After beginning the offseason with the expectation they would acquire one of Harper or Manny Machado, the Phillies now feel confident they will sign Harper and have ramped up their negotiations with the 26-year-old, a source told Matt Breen of the Philly Inquirer.
Philadelphia has been motivated to sign the outfielder after losing out on Machado, according to Breen. The prized infielder's 10-year, $300-million deal with the San Diego Padres became official on Thursday, a contract Harper is apparently looking to exceed.
Harper has been linked to several other teams this offseason, including the Padres, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, and San Francisco Giants. The Giants are believed to be the Phillies' biggest competitor for the six-time All-Star, but they only appear interested in offering Harper a lucrative short-term deal.
The White Sox are apparently out of the Harper sweepstakes, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, while the Padres' interest in the slugger is unclear after recently signing Machado. It also doesn't look like Harper will reunite with the Nationals, as Washington reportedly has no plans to give him a deal similar to Machado's.
If the Phillies were to sign Harper, it would be the cherry on top of an impressive offseason. Philadelphia has already signed Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson, while trading for Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto.