The first major domino of MLB free agency finally dropped on Tuesday, after what felt like months of waiting.
Four-time all-star and former Orioles third baseman Manny Machado reportedly agreed to a massive, 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres.
With Machado now out of the way, the focus on everybody’s mind now shifts back to Bryce Harper.
Eight MLB Insiders weighed in on their opinions on what this deal means for Harper.
Jim Bowden ( via CBS Sports HQ Twitter): Now that Manny Machado signed, Bryce Harper has a dollar value where he should be. Phillies had the leverage to offer either Harper or Machado a mega contract and if they didn’t take it offer it to the other. Now that Machado signed, they have lost all of their leverage. After Friday, if Harper has not signed with the Phillies, it is anyone’s game. Bowden predicts 10 years, $320-$330 million.
John Clark (NBC Sports Philly): The pressure is on for the Phillies. All of their eggs are in the “Bryce basket” since they could have outbid the Padres for Manny Machado. Bryce Harper plays best in Philadelphia and the stats prove it. He has 14 HR in Citizens Bank Park last season… meaning if he starts for the Phillies, he could have a 40+ season.
Amy Fadool (NBC Sports Philly): “The White Sox should be shocked that they did not get Manny Machado. The Nationals have the money to bid but the Phillies have Harper to lose.” Fadool predicts 10 years, $320 million.
Marc Farzetta (NBC Sports Philly): “It is no doubt that Bryce Harper will get the money he wants. Machado went where the finances talked and Bryce will do the same. It all depends if he wants to play in Philadelphia. If he doesn’t want to be in Philadelphia he won’t sign here.” Farzetta predicts $340 million.
Jon Heyman (via Twitter @JonHeyman): "With several teams, Harper derby may take a few or even several more days. Besides favored Phillies, there are at least the Giants, Padres, White Sox and perhaps incumbent Nats. Washington hasn’t been at the en at forefront but could come late. Rumor they have right to match at end is untrue tho." Heyman correctly predicted Machado’s contract back in November.” He predicted Bryce Harper signing a deal at 11 years, $330 million.
Buster Olney (ESPN.com): “The Bryce Harper camp should be high-fiving each other because he will get the biggest contract in baseball. Olney states that Harper will sign with the Phillies but the White Sox could be an underdog.” Reporting from Nationals Spring Training, Olney says that they are not making any moves to sign Harper.
Jim Salisbury (NBC Sports Philly): Bryce Harper has not made a decision about where he will sign because he has more options than ever. Salisbury thinks that the Nationals, White Sox and Phillies are the only teams in the running for Harper.
Dave Uram (via Twitter @MrUram): "This is pure speculation (per my opinion): After what happened with Manny Machado, if Bryce Harper doesn't agree to terms with the #Phillies by the end of the day, considering spring training already began, it'll give me the sense he doesn't want to play in Philadelphia."
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