GLENDALE, Ariz. — The landscape in the White Sox’ pursuit of free agent Manny Machado could shift soon with the other prized 26-year-old free agent in the market, Bryce Harper, reportedly moving toward a deal with the Phillies.
Bryce Harper, who has been waiting for someone to meet his price, appears to have found that team in the #Phillies. There is no deal yet but he will ultimately receive more than the 10-year, $300 million contract he turned down from the #Nats in September.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 17, 2019
Just how close Harper is and ultimately for how much money and how many years — USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Harper will receive more than the 10-year, $300 million deal he was offered by the Nationals during the season — remain to be seen. But with the Phillies viewed as perhaps the Sox’ strongest competition for Machado, Harper going to Philadelphia could help the Sox’ chances.
That said, the Padres also are in the hunt for Machado and appear willing to offer the $200 million-plus needed to fetch him. Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported their bid at $250 million for eight years.
Padres aren’t kidding around and are said to have made serious offers for both Machado and Harper. Their bid for Machado is believed to be for about $250M (and about 8 years) tho there is the Cali tax and possibly deferrals. Bid for Harper believed to be for more than that.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2019
The Sox have not been viewed as Machado’s top choice throughout a slow-moving, drawn-out free-agency period, and they went into it months ago with a spending limit that ultimately could crimp their chances. The Padres were not viewed as Machado’s most desired destination, either, but, like the Sox, they have a farm system promising hope for the future.
The Sox met with Harper and Machado but haven’t been linked to Harper much since the winter meetings in December. They have remained more connected to Machado and traded for Yonder Alonso, his brother-in-law, and signed Jon Jay, a good friend, as enticements.