The Phillies have yet to make an official offer to Harper but are confident they will sign at least one of the two free agent megastars as they've also been connected to infielder Manny Machado all off-season. But after a five-hour meeting in Las Vegas with Harper on Saturday, the Phillies appear to be closing in on the former Nationals outfielder.
The Phillies are the third team to unsuccessfully make a run at Harper after he previously met with the White Sox and Dodgers, though reports have suggested Chicago and Philadelphia are the only teams willing to offer the veteran a 10-year deal.
"I think it was really positive", Phillies owner John Middleton told 6ABC in Philadelphia's Jeff Skversky.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, Machado's camp has indicated there is a mystery team involved in discussions for landing the prized free agent beyond the heavily rumored Phillies and White Sox. Clark may have jumped the gun early, but he deactivated his account after the Yankees signed All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu on Friday, making everyone believe they are out on Machado. Speaking of which, here's this nugget from ESPN's Buster Olney.
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So when is that Machado to the Yankees announcement coming?
In 128 games last season, LeMahieu, a right-handed hitter, batted.276 with a career-high 15 homers. The report states they appear to have turned their focus to Machado and recently made him a $200 million offer.
Potentially, that's bad news for Machado and for Yankees rooters who've been daydreaming of him in pinstripes. But if Machado is holding out for well over $300 million, then (1) Harper might not be signing for a very long time yet, and (2) for all we know, Harper might be initially asking for something that starts with a four.