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January 26, 2019

Live free agency updates: Are Padres a threat to Phillies pursuit of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado?

It seemed too good to be true and it probably was.

Reports suggesting the Phillies were the favorites to sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado due in part to a lack of serious suitors was a bit odd, but comforting for those hoping Philadelphia could make good on its promise to spend "stupid money" this offseason.

After the Dodgers and Yankees more or less showed they were out of the race for the services of the pair of superstars, by all accounts it was a two team race, between the Phils and the White Sox. But a new team seems to have entered the stage.

So just how serious a threat are the Padres to the Phillies' optimistic plans?

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin don't seem too impressed:

The Padres have done background work on both Harper and Machado, according to major-league sources. They have checked in with their representatives, as first reported by FanCred’s Jon Heyman. And while they are more likely to spend big next offseason than they are this one, they are not ruling out a run at Harper or Machado at the right price, sources said. 
Other potential suitors — teams with higher revenues and better rosters than the Padres — surely are playing the same game, waiting to pounce if either or both players become available at reasonably favorable terms. For now, the Padres remain a “longshot” for a major strike, according to one source familiar with their thinking. Two other sources said they would be “shocked” if either Harper or Machado landed in San Diego. [The Athletic]

What does this mean for the Phillies then? Well, nothing really. If the price gets low enough for the Padres to have a shot at him — they have just one player making more than $20 million annually — the Phillies have more than enough cash to outbid them. And they, in theory, have a roster with better potential than San Diego does.

The odds are there will be more of this talk, from other teams entering the fray as the offseason continues to inch along at a turtle's pace.

Here, as always, is our daily MLB free agency live chat/open thread:

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