Sportress of Blogitude

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado reportedly still seeking $300M deals

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado somehow remain on the free-agent market with spring training looming, but it’s possible the deals the two superstar sluggers reportedly are seeking are bogging things down.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, both Harper and Machado are still waiting on $300 million deals — with Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract setting the bar — despite the fact that even the teams said to be interested in signing them have balked at such exorbitant contracts.

Further complicating matters, Rosenthal notes, is how both Machado and Harper are waiting for the other to sign in some kind of free-agent contract staring contest.

Regarding the Harper free agency saga as it limps along, the San Francisco Giants are said to be “making a late play” to sign him. Eight teams are also believed to be checking in on Harper, which presumably includes a reported handful of “mystery teams” working behind the scenes.

The Philadelphia Phillies were believed to be the “heavy favorites” to sign Harper as recently as a few weeks ago, and the New York Yankees have long been assumed to be in the hunt for his services, although that may no longer be the case.

Meanwhile, on the Machado front, the Yankees, suspected to be among the front-runners to sign the infielder, reportedly have not yet made him a formal offer.

The Chicago White Sox — who have been identified as the perhaps team making the strongest push to sign Machado — reportedly offered him a seven-year, $175 million deal, although there has been some dispute about that report’s accuracy. Either way, the purported offer clearly lands far below what Machado is believed to demanding.

The San Diego Padres, as well as the Phillies, are in the mix for both superstars, according to several reports.

All that said, it’s arguably baffling that both Machado and Harper remain unsigned, something that is arguably emblematic of a real problem confronting Major League Baseball.