Bryce Harper is almost certain to earn a record-setting deal this coming summer, but the question remains about which franchise the right-fielder will choose this offseason. The 26-year-old is the No.1 free agent at the moment and is being courted by numerous teams, with reports suggesting the player and his representative Scott Boras have held plenty of meetings before, during and since the winter meetings.

The Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the Washington Nationals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees are all known admirers of Harper and have held meetings with the player. But MLB insider John Heyman revealed there was one other mystery owner who also held a meeting with the right-fielder.

Harper’s camp were said to be looking for a deal north of $300 million and they seemed certain of landing it as they turned down a 10-year $300 million deal from the Nationals last season. The Phillies were interested in signing the free agent and admitted they could spend almost a ‘stupid amount’ of money to land their preferred targets this off-season.

Bryce Harper Bryce Harper is still wanted by the Los Angeles Dodgers but for less than his demanded $300M+ contract. In this picture, Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs out a ninth inning double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, Sept. 30, 2018. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Nationals were also said to be interested and Heyman believed they could still come back with a better offer before the bidding war for Harper concludes. However, the Dodgers were said to be still in the race as well, but according to the MLB insider, they were unwilling to match the player’s demands and wanted him for less than $300 million.

The Dodgers denied they sent NBA legend and minority owner Magic Johnson to Las Vegas to meet with Harper, but were said to have held more than one meeting in order to convince the right-fielder to sign with the Los Angeles franchise.

Heyman reported the Harper saga was likely to continue well into 2019 and reports indicated the bidding war could intensify after Manny Machado — the second most sought after free agent this offseason — makes a decision on his next destination.

The MLB insider believed the Machado deal was a little easier to predict than the Harper saga, as it was mainly three teams battling for his signature. The shortstop/third baseman has been on a three-city tour this week meeting with interested franchises before making a decision on his future.

Machado met with the Chicago White Sox on Monday before travelling to New York on Wednesday to meet with the Yankees. He then traveled to Philadelphia to meet with the Phillies on Thursday.

The shortstop was also hoping to land a contract in the region of $300 million, but it remained to be seen which of the three teams makes him the best offer. Heyman believed the Yankees were the favorite to sign Machado and would be hoping to do so for less than the proposed $300 million.

An unnamed MLB executive was quoted as saying that Machado would end up in New York, while revealing that the Boston Red Sox were also on his wish list while assessing his future.

“I think he ends up in New York,” a rival MLB executive said, as quoted on Fancred Sports. “He wanted to be with the Yankees or Red Sox. We’ve known that for a while. And it’s not going to be Boston.”