January 31, 2019
After a few days of hopeful and blind contemplation, some reports on the free agency decisions of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado illustrate a murky picture — and one that seems no where near reaching its conclusion with spring training now just over two weeks away.
First Machado, who met with the Phillies way back last year. This one is pretty straightforward — he's not signing any time soon.
The Padres entered the picture last week, when they apparently felt that the slowness of the developing market and lack of competition made Machado's price potentially in their wheelhouse. The above tweet implies the third baseman intends to meet with San Diego, which obviously hasn't happened yet.
As for Harper, well, things there are moving slowly too.
Despite the Phillies manager Matt Klentak himself going on the radio yesterday stating confidently that he believes his team will ink one of the two superstars, it appears that just like the Padres with Machado, a "mystery team," or multiple mystery teams are getting involved in the Harper sweepstakes.
Here's what Chris Russell of the Fan in Washington said on the radio:
"Here's what I know," Russell told The Sports Junkies Thursday morning. "I knew the other day that he wasn't signing anywhere, least of all with Philadelphia, because he's got an unidentified team meeting with him in Las Vegas today."
"From what I understand," Russell said, "it's not just one other team that's getting involved in this, other teams are trying now that the price and now that this process has drawn out. I can't say definitively he will meet with more than one other team, but from what I understand, other teams are trying to join the fray late." [h/t 94WIP.com]
All of the reports make it clear that neither the Phillies, nor any other of MLB's 30 teams has any idea where the two All-Star sluggers will be playing in 2019. Could the Phillies end all of this by offering Harper more money — money which they decidedly have to spend?
Or maybe Harper is just having fun messing with us:
Just below is our daily open thread/live stream to help you follow the free agency developments, rumors and updates as the happen:
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