The Bryce Harper merry-go-round continues to spin with multiple franchises hoping to be the front of the queue when the right-fielder makes his decision, which as previously reported could stretch into February.

The 26-year-old has been the most sought-after free agent during this offseason with numerous franchises holding meetings with Harper and his representative Scott Boras before, during and after the winter meetings.

It was initially believed that the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox were the front-runners as they have the financial capability to entertain Harper’s demands, which are said to be a contract worth $300 million over 10-years.

Phillies owner John Middleton revealed earlier in the offseason that his team could spend a stupid amount of money to land their primary targets – Harper and Manny Machado, but it still remains unclear if either player wants to move to Philadelphia.

Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper is wanted by the Dodgers, Nationals, White Sox and the Phillies among others. In this picture, Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals on base in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, Sept. 18, 2018. Mark Brown/Getty Images

The White Sox also have the capabilities of signing the right-fielder, but initial reports about their willingness to offer the 10-year deal were shot down with Bruce Levine revealing that their best offer is going to be a seven-year contract.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are also said to be not interested in meeting the player’s demands and are only willing to offer a short-term deal with probably a more lucrative annual average package. And Boras, who will have a major influence on where Harper signs, could keep him away from Los Angeles, according to Dodgers Nation.

Harper’s former team the Washington Nationals were initially thought to be out of the race after the right-fielder reportedly rejected their offer of a 10-year $300 million deal. But latest indications from MLB Insiders suggest that they are now the favorites after having made another offer which is more than the initial $300 million.

The Washington franchise for whom Harper played from 2012 to 2018 are now said to be the favorites to land the right-fielder with the Phillies currently in second spot. The latter do not have any long-term financial commitments at the moment and can outbid any of their rivals – but it will also depend on if the player is keen on moving to Philadelphia, and reports indicate that Harper is not very keen.

However, according to New York Post’s Joel Sherman, Harper’s agent Boras could bring back the Dodgers and the White Sox into the running by looking to setup the right-fielder’s deal similar to the one he worked out for his other client Yusei Kikuchi with the Seattle Mariners.

“He has a three-year, $43 million deal ($14.3 million annually). After the 2021 season, the Mariners can institute a four-year, $66 million extension. If Seattle refuses to do so, Kikuchi can either trigger a $13 million 2022 option or declare free agency,” Sherman wrote. “Thus, his deal could be the three years at $43 million, has a guarantee of no less than four years at $56 million if Kikuchi picks up his option and could max out at seven years at $109 million if the Mariners pick up the four-year option phase.”

Similarly, one of Dodgers or the White Sox, who at the moment do not seem keen to offer Harper the 10-year deal he desires could begin with a short-term offer for a record annual value and then decide if they want to exercise their option to make it a long-term deal, while it also gives the player an option to enter free agency again before entering the latter stages of his career.