Even before Mike Trout went hunting with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Phillies fans have been begging to bring the New Jersey native back to Philadelphia and play for the team he grew up watching.
Vegas thinks the Phillies have a decent chance to land a megastar outfielder soon, but it's not Trout.
Onlinegambling.lv gives 10/1 odds Bryce Harper, baseball's "chosen one," dons the red pinstripes in 2019.
Despite the perception of arrogance, Harper would fit great in Philadelphia. His blue-collar attitude is what Philadelphia fans salivate over.
The Yankees (10/3), Dodgers (4/1), Nationals (7/1) and Red Sox (9/1) are the only teams given better odds to land Harper.
Harper is on pace to become the highest paid player in baseball history, and could easily surpass Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million contract he signed before the 2015 season. Scott Boras, Harper's agent, will aggressively work the market, and given his track record, it appears he will get Harper that $400 million.
Vegas gives Harper an over/under of 599.5 career home runs. He has 121 entering this season which means there are a lot of homers left to be hit.
By the end of 2018, the Phillies will have a better idea of what their everyday lineup will look like. Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera have appeared to lock down spots. The outfield has a plethora of prospects ranging from Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Aaron Altherr and Dylan Cozens.
The pitching staff will have young, seasoned arms in Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez.
The prospects for the middle infield have shown great flashes this spring. Scott Kingery has hit .375 with two home runs. Top prospect J.P. Crawford has only three hits this spring but has played well at shortstop.
By the time Harper becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, he will be 26 years old with six years of major-league service, barring any injuries. A possible 10-year deal would give the Phillies the prime years of his career.
For the 2017 season, the Phillies' payroll is in the lower third among MLB teams. Money was an issue during the beginning stages of the Phillies' rebuild. The team is paying $23 million in retained salaries (money that is guaranteed to players who were released, traded or bought out) -- including Ryan Howard's $10 million buyout.
The Phillies benefit from the lack of MLB service from players like Franco, Nola and Joseph -- all of whom are not arbitration-eligible yet. By the time Harper hits the market, the team will still control the contracts of many of its prospects and current major-leaguers.
This ensures the Phillies a lower payroll, which could give them the ability to sign Harper.
Citizens Bank Park is considered one of the smallest ballparks in baseball and the dimensions greatly favor Harper's ability to hit with power to all fields. The left and right field porches are 330 and 329 feet from home plate, a pull hitter's dream. The power alley in right is 369 feet and dead-center is 401 feet.
In his first four seasons, Harper clubbed 121 home runs, hit .279 and drove in 334 runs.
Now put him in a hitter-friendly stadium like Citizens Bank Park and those numbers should inflate. In 35 games at Citizens Bank Park, Harper has a .300 average, 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored.