The MLB hot stove has gotten off to a frigid start especially when it comes to position players.
All of which is to say that the previous talk about the Nats not negotiating with Harper at all seems no longer operative and they have to at least be considered some sort of contender to bring their former outfielder back.
The Yankees despite being installed as the favorites are not looking to offer Machado a long-term deal.
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And with the Nationals still having meetings with Harper, including one as recent as right before Christmas, according to the Washington Post, that team is not at all out of the running. Harper feels about Philadelphia.
And there are some, like the Chicago White Sox (and possibly the Philadelphia Phillies) who are intrigued with the prospect of adding both players this offseason.
However, it was reported earlier that the Phillies and the White Sox are ready to spend big and give Machado and Harper their desired 10-year deals worth over $300 million.
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What Seidman is referencing is the possibility that Harper could take fewer guaranteed years in exchange for a higher AAV with an opt-out clause that could return him to free agency in his prime once again. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal points out it could be beneficial for Machado to wait for Harper if he does re-sign with the Nationals. The only winning team with a clear path to Harper is the Dodgers after they traded away Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
Harper's free agency is widely considered one of the most important in Major League Baseball history. In this picture, Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his first inning strike out against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
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