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Gabe Kapler bonded with Bryce Harper over Philly’s food scene

Gabe Kapler and Bryce Harper are said to have “hit it off” during the free-agent slugger’s meeting with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the skipper has since revealed the nature of their “light-hearted” exchanges.

A contingent of Phillies brass along with Kapler recently traveled to Las Vegas for a five-hour meeting with Harper, and from the sound of it, things went well.

The congenial interactions between Kapler and Harper clearly played a significant role in the positive discussions, and the Phillies manager discussed the meeting this week with MLB Network’s Brian Kenny.

“I think we bonded over stuff like training,” Kapler said. “I think we bonded over food. He loves food, and Philadelphia has an incredible food scene — among the best in the country, if you ask me. So, yeah, I think we just hit it off. He’s an easy guy to talk to. And he certainly is especially competitive.”

Along with the positive vibes between Kapler and Harper, Rhys Hoskins also enjoys a good relationship with the free agent, revealing in December he has talked up the Phillies organization with his friend.

The Phillies, along with the Nationals, are said to be the major players in the pursuit of Harper. USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale also reported this week that the Phillies have “visions” of signing Harper, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel.

Until Harper officially makes his announcement, all there is to do is speculate what will most motivate his decision: Comfort, contract terms — both in money and length — or some combination of both.

That said, getting on well with a prospective manager — not to mention a love of a potential destination’s dining scene — certainly cannot hurt.