Machado-to-Yankees, Harper-to-Phillies remain the safest bets of the Hot Stove season

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 10: Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles talk during their game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 10: Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles talk during their game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

If you're thinking of ways for the Red Sox to sign Bryce Harper, it's probably a waste of time.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale weighed in on Wednesday with the latest Hot Stove rumors regarding baseball's top free agents. He believes that the Philadelphia Phillies remain the most likely suitor for Harper's services, mainly because they're the only team willing to offer him upwards of $400 million. ESPN's Buster Olney had previously tweeted that there's no chance Harper would end up with the Yankees.

Nightengale added, however, that Manny Machado wants to go to the Yanks and that the Bronx Bombers are focusing on him in free agency. Like the Red Sox, the Yankees have a pretty good situation in right field with Aaron Judge, just as Mookie Betts is patrolling right field at Fenway.

The Red Sox have enough to worry about with retaining Betts, and perhaps other stars. It sounds like Harper isn't on their radar. They'd have to trade Jackie Bradley Jr. just to make room for him, which should be a fine trade-off for anyone who's watched Harper play. It just doesn't appear likely.

But with Harper probably signing in Philadelphia, the real concern is what's going to happen in New York.

The Yankees are about to reload big-time, one way or another. Machado is likely to end up in pinstripes, at a minimum. So it'll be interesting to see how Dave Dombrowski approaches this offseason, with needs of his own to fill in Boston.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].