With Manny Machado off the board, free-agent stage belongs to Bryce Harper

Baseball null Hello, Bryce Harper. The stage is now yours, completely. We are all focused on you. It was enlightening, watching the thought process of most baseball writers and fans play out live on Twitter from the moment ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news of Manny Machado’s deal with the Padres and ’s Mark Feinsand quickly followed up with the money numbers. Went something like this …  “Wait, the Padres?”“10 years, $300 million? Wow!”“So, how much is Harper going to get and where is he going to sign?”FOSTER: 10 questions inspired by Manny Machado's 10-year dealThat whole cascade took about 45 seconds. This offseason has always been about the Machado and Harper intrigue — how much money they would get (was the $300 million plateau realistic?) and which team would offer the best deal — so it only made sense that the instant reaction to Machado’s contract would be to think about Harper.The reaction would have been the same if Harper had signed first. And the fact that Machado got to the $300 million mark — remember when the rumors were that his offer(s) was well under $200 million? — only added to the intrigue. The bar has been set.Spring training has arrived, and actual games start in a few days. The number to beat — funny that Machado’s number and what the Nationals reportedly offered are exactly the same, eh? — is now pub[......]

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