The Philadelphia Phillies could finally be ready to spend "stupid money" this offseason -- and possibly beyond.
Fancred's Jon Heyman also reports that the Phillies are in excellent position to sign either Harper or Manny Machado and that regardless of who they sign this winter, they will make a play for Mike Trout in two years if he does not sign an extension with the Angels.
The latter possibility is down the road, though, and the Mets' objective is to build a contender for 2019. If Harper signs with the Phillies, it would eliminate the "nightmare scenario" of the lefty slugger and Machado playing for division rivals.
That's the good news. The bad news is if the Phillies add Harper, Keuchel and Kimbrel, it would still cause a major problem for the Mets' chances at winning the division next season.
Thus far, the Phillies' major moves have been trading for Jean Segura and signing David Robertson and Andrew McCutchen. Adding the other three free agents would mark a significant upgrade to their lineup, rotation, and bullpen.
While the Mets have been busy, too, acquiring Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie, the rest of the division is shaping up to still be a difficult challenge.
The Nationals have made some improvements to their roster, even without Harper, adding Patrick Corbin to their rotation and Yan Gomes and Brian Dozier to their lineup.
Then, there is the defending NL East-champion Braves, who have a young core led by NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr.
It was already going to be a tough division, and if the Phillies indeed spend "stupid money" like they promised, it is only going to be that much more difficult.