Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

White Sox make official offer to free agent Manny Machado

White Sox make official offer to free agent Manny Machado

From a baseball perspective, bringing back Harper would round out the Nationals' outfield with Juan Soto and Adam Eaton while prospect Victor Robles would have more time to develop after a solid 2018 season.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals have remained on the periphery with Harper. While it is hard to say with confidence if either report is accurate, the White Sox have made their interest to Manny Machado known throughout the offseason and have the financial flexibility to offer a substantial deal.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, via MLB.com, the Nationals representatives and Harper have met on numerous occasions over the winter with a source close to the player reportedly predicting that the player's free agency could stretch into February.

Thus far, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been connected to the 26-year-old more so than other clubs.

The Philadelphia franchise is also keen on Manny Machado - probably the second most sought-after free agent in baseball at the moment - and signing him is their main focus.

The market for Bryce Harper also seems to be thinner than many anticipated at the start of the offseason, as several teams have ruled themselves out. Contract estimates have hovered around 10 years, $350-$400 million, depending on who you ask. Per Bowden, the 10-year, $300MM offer was merely the first offer the Nationals made to their erstwhile superstar.

Just because the Phillies appear to be getting a meeting with Harper doesn't necessarily mean their chances of landing the star outfield are going to increase because once again, the competition is high between other teams as well.

The White Sox might find themselves "relatively close" to the Dodgers in the competition for Harper, that is if they don't want to go past seven years and if the Dodgers have no interest in a very big, decade-long pact.

Meanwhile, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Nationals are not the only team pursuing Harper seriously.

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