MLB rumors: Bryce Harper talks ‘heating up'; Phillies seen as favorites


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants will hold their first full-squad workout Monday, joining teams across Arizona and Florida. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned as camps really get going, but perhaps there finally will be some movement with one of the star free agents.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Sunday that “things are heating up with Harper.” Heyman also tweeted that the Phillies are the favorites to sign the slugger, but “word remains that nothing’s done yet. Will be a long-term deal.”

Heyman later added that Harper still is talking to other teams besides the Phillies -- the Giants and the Padres specifically are involved. Harper also has "multiple long-term offers" for more than $30 million per year, according to Heyman.

USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale surmised Philadelphia might have met Harper's asking price of over $300 million

The Phillies have been viewed as the favorites for Harper most of the offseason, especially after ownership vowed to spend “stupid” money early in the winter. But when the Giants jumped into the mix two weeks ago, many around the game viewed them as a choice on par with the Phillies.

If Harper is intent on a long-term deal, the Giants would be a poor fit. Under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, they don’t want to give out the kinds of contracts that have crippled their flexibility.

[RELATED: Giants continue discussing trade options as they wait for Harper]

When Zaidi took over, no team had more future payroll already tied up than the Giants. Team executives did not make an initial offer in their meeting with Harper earlier this month, but it's unknown if they have circled back.  

If the Harper talks are coming to an end, that would seem to be news to the Giants. A source said Sunday that they've heard nothing new on that front. 

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