Phillies may favor Bryce Harper over Manny Machado

Charlie Tilson rounds first base on an RBI triple against the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field

A USA Today report suggesting the Phillies are favorites to land Bryce Harper could give the Sox a decided edge in the Manny Machado sweepstakes.

Both Chicago and Philadelphia are among the contenders to sign Bryce Harper.

Though many Twitter sleuths tried to analyze the body language of managing partner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak after they returned to Philadelphia Saturday night, the organization's meeting with Harper in Las Vegas was apparently productive.

Machado has seemingly had a similar struggle to Harper in attempting to secure the kind of record-breaking deal he desires this offseason.

There has been a lot of talk about Manny Machado preferring to sign with the New York Yankees and potentially taking less money to do so, but that would require the Bronx Bombers making him an honest offer. But the Sox reportedly weren't willing to go beyond seven years on a deal and their offer, said to be closer to $200 million than the $300 million Machado is looking for, might not suffice. That could impact their pursuit of the latter if they secure the former Baltimore Oriole, as it may make them slightly less desperate to secure the signature of Harper, should it come to that.

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Nightengale adds that there is no formal deadline to sign either player, but both the Phillies and the White Sox would like to sign their respective superstars sooner rather than later to maximize season ticket sales.

The self-described free-spending Phillies shot to the leaderboard as favorites to land Machado as the Yankees interest waned, but if they invest in Harper, how much cash will they have left for Machado?

A "mystery" team can emerge as they often do when agents try to ignite a bidding war, but the lack of public suitors for the 26-year-old Machado could mean he'll fall into the Sox's lap. "We got to understand the man".

Want your voice heard? Expect some more rumors to break on the subject over the next few days.

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