One week into Bryce Harper’s first offseason as a free agent, the market for the 26-year-old slugger continues to take shape. The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs are reportedly out on pursuing Harper, while the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are both in. ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests the San Francisco Giants could decide to make a bid after missing out on Giancarlo Stanton last winter. The Washington Nationals made a one-year qualifying offer to Harper before Friday’s deadline, ensuring they’ll receive draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Harper is living it up back home in Las Vegas as usual, and offering no real hints about where he intends to play in 2019. On Saturday, he surprised his wife, Kayla, with tickets to see the Backstreet Boys' “Larger Than Life” show at Planet Hollywood on the Vegas strip.
“My 9 year old self lost her mind last night,” Kayla wrote on Instagram. “Bryce has been surprising me with little gifts all week and one of them happened to be a black dress that he said I needed for Sat night. He let me know at dinner that he was taking me to see the Backstreet Boys . . . little did I know, the biggest surprise of them all was meeting them & then having them pull me onstage to be serenaded. #humblehusbandbrag.”
Indeed, the boy band, which originally formed in 1993, serenaded Kayla with a rendition of the 2000 smash hit “Shape of My Heart.”
"What a night,” Bryce wrote on Instagram. “A must see show on the Vegas strip. The @backstreetboys are definitely back! It was an absolute pleasure meeting and watching these guys perform. Thanks for all the hospitality!”
Harper, who admitted in 2017 that he finds it “funny” when fans and media members attempt to read the tea leaves of his social media musings, hasn’t quit playing games with everybody on Instagram. On Friday, he sported a Chicago Bulls cap in a video, fueling speculation that he might be bound for the Windy City. Don’t fret, Nationals fans; there’s still a chance Harper comes crawling back to you.
Read more on the Nationals: