While the Phillies stand as the "clear-cut favorite" to sign Harper, the Chicago White Sox are the latest to engage with Machado, as they have offered him an eight-year contract, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Despite the offer, the Phillies are said to be "still engaged."
Update from USA Today's Bob Nightengale, 1/14: "The Chicago White Sox who made their 7-year offer to Manny Machado nearly two weeks ago, have not revised their offer as of this morning. So far, still have not budged in their stance."
Passan writes that the Phillies, as anticipated, "could serve as the fulcrum for where two of the most talented free agents in a generation wind up."
Philadelphia remains in the hunt for Machado, a 26-year-old shortstop/third baseman, and along with the White Sox they've been told a third team is involved, according to sources. The White Sox have shown significant interest in Harper -- they met him in Las Vegas, his hometown, before the new year -- as well as Machado. ...
The slow-developing markets for Harper and Machado aren't necessarily indicative of teams' willingness to reach the $300 million threshold seen as a starting point for both players.
Earlier on Sunday, Nightengale reported earlier in the day that the White Sox, who are reluctant to go to 10 years, offered Machado a deal "for about $200 million." Thus, the average annual value of Chicago's proposed offer would be $25 million.
All eyes are now on the Phillies to make a move, with the Philadelphia Eagles' season ending in New Orleans on Sunday. Spring training will arrive sooner than we all think, and the Phillies surely would like the bulk of their roster finalized before then.