Padres among serious Manny, Bryce bidders

February 18th, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's crunch time in the race to sign two of baseball's most prominent free agents in recent memory. The Padres appear ready to make their move.
San Diego's efforts to make the third baseman of the future have produced a "substantial" contract offer, sources said Sunday night. There's a belief it's the largest offer on the table for the 26-year-old slugger -- and unlikely to be topped.
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The Padres are still in on , too, and MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman noted the Padres have made a "serious offer" on the superstar outfielder.

The specific dollar amount for either offer remains a mystery. Heyman tweeted his belief that Machado's offer sits around eight years and $250 million -- and that Harper's offer is even higher than that.
San Diego is in dire need of a middle-of-the-order bat, and both players would provide that kind of thump. Machado batted .297/.367/.538 with 37 homers last season. Harper posted a .249/.393/.496 slash line with 34 dingers. The Padres haven't had a hitter with 30-plus homers and a .900 OPS since in 2010.

Offensively, the Padres' lineup of the future actually seems pretty stable, save for one position -- third base. On paper, Machado seems to be a perfect fit for a long-term infield that could feature at first, prospect at second, top prospect at short and a four-time All-Star at third.
Harper's fit isn't so clean in a crowded corner-outfield mix that already features , , and . But he's Bryce Harper -- a 26-year-old potential franchise cornerstone. If they need to deal from their glut of outfielders, the Padres are prepared to do so.