In approximately five weeks spring training camps will open across Arizona and Florida as the 30 MLB teams begin to prepare for the 2019 season. Baseball feels so close and yet so far.

At the moment 23 of our top 50 free agents remain unsigned, including our No. 1 and No. 2 free agents, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Rumors about the two 26-year-old mega-talents have been swirling for weeks. Especially so with Machado.

It now appears their timetables for making a decision are coming into focus. According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score, Machado is expected to make a decision "within a week." From Levine:

Machado is expected to make a decision within a week, sources said, as all three of the aforementioned teams have made bids and would like an answers soon. There may be a fourth, unknown team in the Machado bidding, agent sources said. 

Machado visited the White Sox, Phillies, and Yankees in December and those three clubs are his most serious suitors. While it is always possible, it does seem unlikely that a #MysteryTeam will jump into the mix for Machado.

Given the sheer volume of rumors, it has been expected Machado would sign before Harper pretty much all offseason. He's been more active visiting teams and, frankly, teams seem to be pursuing Machado more aggressively. Harper's market has been oddly quiet. It is not surprising then that's Jon Morosi said he expects Harper to drag his decision into February:

It certainly would not be unprecedented for Scott Boras to wait until February to find a new home for one of his top free agents. Last offseason Eric Hosmer (Feb. 17) and J.D. Martinez (Feb. 19) didn't sign until February. Jake Arrieta didn't sign until March 11. Even in previous years, top Boras clients like Chris Davis (Jan. 16), Max Scherzer (Jan. 19), and Prince Fielder (Jan. 26) did not sign until relatively late in the offseason.

Waiting out the market is what Boras does and it was always likely he would do the same with Harper. He'll wait until Machado signs and sets the market, then pursue a deal for Harper. The White Sox and Phillies are expected to pivot to Harper should they miss out on Machado, and of course the Nationals would like to bring him back as well. (The Yankees haven't been tied to Harper much at all this winter.)

It feels like the entire offseason is being held up by at least Machado. Once Machado signs, teams will either shift their focus to Harper, or they'll shift their focus to other free agents like Dallas Keuchel, A.J. Pollock, and Craig Kimbrel. I'm not sure if that's true -- remember when we all thought the free agent market would heat up once Shohei Ohtani signed and Giancarlo Stanton got traded last winter? -- but it could happen.

For now, Machado and Harper are certainly in no rush to make a decision, and hey, who can blame them? This is a huge, life-changing choice and spring training is still more than a month away. Reports indicate Machado will sign next week and Harper waiting until February was always a possibility. We're getting closer to decisions being made. Consider these situations ... developing!