January 04, 2019
The Phillies made a signing on Thursday — they inked veteran All-Star reliever David Robertson to their bullpen — but it wasn't one of the two players fans have been pining over all winter long.
That's right, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain on the market heading into the first weekend of 2019, and with the Phillies solidifying the backend of their 'pen, it can only mean one thing. They're shifting all their focus to Machado and Harper.
Now, of course, the #Phillies will be focused on Bryce Harper/Manny Machado. Rival teams believe the Phillies will make the highest offer to each of the marquee free agents.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 3, 2019
As we've covered here in the past, the Phillies are hardly the only teams interested in acquiring their services. The Yankees, Dodgers, White Sox and others appear to be in on one or both of the prize free agents. And according to The Athletic's Jim Bowden, there's another team pushing hard after Bryce Harper, a team uniquely positioned to know what Harper is looking — and one that many thought were more or less out of the running after Harper turned down a previous offer in the fall.
#Nationals last offer to Bryce Harper was actually “much more than the $300m being reported by the media” according to a source. Apparently, The 10-year $300m offer was actually just the team’s 1st offer to Harper.— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 4, 2019
Of course, we all know the Phillies have promised to get stupid with their money this winter, so there's still a chance Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail can use John Middleton's money to make at least one of Machado or Harper an offer they can't refuse.
For now, however, the wait continues. As always, be sure to follow along with all the latest news and rumors below...
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