegas to meet with Harper. Johnson on Tuesday insisted no such get-together had occurred.
“The only time I remember meeting Bryce Harper was on the field at Dodger Stadium two years ago when Dusty Baker introduced us,” he said.
Throw the Los Angeles Dodgers hat into the ring for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper.
Tim Brown and Jeff Passan report that Magic Johnson and other team officials traveled to Las Vegas to meet with the former MVP.
The Dodgers weren’t the only team to meet with Harper and likely won’t be the last. It may just be due diligence on the organization’s behalf but sending Johnson makes it appear to be a bit more than that.
Harper is coming off a year in which he finished .249/.393/.496 with 34 doubles, 34 home runs, 100 RBI and a league-leading 130 walks. It was a bit of a down year for the 26-year-old but he’s still the most coveted free agent on the market. He’s a six-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year and MVP.
The expectation is that Harper will command over $300 million for a deal, which would seemingly be out of the team’s desired price range. It’s not that the Dodgers can’t afford a deal of that size but it would be uncharacteristic of Andrew Friedman and the front office to this point.
Either way, the Dodgers appear to be in the mix for the outfielder and it will be a new storyline to follow this winter.