The Philadelphia Phillies are major players in the mix for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but even if they're prepared to be stupid with their money, they won't sign both of the superstars, sources told The Athletic's Matt Gelb.
The good news for fans of the team is that the Phillies have gained confidence they'll land one of the two marquee players following their meeting with Harper in Las Vegas this past weekend and their sitdown with Machado last month.
Gelb adds that Philadelphia is believed to prefer Machado over Harper because he is an elite hitter and defender, but notes that there's conflicting information regarding the team's preference.
While the Chicago White Sox have reportedly offered Machado an eight-year, $250-million deal, the Phillies reportedly emerged as the clear-cut favorite to sign Harper following the team's trip to Las Vegas.
The former Washington Nationals outfielder reportedly turned down a 10-year offer worth $300-million from his old club but has also apparently re-ignited discussions with them about a possible return.
Whichever direction the Phillies decide to go, managing to sign one of this offseason's top free agents would add a legitimate superstar to a club that played well for most of last season before struggling down the stretch.
Philadelphia has already bulked up their club with the additions of Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, and Jean Segura. They could also chase other free agents after signing one of Harper or Machado, according to a report.