One MLB GM predicts Bryce Harper signs with rival Phillies in free agency

Nationals outfielder and pending free agent Bryce Harper was always going to get paid. He's a 25-year-old superstar who's already racked up 180 career home runs, an MVP award, and more than 25 WAR. His hot streak in the second half -- .352/.448/.682 since the break -- has only reinforced the obvious. 

Speaking of which, FanCred's Jon Heyman has a nice overview of the current markets for Harper and fellow coveted young free-agent-to-be Manny Machado. The entire piece is worth your while, and let's highlight one tantalizing quote from a highly placed exec ... 

"I think Harper winds up with the Phillies," one rival GM predicted.

The Phillies are almost certainly interested in Harper and Machado, and it wasn't so long ago that they were linked to Machado via trade rumors. As for Harper, he's certainly a fit in Philly. 

First off, the Phillies have substantial resources and not much in the way of long-term payroll commitments. For 2019, the Phillies have less than $70 million committed to guaranteed contracts, which leaves plenty of room in the budget, even for what's likely to be the largest contract in MLB history. As well, they need help on offense. Despite being in the thick of the NL playoff race, the Phillies right now rank just 11th in the NL in runs scored. Needless to say, a player of Harper's talents would address that shortfall in a big way. 

It's of course far too early to get an accurate reading of the market for Harper. However, the Phillies certainly pass the sniff test, and at least one person in position to make a highly educated guess likes their chances. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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