Despite all the varying reports amid the extended free agency of Bryce Harper, we might finally have some clarity regarding the outfielder’s future. Six teams have met with MLB’s top available star, but one stands out as the most likely destination for the 26-year-old.

Most of the signs are pointing toward a union between Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s been long expected that Philadelphia would enter the 2019 season with either Manny Machado or Harper on the roster, and it’s sounding more and more like the latter will eventually come to terms with the Phillies.

Different teams have been linked to Harper throughout the offseason. The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were viewed as players at the Winter Meetings. The Washington Nationals were among the favorites toward the end of 2018. Over the last few weeks, it’s been the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants that have met with Harper.

Philadelphia has remained in the conversation the entire time. They’ve got the deepest pockets of any team involved, and they’ve yet to spend the “stupid” money they are willing to offer.

There’s been plenty of talk about “mystery teams” trying to land Harper. It seems that he hasn’t yet received a record-breaking offer, raising the possibility of Harper taking a short-term contract that would allow him to become a free agent again in a few years.

Several recent reports, however, have disputed the notion that the superstar will agree to a contract that lasts for only a handful of years. Players rarely leave a lot of money on the table, if any, and it would be a major upset if Harper doesn’t secure a long-term commitment from someone.

When rumors of Harper considering the Giants began to generate some buzz Monday, San Francisco was named the betting favorite to sign the six-time All-Star. It took only a few hours for the Phillies to replace the Giants for the best odds to acquire the No.1 free agent in baseball.

Philadelphia reportedly prefered Machado to Harper when the offseason began. That appears to have changed.

The Phillies really don’t have a need on the left side of the infield after trading for All-Star shortstop Jean Segura. After Philadelphia met with Harper in mid-January, multiple reports indicated that the organization had shifted its focus to the outfielder.

None of the other suitors make nearly as much sense for Harper as Philadelphia does.

A reunion between Washington and Harper once seemed to be a strong possibility, but the Nationals have already given Patrick Corbin $140 million in free agency and are preparing to sign Anthony Rendon to a long-term extension. Los Angeles appears to have moved on with the signing of outfielder A.J. Pollock.

The White Sox are concentrating their efforts on Machado, who seems most likely to pick Chicago. It would be a surprise for the Padres or Giants to match Harper’s largest offer. All three teams finished well out of the playoffs a season ago and might not be ready to compete for championships for a few years.

The New York Yankees theoretically can afford Harper, but they haven’t shown any interest in doing so. New York is pursuing Machado, instead, and the Yankees haven’t even made him the best offer.

The Phillies are ready to win in 2019. Philadelphia had a 14-win improvement in 2018, and they’ve already upgraded the roster this offseason by acquiring two All-Stars (Segura and J.T. Realmuto), a top reliever (David Robertson) and a veteran outfielder (Andrew McCutchen).

Adding Harper to that group, thus taking him off the Nationals, would arguably make the Phillies the best team in the NL East.

A lot can change in the next few days and weeks, but the race for Harper appears to be Philadelphia’s to lose.