February 01, 2019
Well, it's officially February and both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — as well as a slew of other high-end free agents — remain unsigned with less than two weeks remaining until most teams' pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
At the outset of free agency, many thought both Harper and Machado would be signed by now. But that's not the reality of the situation. In fact it's been quite the opposite, with new teams getting in on the free agent sweepstakes with each passing day.
Just last night, after previously meeting with several other teams including the Phillies this winter, Harper took a meeting with the Padres, who have recently shown interest in both players.
#Padres officials meeting today or tomorrow with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas, sources tell The Athletic. Meeting expected to include ownership representatives.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2019
With the Dodgers recently dropping out of the race for Harper, it appears the Phillies remain one of the four teams interested in acquiring the free agent outfielder. Or is it five teams?
Bryce Harper has four active suitors as February nears, source confirms: #Nationals, #Phillies, #WhiteSox, and now #Padres. At least one other team remains involved on periphery, but overwhelming likelihood is he will sign with one of those four clubs. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 31, 2019
No word on who that "team on the periphery" is, but it's definitely something keeping an eye on as this marathon nears the home stretch.
As for Machado, it's been an interesting offseason ride. Once seemingly destined to sign with the Yankees, the 26-year-old infielder has seen his market dry up somewhat, with New York now apparently out on Machado and the potential price tag on his next deal shrinking the minute they lost interest.
Machado hoped to “top Stanton” (unlikely) and land with Yankees (also unlikely now — tho he had a chance when they met Dec.19), so it’s no surprise there are whispers of dissatisfaction with how this has gone. It appears to be 3 of same teams for him: Chisox, philly and padres.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 31, 2019
Right now, it definitely seems like signs are pointing toward the Phillies landing Harper over Machado — and reading the internet tea leaves, it seems like a deal could be close to being agreed on. Of course, we're still sitting waiting and looking for every sign that may indicate one of the two will be wearing red pinstripes next year.
So, just as we do every day, let's take a look at the latest free agency news and trade rumors from around Major League Baseball and what that means for the Phillies.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports