You get off the plane, pick up your bags at McCarron Airport, jump in a cab, and it hits you.
It’s not the bright lights of the Strip.
It’s those billboards.
The ones seen all over Las Vegas with the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in town.
They show Bryce Harper, setting up the drama of his potential $400 million decision, that is more compelling than Celine Dion or any other Vegas show on the Strip.
Where is he going? How much is he getting? And can he really single-handedly change the fate of a franchise?
Harper, 26, with an MVP award already on his résumé, is one of the most highly sought-after free agents in baseball history. He isn’t close to a decision, but he has already met with a handful of teams before Mandalay Bay becomes the epicenter of the baseball universe this week.
Some flew into Las Vegas three weeks ago like the Chicago White Sox contingent. Others, like the Dodgers, met him in Los Angeles a month ago.
The meetings have lasted anywhere from five to 10 hours, with teams presented a parting gift in the way of agent Scott Boras’ 118-page handbook, telling you everything you want to know about Harper and more.