John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bryce Harper.
- We're well into February, yet the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sweepstakes linger on.
- Following his meeting with the Giants last week, one sportsbook has listed them as favorites to sign him at +100.
- The Padres, who also met with Harper, are second at +250. The Phillies, who met with Harper last month, are third at +400.
Here we are on the verge of spring training, yet Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have not signed anywhere. In fact, new teams are emerging from the woodwork to ink the superstars.
The San Francisco Giants are the most recent team to make their pitch in the Harper sweepstakes. They met with him in his hometown of Las Vegas last week and things reportedly went well. Well enough for one sportsbook to make them the favorite to sign Harper.
Bryce Harper Free Agency Odds
- Giants: +100
- Padres: +250
- Phillies: +400
- Dodgers: +750
- Nationals: +1000
These odds surprise me, as they appear to be based solely off the fact that there was a meeting between the two parties. Just a month ago, the Phillies also met with Harper in Vegas — a meeting that actually helped move their World Series odds from +1600 to +1200.
The Phillies have since moved to +1000 by acquiring J.T. Realmuto, but could certainly fall back if they can’t sign Harper or Machado.
Like San Fran, the Padres also emerged out of nowhere in the mega free agent market. They also met with Harper in Vegas at the beginning of the month and are probably in a better position as an organization than the Giants are.
Though San Francisco won three World Series titles this decade, the Giants’ roster is old and the farm system is poor. Meanwhile, San Diego is on the up and coming, with some of the best prospects in the bigs and the ability to trade for more pieces.
I personally bet on the Phillies at +400. Before these NL West squads emerged, the Phillies had established themselves as the favorite for Harper, and many believe they will sign either him or Machado. By acquiring Realmuto, they’ve pushed their chips forward.
Philly is in win-now mode, and failing to sign either of these superstars would make the offseason a loss in their minds despite adding multiple other pieces. Harper would also pay far less in taxes in Pennsylvania than he would in Cali.
Loads more MLB content is coming over the next couple months, so stay tuned. We’ll of course cover how futures are impacted once Harper and Machado do sign, too.