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Rival GM believes Bryce Harper will sign with Phillies

Bryce Harper’s impending free agency not surprisingly continues to dominate the Major League Baseball rumor mill.

With that in mind, the latest batch of speculation comes courtesy of Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman, who relays that one rival MLB general manager has a good inkling where the Washington Nationals slugger will land.

“I think Harper winds up with the Phillies,” the anonymous GM told Heyman.

The Phillies have long been believed to be among the front-runners to sign Harper. Heyman also adds in his report that one “Phillies-connected” person believes the team will make a run at both Harper and Manny Machado.

That said, a report this week indicated Machado has his eyes on the New York Yankees, another team expected to be major players in the Harper sweepstakes, for myriad reasons.

Along with the Phillies and Yankees, the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves are also teams who have been mentioned as serious suitors for Harper’s services. And it would be presumptuous to assume the Nationals don’t have a chance of keeping Harper in the fold, either.

When it’s all said and done, the pursuit of Harper undoubtedly will ignite a bidding war of unprecedented proportions. Harper has long insisted free agency was the furthest thing from his mind, saying leading the Nationals to the World Series was his only focus.

With the Nationals fading from contention for a spot in the postseason (61-61, 6.5 back in NL Wild Card Standings, 8.0 out in the NL East), the attention revolving around the D.C. ball club will turn to the superstar slugger’s uncertain future.

Harper, who has turned it on at the plate since the All-Star break, may be resigned to the fact despite his best efforts that it’s almost time to turn his attention to other matters as well.