Phillies, White Sox reportedly view Mike Moustakas as backup plan

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On the other hand, there was also a Los Angeles Times report earlier this offseason that a "sale book" provided to potential investors - the Dodgers have been looking to sell a minority stake in the franchise for several years - showed that the franchise plans to remain under the luxury tax through 2022. Hmm.

The White Sox have formally made Machado an offer.

Nationals fans still see plenty of risk, however, and they weren't shy about letting Svrluga know they think the Nats should let Harper walk.

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The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are keeping tabs on Mike Moustakas in the event they are unable to land Manny Machado, according to sources. The White Sox, Yankees and Phillies have all been linked to Machado. However, while many rumors have floated around that Manny's wife is "enamored" with NYC, there is no indication that the Yankees have even offered Machado a deal... yet.

Harper slashed.249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs in 159 games with the Nationals in 2018. Both teams with money to spend and ready to compete right now. The Philadelphia franchise will meet Harper face-to-face for the first time Saturday, but their main focus, however, was said to be Machado. Meanwhile, the Nationals have reportedly upped their offer. And their offer would also meet Boras' expectations of landing a record-setting deal for a free agent.

However, according to another Major League Baseball insider John Morosi, despite the Nationals making headway in their pursuit of bringing Harper back to Nationals Park for the upcoming campaign, he felt the right-fielder could take his time in signing a new deal, predicting that this whole affair could drag well into February.