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Is a Bryce Harper deal (finally) near?

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Phillies owner John Middleton flew out to Las Vegas Friday to meet with the Harpers.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It might really be close this time.

After all the ridiculous rumors, false starts, and clue-hunting that have carried us all through the turbulent sky of this winter, there may be no greater of import and substance than the one that landed late Friday.

The Phillies — specifically, just John Middleton, as far as we know — are once more meeting face-to-face with Bryce Harper and his camp.

While far from a surefire indicator that deal is actually close to being completed, it would be far-fetched to consider this trip to be a simple “meet-and-greet,” as one source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. This is the third face-to-face meeting between Harper and at least one member of Phillies brass, plus a Winter Meetings encounter between agent Scott Boras and Phillies reps that did not have Harper present.

It seems fair to think, one way or another, that a resolution is coming soon. Stay tuned.