For some reason or other, top free agent outfielder Bryce Harper still has not signed with a team in 2019. While many fans and pundits are getting worn out by the rampant speculation with no final target in sight, there does appear to be some breakthrough in the free agency saga.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, there are now four teams considered "favorites" to sign the former National League MVP: The Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, and his former team, the Washington Nationals.
Morosi also noted that one other unspecified team remains "involved on periphery," but that the four aforementioned teams are the most likely suitors.
Harper was walked an MLB-high 130 times in 2018, but still finished with a .249 batting average and a career-high 100 runs batted in.
The 25-year-old Harper made his fourth straight All-Star Game, and the sixth of his seven-year career.
Harper made his MLB debut in 2012 at the age of 19, and quickly emerged as one of the best sluggers in all of baseball. He finished that season with All-Star and Rookie of the Year honors after recording 144 hits, 22 home runs, 59 runs batted in, and a .270 batting average.
2015 was the year that Harper truly emerged as the best of the best in baseball. He led the National League with 118 runs and 42 home runs, and led all of baseball with a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage.
His strong year culminated in another All-Star selection, his first-ever Silver Slugger award, and the National League MVP.