Phillies rumor: Club “clear-cut favorite” to sign Bryce Harper

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals gets ready to bat in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals gets ready to bat in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies rumor of the day goes back to Bryce Harper

After a five hour meeting in Las Vegas, the latest Phillies rumor suggests they are the “clear-cut favorite” to sign Bryce Harper.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who reported early in the offseason that Harper going to Philadelphia was very likely, used those three words to describe Philadelphia’s chances of getting the superstar outfielder.

In addition, Nightengale said the Nationals view a reunion with the 26-year-old Harper as a “longshot.”

Owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak both seemed positive after returning from Las Vegas Saturday night and talked about getting to know Harper better as a person and answering a lot of questions both they and he had.

As for Manny Machado, whose market is reportedly down to the Phillies and White Sox, Nightengale says the White Sox are now favorites to sign Machado, something very few around the game expected with Philadelphia and the Yankees in the chase.

Nightengale almost confirms that these two moves will happen at the end of his piece, telling people that the end is near.

"Harper will be in Philadelphia and Machado will be playing for the White Sox."

That’s a bold statement, but Nightengale has been on top of things, as usual, this offseason. If he’s reporting that Philadelphia is now a clear-cut favorite to sign Harper after a lengthy meeting then I’m buying every word he’s putting out there.

If Harper does sign with the Phillies, keep an eye on third baseman Mike Moustakas. Reports earlier this offseason said that if Machado doesn’t go to the Phillies then the team will replace Maikel Franco with Moustakas.

San Diego is a rumored landing spot for Franco if Moustakas is signed as a buffer until Alec Bohm is major league ready, which could be a couple of years.

It’s happening…

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