Bryce Harper stays in Phillies' plans



CLEARWATER, Fla. – Is there a chance the Phillies are the only team willing to beat Manny Machado's $ 300 million deal to sign the contract with Bryce Harper?
May be.
On Wednesday, sources told MLB.com that the Nationals do not intend to give Harper a mega deal similar to that of Machado, worth $ 300 million.

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Is there a chance the Phillies are the only team ready to beat Manny Machado's $ 300 million contract and sign a new contract? Bryce Harper?

May be.

On Wednesday, sources told MLB.com that the Nationals did not intend to give Harper a mega-deal comparable to that of Machado, a $ 300 million contract out of 10 years, with the Padres. . The Nationals have offered Harper a $ 300 million contract over 10 years before the end of the 2018 regular season. Harper and his agent Scott Boras have rejected the deal.

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Two sources stated that approximately $ 100 million of this offer would have been deferred funds, which would have reduced the present value of the contract.

The Phillies are wondering who their competitors are as talks with Boras have intensified over the last two weeks. The Phillies had a personal talk last week with Boras in Florida. They have spoken since.

The Phillies met for the first time Harper, his wife Kayla, Boras and his associates last month in Las Vegas.

The White Sox could run to Harper. They offered Machado a $ 250 million, eight-year contract. Ken Rosenthal, an MLB network insider, said the deal could have reached $ 350 million, had Machado acquired all the options and obtained all the incentives. But White Sox executive vice president, Ken Williams, said a $ 300 million guarantee "was not workable for us."

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If that remains the case with Harper, it's hard to see how they can beat the Phillies.

The giants have shown interest in Harper, but many believe that they are only willing to offer a lucrative short-term contract. It is hard to believe that Harper would accept a short-term deal, even with a high average annual value. He almost certainly wants to defeat Machado's $ 300 million contract. In fact, Boras is seeking to break the $ 325 million extended contract signed by Giancarlo Stanton with the Marlins in 2014.

The Padres? It is almost impossible to believe that they would follow up on an agreement with Machado by establishing a second agreement with Harper.

If a mystery team is willing to offer Harper more than $ 300 million, congratulations. They lead the smallest front office in Major League Baseball.

That brings the Phillies back to the National. On the domestic front, they considered the possibility that the national property could snap at one point and say, "Bryce's Bring back." They added seven players to the training, including southpaw Patrick Corbin. If the Nationals added Harper, they would almost certainly exceed the competitive equilibrium tax, and unless they change direction, they are unlikely to exceed that threshold for the third consecutive season.

"I like a lot the alignment we've built up to now," said Sunday the Nationals general manager, Mike Rizzo. "I think we filled in all the gaps we had to fill in. You never say never, you never say you're done, but we're really happy at this particular moment of the spring training of our current situation and the composition of our staff. "

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The Phillies must take this information, examine it and proceed. They do not want to end up in a situation of bidding against themselves, which they could very well be. Of course, Jon Heyman, a member of the MLB network, tweeted on Wednesday that Harper would have refused the "multiple offers" of more than $ 300 million in recent weeks, although it's hard to determine who makes these potential offers record.

In the end, the Phillies should sign Harper, but they should not be too stupid about it. They have a limit, just as they had it with Machado.

"I think our approach to talking with Manny is very similar," said Phillies GM Matt Klentak. "We will continue to proceed with other free agents who make sense for this franchise. We must remember that there will be other free agents after this off season. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to spend money and improve our team. We can not afford to be in a position where we have to do something at all costs. We are willing to pay to add a significant cost, but we must be ready to retire at some point. "

Todd Zolecki has been covering the Phillies since 2003 and MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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