As the regular season gets closer, the MLB world continues to wait on an end to the free agencies of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Harper appears to be closer to signing somewhere.
Over the weekend, multiple reports indicated the Philadelphia Phillies had emerged as the team to beat for the 26-year-old outfielder. Philly has been in the mix for Harper all offseason and is apparently willing to spend a considerable amount of money to land him.
However, things aren’t done quite yet. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Harper sweepstakes could take “several more” days.
Besides the Phillies, the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals are said to still be sniffing around Harper.
With several teams, Harper derby may take a few or even several more days. Besides favored Phillies there are at least the Giants, Padres, White Sox and perhaps incumbent Nats. Wash hasn’t been at forefront but could come late. Rumor they have right to match at end is untrue tho.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2019
The last line of Heyman’s tweet might be the most interesting. The Nationals reportedly tried to keep Harper before he hit free agency with a 10-year, $300 million offer, only to have him elect to test the market.
The Phillies were said to be willing to offer more than $300 million over 10 years, and if the Nationals don’t have the chance to match any deal, they could lose out on their shot to keep Harper in D.C.
Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBI last season last year. A six-time All-Star, he won the NL MVP Award in 2015.