Bryce Harper remains unsigned as Manny Machado was introduced by the San Diego Padres on Friday. While Harper still doesn’t have a new home, it appears we can start eliminating teams from his list of potential destinations.
Here’s an update on the latest rumors surrounding the six-time All-Star’s free agency.
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner has told NBC Sports Washington that the franchise has “moved on” from Harper. Despite spending the first seven years of his career with the Nats, it looks like the 26-year-old will be with a different organization for the foreseeable future.
Jon Heyman is reporting the Padres aren’t out on Harper, despite their deal with Machado. Heyman says the team’s ownership would be meeting today to discuss the possibility of pursuing Harper:
Local media members believe there’s no way that actually happens:
Still, Padres general manager A.J. Preller refused to rule out anything:
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News has been told the Philadelphia Phillies are confident Harper will eventually sign with them.
The Phillies are also wary that they may be bidding against themselves.
Most insiders seem to agree the Phillies are facing serious competition from only one team right now: the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have already met with Harper but were believed to only be offering a short-term deal. Harper isn’t interested in anything short-term. The Giants are reportedly still pursuing him hard, but aren’t terribly optimistic they will land him.
The fact that Harper remains unsigned is still incredible. He’s young, in the middle of his prime, won the NL MVP Award in 2015 and has posted a 30.7 fWAR over his first seven seasons.
His 2018 stats aren’t the best from his career, but he still hit .249 with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, an OPS of .889 and a 3.5 fWAR. As down seasons go, that wasn’t terrible.