Ah. Well. If this is true, I think it might still be a while before we see one of the two big dogs sign.
Per Ken Rosenthal, despite the slow market and the perception of fundamental changes in both the eagerness of the suitors and the available dollars for free agents, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are sticking to their guns: “Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, and Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, both are believed to be seeking at least $300 million.”
We know that Harper rejected a ten-year, $300 million offer from the Nationals back in September (deferrals and opt-outs and bonuses and what-have-you unknown), but it feels like teams have been reluctant since then to approach that figure in their offers. It’s certainly possible it is happening behind the scenes, but with the largest reported offer to Machado being right around or under $200 million, it sure seems like there’s quite a gulf between the offers and the desires.
If that’s the case, then no JT Realmuto trade is going to move the needle on getting teams or these free agents to blink. It still seems so difficult to imagine either Harper or Machado settling for a one-year deal and trying again next year, but it’s also hard to see what is going to cause things to break and change.
Spring Training starts in under a week. I just hope, for baseball’s sake, that the gap between these free agents’ requests and the teams’ offers isn’t really as enormous as it seems.