MLB hot stove: What to make of the White Sox's apparent push for Bryce Harper at the United Center

Harper's Bazaar is open for business. Bryce Harper is now a free agent -- that's what agent Scott Boras called Harper's free agency earlier this week, Harper's Bazaar -- and one of the top talents in the game is available for nothing but cold hard cash.

Among the teams with interest in Harper is the White Sox, who are in the middle of the rebuild and looking to add young talent. Harper is, of course, only 26 years old. That's part of the appeal. He's right smack in the prime of his career and the case can be made his best years are still to come.

Earlier on Thursday, a marquee board at the United Center in Chicago apparently was caught displaying Harper's name and No. 34 with a White Sox logo. The initial Twitter post featuring the photo was deleted, but the picture spread nonetheless and sent White Sox fans into a frenzy. Check it out:

Hmmm. The United Center is home to the NBA's Chicago Bulls and the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, the former of which is owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf also owns the White Sox, so there's the baseball tie in.

For what it's worth, ChiSox right-hander Michael Kopech post a message on Instagram last week about the No. 34, which he wore during his MLB debut this season. It appears the number has special significance to him and maybe he's coming to grips with possibly having to give it up.

Why would Harper's name and number be on the United Center marquee though? Could the White Sox be gearing up for a press conference or even just a visit? Sure. Of course. The guess here is the ChiSox were putting together a recruiting video to send to Harper and Boras. 

Either way, intrigue!

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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