We might finally get one of the top free agents off the board by the end of tonight, as talks surrounding Bryce Harper are "intensified," per Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman.
The Mets' NL East rival Phillies are the favorite here, and former Marlins president David P. Samson is hearing that their offer to the 26-year-old is worth $310 million over 10 years.
If that is the case, Harper and his agent Scott Boras would get their desired $300 million, long-term deal. However, it doesn't top Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal he signed with the Marlins back in 2015.
The Phillies said they were going to spend "stupid money" this offseason, and that deal would certainly do it to go along with their other signees like Jean Segura, David Robertson, and Andrew McCutchen.
Also, if Harper signs with Philadelphia, that likely takes them out of the running for Harper's free-agent counterpart in Manny Machado. SNY's Andy Martino noted Machado could sign somewhere very soon if the deal does get confirmed. The White Sox and Padres are the top destinations in his eyes.
The Mets were never in on the Harper sweepstakes, as COO Jeff Wilpon said last month "we do have $29 million outfielder on the roster" in Yoenis Cespedes. He also pointed out having two lefty outfielders, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, and the Mets are comfortable transitioning Jeff McNeil from infield to outfield this spring.
Harper staying in the division would make it harder than it already was after each team (except the Marlins) made improvements to their clubhouse. A six-time All-Star, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 homers and 100 RBI with the Nationals in 2018.