MLB Rumors: Bryce Harper’s free agent adventure could be coming to a resolution, with Jon Heyman saying things have “intensified,” with the Philadelphia Phillies talking to both Manny Machado and Harper, and Harper talking to other teams, but a Harper/Philly pairing he says is most likely.
Buster Olney has a tweet which seems to hint that there would be deferrals, club options or other tricks to make the total value sound higher when Harper and Machado sign, saying that you should “lock in on...guaranteed present-day dollars.” He suggests Harper is looking at $300M plus, while Machado is “in the range of $225M-$250M.” If Machado is getting something like 8 years, $240 million with no opt out, the Rangers should be in on that price, though, of course, there appears to be no chance the Rangers are talking to Machado.
With camps opening and the season just six weeks away, it seems likely that either Harper or Machado — if not both — we end up locking in an agreement in the next several days. Once one of those two signs, the other one will probably get locked up soon thereafter, and presumably teams who were talking to them but don’t land them will potentially set their sights on Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel, the two premium non-Machado/Harper free agents still on the market.
Just as a fan, I’m ready for these two to sign somewhere, so we can stop talking about them and start looking forward to the coming season.