Bryce Harper lobbying for Phillies to sign Kris Bryant

By , Audacy Sports

Phillies star Bryce Harper reportedly has his sights set on a top slugger -- and fellow Las Vegas native -- in MLB free agency.

Harper has been lobbying the Phils to pursue former Giants and Cubs star Kris Bryant, according to Audacy MLB insider Jon Heyman.

The versatile Bryant would be a good fit for the Phillies, either at third base or in the outfield, per Heyman, but he also has several potential suitors in the Mets, Mariners, Rockies and Padres.

However, a conflicting report from SNY's Andy Martino said the Mets weren't pursuing Bryant.

The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, who turned 30 in January, is widely considered one of the top remaining position players in free agency, and the market for his services should be heating up relatively quickly now that the 99-day lockout has been lifted.

Last season, the four-time All-Star split his time between the Cubs and San Francisco, where he was dealt prior to the July 31 trade deadline.

Overall, the former No. 2 draft pick hit .265/.353/.481 with 25 home runs, 86 runs scored, 73 RBIs and 10 steals in 586 plate appearances in 2021. His career numbers are a bit better, though, at .278/.376/.504.

The Phillies finished in second place in the NL East in 2021, 6.5 games behind the eventual World Series-champion Atlanta Braves. They have several star-caliber and solid everyday regulars, including Harper, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and infielders Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius, as well as an impressive 1-2 punch in the rotation of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler.

But as Heyman noted, they may need upgrades at a couple places in the lineup, including the outfield, and potentially both corner-infield spots and/or DH, which is newly codified in the NL as per the new collective bargaining agreement.

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