Bryce Harper
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Report: Phillies expected to make an offer to Bryce Harper this week

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According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Phillies will make a formal offer to free agent outfielder Bryce Harper within a week of their meeting in Las Vegas. The two sides came together for a five-hour meeting on Saturday, which was reportedly attended by Harper’s wife, Kayla, as well as agent Scott Boras, club owner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak, assistant GM Ned Rice, and skipper Gabe Kapler. While few details were divulged in Nightengale’s report, whatever was said behind closed doors clearly gave the Phillies some indication that Harper would be receptive to any future offer they might make.

That falls into line with a recent report from Matt Breen of Philly.com, who suggested that the Phillies “remain optimistic” that they’ll sign either Harper or fellow free agent Manny Machado before the offseason officially comes to a close. Of the two, Harper may be closer to inking a deal, as other suitors like the Nationals and White Sox don’t appear to have made any significant progress in negotiations with the slugger over the last week or so.

Machado, meanwhile, is still said to be courted by the White Sox, Phillies, and an as-yet undisclosed mystery team. While the hot-hitting infielder was recently connected to the Yankees after a meeting in December, ESPN’s Buster Olney claims that any serious talks between the two are “either dormant or completely dead” at this point. The White Sox may yet emerge as the frontrunner to land Machado, though they’re reportedly offering a long-term deal in the neighborhood of $200 million — about $100 million less than the All-Star is rumored to be seeking.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.