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Report: Phillies expected to sign Bryce Harper

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the aftermath of Manny Machado reportedly signing with the San Diego Padres, the biggest remaining issue in free agency is where Bryce Harper will end up.

According to a report, the Philadelphia Phillies are Harper’s most likely destination.

“In the end, the Phillies are expected to sign Harper, but they are not expected to be too stupid about it,” a report from Todd Zolecki, Mark Feinsand and Jamal Collier of MLB.com said. “They have a limit, just like they had with Machado.”

While the slow free agency period might have suggested that the players might not get the money they were initially expecting, that’s not the case. Machado’s reported deal is record-breaking. Harper is expecting a similar — if not even bigger — deal.

When it comes to on-field fits, it’s hard to find a much better match than Harper and the Phillies. Philadelphia struggled with production from its corner outfielders throughout the 2018 season. Signing Harper would fix that instantly.

With that said, the report also cited Philadelphia GM Matt Klentak, who added that “we cannot allow ourselves to be put in a position where we have to do something at all costs. There’s a significant cost that we’re willing to pay to add, but we have to be willing to walk away at some point.”

Philadelphia is not Harper’s only interested suitor. Even with Machado on board, the Padres are an option. The San Francisco Giants remain as an option, as well.

The Phillies make a lot of sense and they definitely have the money. But while they’re the favorites, a lot can change.