Bryce Harper sweepstakes down to two teams?
The list of potential suitors for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper seems to have dwindled a bit, and the bidding war for the latter may be a two-team race at this point.
While the Washington Nationals have indicated they do not expect Harper to be back with the team next season, it’s hard to separate truth from posturing at this point in the MLB offseason. On Thursday, a report — one that may have very well been planted by Harper’s agent Scott Boras — claimed the Nationals are still trying to re-sign Harper and have offered him well over $300 million. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports said Friday that the Nats are genuinely interested in retaining Harper, and the Philadelphia Phillies are also strongly in the mix.
phillies are in process of setting up a face to face meeting with bryce harper, as @JSalisburyNBCS 1st reported. rival nats are obviously interested in retaining harper. chisox seem like a long shot for harper at moment, but mystery team(s) always possible.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 4, 2019
Rival teams supposedly believe the Phillies are prepared to make the biggest offers for both Harper and Machado, so it would be a surprise if they don’t end up with one of the two star free agents. The Chicago White Sox, who were believed to be suitors for both, seem unwilling to offer the number of years each slugger will be seeking.
Most assume Machado will sign with the New York Yankees, so that takes them out of the running for Harper. As Heyman mentioned, a surprise team (perhaps one from the West Coast?) can always emerge, but it seems like the Phillies and Nationals are competing to land Harper.