By: Reece Andavolgyi:
It’s February 22nd and Major League Baseball’s spring training is in full force. Questions about where top free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper will be playing dominated preseason headlines? There may be one answer to the million dollar question…or more like $300 million when Manny Machado signed with the Padres but what about Harper?
We don’t exactly know where Harper will play this season but who is he talking to? ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Harper has had conversations with the Phillies, White Sox, Giants, Nationals and the Padres. The Padres did just sign Manny Machado to 10 years, $300 million so will they pick up another huge contract for Harper?
Per MLB insider, Jon Heyman, the Giants have also made it clear that they don’t want to take on the long-term contract Harper is looking for. Harper is looking for a long-term deal; think 10 years, $300 million plus mega deal that’s even bigger then Machado’s. Heyman reports the Phillies are the front-runner for Harper and they’re working towards a long-term deal. Harper has already turned down a few $300 million offers, which could put the Phillies in a better position if they’re willing to pay.
The Phillies look like the likely choice but with an 11th place finish in the National League last season, maybe Harper hasn’t signed yet because he simply doesn’t want to play there. With Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins, Jake Arrieta on the roster, the 6 time NL All Star and lefty bat could the perfect addition to their roster.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that third baseman, Manny Machado, signed 10 years, 300 million to the Padres with an opt out after the fifth season and $150 million. This is the largest agreement for a free agent in big league history. While the deal has not officially been announced, Machado will be introduced Friday at Spring training in Peoria, AZ.
Machado ended up with the Padres after turning down an 8 year, $250 million deal from the Chicago White Sox. Passan reports that the contract would have been close to $340 million upwards had he accepted. MLB’s Heyman tweeted Machado liked his time with the Dodgers but didn’t want to be on the West Coast again. Looks like the Padres and their $300 million offer fixed that issue for him.
We’ll be on standby for the official announcement for Machado deal with Padres. As for Harper, who knows what jersey he’ll have on come opening day.