- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2019

It might be too on the nose to say a new suitor for Bryce Harper has “come out of left field.”

The San Diego Padres are meeting with Harper in Las Vegas, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Thursday.

Rosenthal added that the superstar free agent and his representative have met with “a number of” other teams recently:

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ESPN reporter Jeff Passan reported that the meeting was beginning Thursday afternoon (Thursday morning, Vegas time).

Before this news, the short list of potential landing spots for the longtime Washington Nationals outfielder seemed to consist of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers or a reunion with Washington.

MLB Network followed the news up by saying the Padres are considered an “active suitor” for Harper now, while the Dodgers did not make that list:

The Padres would be a surprising choice for Harper if he is trying to win a World Series. San Diego went 66-96 last year and hasn’t made the postseason since 2006. (The White Sox are in a similar position, with no playoff appearances since 2008.)

Players, analysts and fans alike have criticized the glacial speed at which this baseball free agency period has moved. Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel and many other notable names remain unsigned just three weeks out from spring training.

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