The second day of 2019 turned out to be a very active one for the rumor mill in Major League Baseball.  The Phillies, with pockets flush with cash, are far from completing their final roster before pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater next month.  While the Phillies wait for a decision from Manny Machado, the club is set to meet with free agent Bryce Harper.

Here is a rundown of the latest on the Phillies and the two superstars:

Harper and Phillies to Meet

The big rumor of the day comes from Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia:  Harper is set to meet with the Phillies.

Even while they negotiate with Machado, the Phillies remain interested in outfielder Bryce Harper, the other megastar on this winter’s free-agent market. In fact, a person close to the player tells NBC Sports Philadelphia that a face-to-face meeting between Harper and Phillies officials is being planned for “the next week or so,” in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas.

Salisbury also notes the Phillies remain in their pursuit of Machado and a reliever.

Nationals and Harper Have Long Sit-Down

Are the Nationals out on their All-Star slugger or are they not?  While Nationals owner Mark Lerner seemed to think that they were out and publicly seemed to indicate as such, the Nationals and Harper might not be done talking.   According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, the Nationals and Harper had a five-hour meeting recently.

Janes says that mega-agent Scott Boras is negotiating directly with owners and not team front offices.  Janes does not believe that this necessarily makes a deal likely, however.  The best deal would still likely land Harper.

Phillies Are Willing to Give 10-Year Deals to Superstars; Others Will Not

The Phillies are willing to give a 10-year deal to either Machado or Harper, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. Does that give the Phillies an edge?  In the past, Jack Curry of  the YES Network indicated the Yankees would not go bigger than seven or eight years. Meanwhile, Bruce Levine of MLB.com reports that the White Sox will not go beyond seven years for either player.

The Social Media Habits of Machado

Machado caused a bit of a fervor the other night, when he followed the YES Network on Instagram, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports noted.  The YES Network is the Yankees-owned regional sports network.   After a significant buzz, Machado then unfollowed YES on Instagram.


Does it mean anything? We will find out.