Now that Manny Machado has made his decision in MLB free agency, the bidding war for the offseason’s other major star appears to be coming to a close. Former Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is expected to sign a huge deal in the near future, and several media reports indicate it will most likely be with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies, perhaps motivated by Machado signing with the San Diego Padres, seem to have stepped up their efforts to bring in the 26-year-old slugger. Phillies owner John Middleton flew into Las Vegas on Friday night to meet with Harper, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.

However, even though the two met in Harper’s hometown on Friday night, they did not sign a deal. Passan also reported that it was more of a casual meetup.

Even though Harper did put pen to paper on Friday night, many in the major leagues expect the Phillies to land Harper, barring any serious complications. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale said it was a virtual certainty, with the size of the contract being the only major question left. The Philadelpia Inquirer also reported the Phillies were confident about signing Harper.

Harper reportedly wants more than the massive 13-year, $325 million deal Giancarlo Stanton signed in 2014. For comparison’s sake, Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres. The presence of Stanton, interestingly, could be one of the reasons why the Yankees were not serious contenders to land Harper.

Aside from the Phillies, the San Francisco Giants seem to be the last major competitor for Harper’s services. The problem is that the Giants apparently are only willing to sign Harper to a big-money deal on a short-term basis, rather than the lengthy contract he desires, according to

For now, it seems the Giants have fallen behind the Phillies in the Harper race.

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Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated in the dugout after scoring a seventh inning run against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 29, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Dustin Bradford/Getty Images