From a baseball perspective, bringing back Harper would round out the Nationals' outfield with Juan Soto and Adam Eaton while prospect Victor Robles would have more time to develop after a solid 2018 season.
Perhaps if NY whiffs on Machado, they'll enter the Harper sweepstakes.
An industry source told Levine that reports of the White Sox offering ten-plus years to Machado or Harper are "without any substance and flat out wrong". As one of this offseason's most coveted targets, Machado visited the Phillies and Yankees in addition to the White Sox last month.
The Manny Machado saga looks nearly certain to conclude before fellow in-demand free agent Bryce Harper's, after interested teams stepped up their pursuit three days into the New Year. The deal on the table was said to be a long-term contract, but worth around $200 million and not the $300 million offer the shortstop was targeting. I understand there are some warts with any free agent, and that's true with Harper and Machado, but it would be nuts to me if they wind up signing a seven-year deal, even at $30 million AAV.
Machado - who the team met with two weeks ago - remains Philadelphia's primary focus, according to Salisbury, although several teams have been linked to the superstar infielder, including the New York Yankees.
It's still unclear whether the Nationals' interest is still on the terms they discussed at the end of the season, or whether the team's priorities have changed.
Does that mean Harper gets 10-years $350?
The Nationals have made it clear they are still in the running to sign Harper and MLB.com's Jamal Collier claims that their $300 million deal over 10-years is the only offer on the table at the moment.
Meanwhile, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Nationals are not the only team pursuing Harper seriously.