When the Manny Machado contract details emerged, it was only a matter of time before the other major MLB free agent found a home as well and it seems like the Bryce Harper trade rumors are now focused on two teams.
Bryce Harper trade rumors
As of Saturday night, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that there were two teams in Las Vegas negotiating with Harper’s agents. One of those teams is the Philadelphia Phillies.
While Phillies are seen as the favorite (and may well be), team Harper has been negotiating in Vegas with two teams who were there to see Bryce today, “with more to follow”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 24, 2019
With that said, whoever this second team is has a lot of catching up to do. Early reports indicate that the teams also interested in Harper include the Washington Nationals (who Harper played his entire career for), Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants.
The San Diego Padres were also interested but signing Machado likely takes them out of contention.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Phillies have a 10-year deal in place for Harper and there is “optimism” that they will get it finalized by Monday afternoon.
Philadelphia #Phillies owner John Middleton still in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper negotiations and optimism now is that 10-year deal with Bryce Harper is finalized by Monday afternoon.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 24, 2019
Phillies team owner John Middleton flew out to Las Vegas personally to meet with Bruce Harper and NBC Sports reported that they had a “busy day of meetings” and it looked like they would get the deal done.
Air Middleton headed back east after busy day of meetings w Team Harper. Talks continue … nighty-night.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) February 24, 2019
The Philadelphia Phillies are in a big push to immediate rewards, especially if they sign Bryce Harper. They also signed catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder Andrew McCutchen, shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitcher David Robertson.
The Phillies finished 2018 with an 80-82 record and missed the postseason.
The Manny Machado effect on Bryce Harper
As previously reported, Machado signed the largest deal in American sports history, making $30 million a season over 10 years from the San Diego Padres. Fans can expect Harper to make even more.
Bryce Harper is the most marketable player in Major League Baseball, even if his numbers are lower than Machado when it comes to production.
Machado hit a career-high .905 OPS with a line of .297/.367/.538. He also hit 37 home runs, drove in 107 RBIs and stole 14 bases. Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 homers and 100 RBI for the Washington Nationals in 2018.