Phillies Won't Sign Both Bryce Harper And Manny Machado

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Nightengale told SportsRadio 94 WIP on Wednesday that while the Phillies could feasibly sign both Harper and Machado, it is "more realistic" to sign one of the two big guys, and then "fill in the other pieces". In an unprecedented step, Machado's agent is pushing back against some of those rumors.

Hours after ESPN's Buster Olney reported the Chicago White Sox offered Manny Machado a seven-year, $175 million deal, Machado's agent referred to the report as "inaccurate and reckless" on Wednesday. He argued they could be leaking information to affect the negotiations between teams and Machado, as well as other free agents on the market - a possible violation of MLB's collective bargaining agreement. Younger players will continue to become more expensive through the arbitration process and the organization could look to sign some of the young core to a long-term deal. There might be unknown teams involved, but for Machado, only the Sox and Phillies have expressed strong interest.

You have to wonder if the much-hyped quote from Machado in the postseason that he was not going to be "Johnny Hustle" has caused teams to shy from pursuing him. Last January at the Cubs Convention, Chairman Tom Ricketts theorized "a lot of teams out there would rather have dry powder a year from now". Further reports backed up that offer and reported that the full offer was in the eight-year, $250 million range. That's what the White Sox did by offering Manny Machado $175 over seven years ($25M AAV), the very low end of previous contract estimates.

Dan Lozano is going on the record to dispute the Manny Machado reports.

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The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be a major contender for Harper, and a travel company called Phans of Philly purchased electronic billboard space around the Las Vegas Strip with a message for the superstar.

Wouldn't it be sweet to steal their prized free agent? And if Machado rejects the Sox's offer, well, at least fans know they tried. It's another market that the Phillies appear to be firmly in on, and it would have a knock-on effect on the Harper market.

But the waiting game continues - with more questions than answers.