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A new favorite has emerged to sign Bryce Harper, per oddsmakers

A new favorite has emerged to sign Bryce Harper, per oddsmakers

In the most bizarre Major League Baseball free agency in recent memory, stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain without a team with less than two weeks until Spring Training starts.

Harper, who turned down a $300 million, 10-year contract from the Washington Nationals on the last day of the 2018 season, has given very few hints as to what cap he will be sporting on Opening Day. The 26-year old has met with over half a dozen teams during free agency, but his camp has yet to publicly announce his preferred destination. 

Last week, the San Francisco Giants were the latest team to meet with the six-time All-Star. Now, they are the betting favorites to sign him.

According to the latest odds that the BetOnline AG sports book released Monday, the Giants have 1/1 odds to sign Harper. 

Harper has history against the Giants, most notably during the 2014 NLDS against San Francisco. Although the Nationals fell to the Giants, Harper had the best postseason series of his young career, hitting .294 with three home runs in four games. 

The San Diego Padres, another team that has made a late play into the Harper sweepstakes, have the second-best odds at 5/2. The Philadelphia Phillies, who seemed to be the heavy favorites to land their NL East rival star just a couple weeks ago, now have just the third best odds at 4/1.

Chances are slim for Harper to return to the Nationals, as Washington currently has 10/1 odds to re-sign their superstar.

While Harper's final destination is still uncertain, Vegas may know something that the general public does not.


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Report: Padres land Manny Machado with biggest free-agent contract in American sports history

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Report: Padres land Manny Machado with biggest free-agent contract in American sports history

One of Major League Baseball's brightest young stars will call San Diego home for the next 10 years. 

The  San Diego Padres made the splash many have been trying to make, reportedly signing coveted free agent Manny Machado Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan,

The deal is reported to span 10 years worth $300 million, according to MLB Network's Mark Feinsand

The 26-year-old, who was traded to Los Angeles in July after eight-plus seasons in Baltimore, has the most hits (1,000) by any shortstop since entering MLB in 2013. 

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who is waiting for former teammate Bryce Harper to make his highly anticipated decision, is happy that the first domino fell. 

"That’s good for the game," he told reporters at spring training on Wednesday. Good for the stars of the game to get signed. And for a face of the game to get a 10-year contract.”

Machado was courted by several teams, including the Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees and White Sox, the latter of which believe it made a better offer than the Padres

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler spoke to reporters shortly after the news broke, claiming the team doesn't "have a deal" yet. 

This is a developing story. Stay on NBC Sports Washington for the latest news, updates, and reports. 


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Phillies manager on Bryce Harper reports: 'I stopped taking it seriously'


Phillies manager on Bryce Harper reports: 'I stopped taking it seriously'

The 2019 Major League Baseball season is just over one month away and, you guessed it, one of the game's biggest superstars - Bryce Harper - remains unsigned. 

For Philadelphia Phillies second-year manager Gabe Kapler, the free agency frenzy isn't on his radar as he leads his team's first workouts of the year together from sunny Clearwater, Florida. 

But with high-volume coverage and speculation surrounding Harper's chances of landing in the City of Brotherly Love, tuning out the noise is no easy task; especially when said noise comes in the form of push notifications sent directly to your phone. 

They were just like, ‘Pop, pop, pop’ — here’s a story, here’s a story,” Kapler told the Washington Post Monday afternoon at Spectrum Field. From the Post:

“At some point you just say, ‘What does any of this mean?’ … After the fourth ‘The deal is complete’ headline, I stopped. Just like you guys, I stopped taking it seriously. 

Perhaps Kapler, a former member of the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, is wise to place all the hype on the backburner. 

His Phillies were awfully busy in the offseason, having added key pieces like left fielder Andrew McCutchen, catcher J.T. Realmuto, reliever David Robertson and shortstop Jean Segura. 

The new acquisitons join a team that finished 80-82, good for third in the NL East, in Kapler's first season as manager. 

As for Harper? His future remains unclear, but Philadelphia seems to be focused on the task at hand in Clearwater. For now, at least.