One of the biggest pieces of news from the offseason was the Dodgers intense interest in Bryce Harper. There were reported meetings, scheduled Las Vegas flights, and even details on potential contract figures. But one of the most encouraging signs for Dodger fans was that apparently, Magic Johnson had traveled to meet with the free agent personally. Johnson, a Los Angeles legend, is part of the Dodgers’ ownership group. But apparently, he didn’t quite do his due diligence.
In an interview speaking with ESPN’s Tim Keown, Harper laughed at the idea of meeting with Johnson.
My favorite was the time we met with Magic Johnson and the Dodgers,” Bryce says. “That was a good one. We never met with him.
So there you have it. The perennial All-Star who ended up earning a ridiculous $330 million contract never met with Magic Johnson. There is no doubt that the two sides had at least some level of communication, considering the numbers that have been floated around. But to not meet with the figurehead of an organization looking to convince you to come to play for them is a pretty big deal.
Harper expanded on the idea of playing in Los Angeles a little bit, elaborating on the rumor mill that followed his every move.
During the seven years I spent in DC, all everybody talked about was me going somewhere else. From the day I signed, it was: ‘He’s going to the Yankees’; ‘He’s going to the Dodgers’; ‘He’s going to the Cubs.’ I didn’t want to hear that. I was in that city, and I wanted to be in that city. So now I’m just so happy that I’m able to sit here right now and say I can play until I’m 39 years old and I don’t have someone sitting around the corner saying, ‘He’s going to go here next.'”
Whatever the reason may be for the Dodgers NOT sending Johnson to meet with Harper, it was a pretty big bummer to miss out on him. Fortunately, the Dodgers still end up with one heck of an outfield heading into 2019. They signed AJ Pollock to a free agent deal and will have Cody Bellinger patrolling right field the majority of the year. Beyond that, they will have Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Alex Verdugo competing for at-bats all year long.
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/andrew-toles-placed-on-restricted-list/2019/03/11/” type=”big” color=”red”] ANDREW TOLES PLACED ON RESTRICTED LIST [/button]