Phillies rumor: Club "clear-cut favorite" to sign Bryce Harper

Manny Machado

The New York Yankees have agreed to a two-year, $24-million deal with second baseman DJ LeMahieu pending a physical, a source told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

If offers from the Phillies and White Sox are similar, the Phillies would give Machado a better chance to win immediately, if that is indeed what matters most to him.

LeMahieu, 30, has spent eight years in the majors, the last seven with the Colorado Rockies, where he was a two-time All-Star and National League batting champion in 2016. It appears, though, that they have become the definitive favorite for one of the two star free-agents specifically.

This does not definitively close the book on Machado going to NY, which has always been viewed as his ideal landing spot. Both work out with and are close friends of Machado. The Phillies reportedly prefer Machado, and their pursuit of the infielder could increase over the next few days.

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The Yankees have been considered the Phillies' biggest obstacle to landing Machado because of the idea that he's wanted for years to play in the Bronx.

The self-described free-spending Phillies shot to the leaderboard as favorites to land Machado as the Yankees interest waned, but if they invest in Harper, how much cash will they have left for Machado? They are expected to make the 26-year-old superstar a formal offer within a week, the report stated, and an end to the sweepstakes could finally be near.

2018 was a little bit of a down year for LeMahieu by his standards. But if Machado is holding out for well over $300 million, then (1) Harper might not be signing for a very long time yet, and (2) for all we know, Harper might be initially asking for something that starts with a four.

The White Sox and Phillies have both finished below.500 in each of the last six seasons.

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