Although there were warning signs durning free agency after the 2017 season, most anticipated the slow movement would not necessarily apply to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Both superstars hit the open market at 26 years of age and reportedly seeking contracts in the neighborhood of $300 million.
Despite each drawing plenty of reported interest from several clubs, including the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals, Harper and Machado remained unsigned as Spring Training camps opened across the league.
With position players reporting in the coming days, Harper and the Phillies reportedly are working toward agreeing to terms. That may not occur without the involvement of the Padres, however, as they are said to have submitted a contract offer to Harper and Machado, per Jon Heyman of Fancred and Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
I don’t know the years. But my understanding is offer to Machado is for more than $250 million. https://t.co/kSkJo5DVwo
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) February 18, 2019
The Padres were late entrants into the Harper and Machado sweepstakes, seemingly benefitting from a stagnant market. If they do manage to sign either of the game’s marquee free agents, it would represent a significant boost for a team that is not expected to contend in the National League West.