The Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged as a contender to sign free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper and are interested in signing him to a short-term deal, reports MLB.com.
The 26-year-old Harper seeks a longer, multi-year deal in terms of security and is the biggest free agent that has not signed with less than a month before the start of the regular season. Bob Nightengale of USA Todayreports Harper is expected to decide on a team by the end of this week.
Harper has also been courted by the Philadelphia Phillies, who met with the six-time All-Star over the weekend after the Nationals, who Harper spent his first seven seasons with said they had moved on from attempting to re-sign him. Nightengale adds that the Phillies, Giants and Dodgers appear to be the only three teams still in the running for Harper.
Dodgers brass also met with Harper over the weekend, according to MLB.com. The meeting was attended by multiple team officials, including manager Dave Roberts.
Los Angeles has room in its outfield after trading outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Cincinnati Reds in the offseason.
The Dodgers also signed center fielder A.J. Pollock to a four-year, $55 million deal last month.
Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, hit .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI while scoring 103 runs and drawing an NL-best 130 walks last season for the Nationals.