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Padres reportedly ‘have not ruled out’ signing Bryce Harper

On the same day the San Diego Padres officially signed Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal, a report has surfaced that the team is not pulling out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

The belief was that the Padres would no longer be pursuing Harper after locking up Machado, but Fancred’s Jon Heyman suggests that may not be the case, although San Diego managing to sign the other remaining superstar still on the free-agent market is “not seen as a likelihood.”

As Harper’s free-agency saga soldiers on, a report earlier Thursday suggested the Philadelphia Phillies are “confident” in signing the superstar slugger.

Of the other reported Harper suitors, the Washington Nationals are said to “have no plans” to offer Harper a deal on par with Machado’s contract. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox are said to no longer pursuing Harper, either.

The only other team currently believed to be competing with the Phillies — and now the Padres — is the San Francisco Giants, who jumped into the fray late in the game. However, the Giants are said to be not interested in signing Harper to a long-term deal, which is a non-starter from the slugger’s perspective.

Multiple teams reportedly have made Harper offers in excess of $300 million, and the superstar’s agent, Scott Boras, is believed to be seeking a deal in excess of what Machado coaxed out of the Padres.

While the Padres have the financial wherewithal to put that kind of offer on the table, the notion that the team could sign two of the biggest free agents in recent memory, as Heyman noted, has to be viewed as a long shot.

Should the Padres do so, however, signing both Machado and Harper would be the biggest free-agency coup pulled off by one team in one year in Major League Baseball history.