Phils 'clear-cut' favourite for Harper

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For the Yankees to truly be out on Machado at this point, he'd have to have offers in hand from the White Sox and Phillies that he knows he would be comfortable accepting, and also he'd have to know that the Yankees definitely will not be approaching those offers. The Yankees have always been among the most likely destinations for Machado.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently wrote that the Phillies actually prefer Machado over Harper in free agency. Add those two things up, and the Sox would be sitting as the favorite to land Machado, although it's not out of the question the Phils are willing to spend on both Harper and Machado.

Despite the seemingly obvious fit at second that would move star rookie Gleyber Torres to shortstop, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports that New York's plan is to have LeMahieu serve as a utility infielder.

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It will be interesting to see how the Yankees use LeMahieu as a utility player around the diamond. The Phillies ranked 23rd with a payroll just north of $100 million last season, and ownership has made it clear that the organization is ready to hand out lucrative contracts this offseason.

Nightengale reported that executives of the Nationals, who are hoping to bring Harper back to D.C. this winter, now consider that reunion a "long shot".

On the South Side, the White Sox have met with Harper twice, but remain a "longshot".

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After a five hour meeting in Las Vegas, the latest Phillies rumor suggests they are the "clear-cut favorite" to sign Bryce Harper. "We got to understand the man. He and his wife are really an impressive young couple".

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which cited an unidentified source, the team remains confident they will "end the offseason with either Harper or [Manny] Machado on their roster". Absent a notable trade, it's hard to find room for Machado.

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