If you’ve been away from the internet for the last 24 hours, you’ll want to catch up on the major free agent news that broke yesterday. If not, you can safely skip ahead to focusing on what’s next: the final stretch of bidding for Bryce Harper. Here’s the latest:
- The Phillies’ “total focus” right now is on Harper, Heyman tweets. Another free agent, such as Dallas Keuchel and/or Craig Kimbrel could become a target once Harper signs (be it in Philadelphia or elsewhere), but at the moment, the organization’s efforts are zeroed in on landing Harper.
- Todd Zolecki, Mark Feinsand and Jamal Collier of MLB.com write that the Phillies are wary of bidding against themselves and overpaying for Harper. Notably, the MLB.com trio cite multiple sources in reporting that the Nationals “have no plans to give Harper a mega-deal comparable to Machado’s 10-year, $300 million contract.” If that’s the case, then it’s not clear exactly who’d pose a threat to the Phillies at present, as the Giants’ interest in Harper has repeatedly been reported to be on a shorter term deal with a significant annual value. The report also cites two sources indicating that approximately $100MM of the Nationals’ initial 10-year, $300MM offer to Harper (issued back in September) would have been deferred. Certainly, ownership could still decide to step up and retain the face of the franchise, but the fact that the initial offer was well shy of $300MM in actual, present-day value because of those deferrals doesn’t bode well for the Nats now deciding to top $300MM. Machado’s deal reportedly contains no deferrals.
- Giants president of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi didn’t speak with an increased urgency after the Padres landed Machado, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Specifically, Zaidi stated that he doesn’t think the Machado agreement “really changes how we’re viewing our team and what we might still do with it,” going on to emphasize the importance of making the “right decision” rather than acting “in a reactionary way.”