Sportress of Blogitude

Phillies reportedly ‘confident’ about signing Bryce Harper

The protracted Bryce Harper sweepstakes conceivably should be nearing its endgame, and the Philadelphia Phillies reportedly believe they are set to be crowned the winners after a months-long slog.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen reports Thursday that the Phillies “appear to be in the driver’s seat” for Harper and are “confident” in signing the superstar slugger.

Manny Machado finally signing a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres earlier this week is expected to serve as the impetus for Harper to end his free-agency odyssey. The one caveat is that super-agent Scott Boras is said to be dead-set on securing a bigger deal for his client than the one Machado coaxed out of the Padres.

That said, the Phillies, long believed to be front-runners for Harper, reportedly are amenable to such terms and are presumably one of the “multiple” teams who have offered Harper a deal in excess of $300 million.

The Washington Nationals are said to “have no plans” to offer Harper a deal on par with Machado’s contract. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox reportedly are pulling out of their respective pursuits of Harper.

So, the only other team currently believed to be competing with the Phillies is the San Francisco Giants. However, the Giants are reportedly not interested in signing Harper to a long-term deal, which is a non-starter from the slugger’s perspective.

There has been no shortage of speculation, conjecture and unchecked rumors surrounding Harper’s free agency. With that in mind, until Harper puts pen to paper and signs a deal, nothing is certain, especially given how the superstar reportedly has some misgivings about signing with the Phillies.