The Philadelphia Phillies are not taking any chances in the Bryce Harper race and are said to have ramped up negotiations with the player and his agent Scott Boras after seeing Manny Machado – also one of their targets – sign with the San Diego Padres on a record $300 million deal over 10 years.

The Phillies were pursuing both the players and with one already out of their reach, the franchise is keen to ensure they do not miss out on the other player. Harper is said to have turned down multiple offers over $300 million this winter, and is said to be looking for a deal north of $325 million, which is the current record held by Giancarlo Stanton when he signed a 13-year deal with the Miami Marlins in 2014.

The 26-year-old outfielder had plenty of suitors on his trail but that seems to be dwindling after Machado’s record deal, with many teams unwilling to offer the same terms — a $300 million guarantee over 10 years.

The Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals are said to have backed out of the bidding war after indicating they were unwilling to match the offer. The former had made an incentivized offer to Machado worth $320 million, but the guaranteed fee was said to be much lower.

Similarly, the Nationals had also made a $300 million offer to Harper before he entered free agency in 2018, but $100 million of that offer was said to be deferred payment, which drastically reduces the overall value of the deal. Despite their interest in the player, it is now claimed they will not match the offer Padres gave Machado to sign their former player.

Bryce Harper
The Phillies have stepped up their efforts to ensure they sign Bryce Harper. In this picture, Harper of the Washington Nationals and National League celebrates with the trophy after winning the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Jul. 16, 2018. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

That leaves recent entrants San Francisco Giants and the Phillies as the main pursuers of Harper, but the former are yet to agree to a long-term commitment. Multiple reports said they were only willing to offer a lucrative short-term deal. The six-time All-Star is not interested, especially after seeing Machado receive an offer meeting his demands.

Phillies are the only team currently willing to offer a long-term deal, but they will have to match the player’s demands of a record-setting contract. And they are said to be considering it as they are wary of public perception if they fail to land both their main targets this offseason.

“Scott Boras, Harper's agent, is set on getting his client a bigger deal than the one Machado got. The Phillies are well aware, and they will be much more reluctant this time to walk away, knowing what the public perception will be if they end the offseason without either free agent,”’s Matt Breen reported.

However, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, there was one more team active in the Harper sweepstakes — the Padres. Many expected the San Diego franchise to shut shop after acquiring Machado, but they are said to be pondering a move for the outfielder as well.

The Padres management is expected to meet Friday to discuss the possibility of signing Harper and it remains highly unlikely they will fork out north of $300 million for the second time in a week. There are other insiders claiming they have pulled out of the race for the outfielder and this could be a ploy by Boras to keep the bidding war alive for his client.