Contradicting reports that the Philadelphia Phillies continue to offer free agent superstar Bryce Harper more cash than any other team now competing for Harper's services, one former Major League general manager said on Thursday morning that -- according to his sources inside the MLB -- the Phillies have not made the highest offer to Harper. In fact, speaking on his MLB Network Sirius XM Radio show Thursday, per Twitter, onetime New York Mets GM Jim Duquette said that the Phillies offer may actually come in under the $300 million figure generally considered the low benchmark to sign Harper.
In addition, the Phillies have reportedly refused to budge on that offer to Harper, which would likely put them out of the running to ink the 26-year-old six-time All Star to a deal, Duquette said, per Crossing Broad.
"The Phillies have made their offer and it hasn't moved. Now they have a feeling that they're not as likely to get him, at least right now," Duquette said. "It's not the biggest offer from what I can tell."
In fact, Duquette claimed, the Phillies' offer to Harper is only in the "$270 million to $300 million" range. According to the former GM, "that's not going to get it done."
Earlier this month, another top name on the free agent market -- former Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado -- signed with the San Diego Padres for a contract said to be worth $300 million, as The Inquisitr reported. Most experts believe that Harper is not willing to accept a lower money deal than Machado received.
But Duquette's claim appeared to directly contradict another Thursday morning report, one by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, in which the veteran baseball reporter said that "the Phillies, considered the heavy favorites all winter, still have the highest offer on the table."
But Nightengale added that the Phillies may simply rank low on Harper's list for some reason — possibly a preference to play for a west coast club located much closer to his Henderson, Nevada, home. Or, as The Inquisitr reported, some rumors have claimed that Harper is not a fan of the heavily analytics-driven approach to in-game strategy taken by Phillies second-year Manager Gabe Kapler.
As The Inquisitr has also reported, one unconfirmed report by the Twitter account "MLB Insider" claimed on Tuesday that Harper had, in fact, already agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- in a deal to be announced to the public on Friday. But the accuracy of that report will not become clear until Friday comes and goes, either with or without an announcement from Harper.