The wait appears to be almost over for the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
A rumor-filled MLB offseason regarding Harper — which arguably began picking up considerable traction at the annual winter meetings in his Las Vegas hometown — may very well be nearing an end through late Monday/early Tuesday reports, fittingly out of the United States' gambling capital.
It started with BetOnline releasing its latest odds for the 2019 World Series. Behind the New York Yankees (+700), Boston Red Sox (+750), Houston Astros (+800) and Los Angeles Dodgers (+800), the Phillies were placed at a National League East-best — along with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals — at +1200, the fifth-best odds.
As SportsRadio 94 WIP's Joe Giglio notes, "the only four teams with better 2019 World Series odds than the Phillies averaged over 100 wins last season; the Phillies won 80."
Approximately 90 minutes later, Vegas Gambling Stream tweeted that Harper and the Phillies have agreed to a "multi-year mega contract," with the deal "wrapped up, pending medicals." According to Vegas Gambling Stream, Las Vegas has removed all Harper prop bets.
While not a verified account, Vegas Gambling Stream has 21,000 followers and in the past has correctly been among the first to report LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat, Gordon Hayward joining the Boston Celtics, and Kevin Durant leaning toward signing with the Golden State Warriors.
In California, ESPN is also preparing for Harper to sign with the Phillies. A person who appears to work at ESPN posted the below graphic to a Phillies fan group on Facebook with the caption "Stay tuned..."
Earlier on Monday, bats with Harper's name and Phillies icons were leaked, along with the Phillies clubhouse manager accidentally tweeting Harper-related negotiations. Also, MLB The Show tweeted "you'll want to keep an eye on this account tomorrow... just saying." The Show 19 will feature Harper on its cover, and has been rumored that it will be the first to announce Harper's decision.
Exactly when that will happen — and if it will definitively be the Phillies — is not yet known. What is known, however, is that rumors regarding the superstar signing with the Phillies are at an all-time, peak level, with just weeks until spring training is set to begin in Clearwater, Florida.