Unfortunately, neither has lived up to the hype this year. The pair missed out on the All-Star Game, and media members have begun to worry that the less than stellar early return on their gargantuan contracts will harm future free agents and the MLB's Player Association.
Both of their contracts look like massive albatrosses right now. Harper ranks second in the NL in strikeouts and Machado has only recently begun to shake off the rust of a sluggish start. Neither player looks like the superstar their respective teams thought they were signing.
This, of course, spells danger for the future. Having watched these two underwhelm, teams may be hesitant to shell out big bucks for star players again, and perhaps be less inclined to offer lengthy deals such as the 10 or 13-year deals Machado and Harper inked respectively.
They'll leverage these contracts as examples of situations they don't want to lock themselves into, and the players' hands will be tied.
It also doesn't help things that teams have proven to be extremely conservative in free agency in recent years. Harper and Machado may have gotten their desired deals, but it took until Spring Training to get them.
Other stars like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel had to wait until the season was in full swing to sign with a team.
Free agency has been a major point of contention for quite some time now. Both parties feel unsatisfied with how things have gone in recent years.
These mega-deals have only served to exacerbate tensions between players and teams, and they very well could end up costing the players their deserved paydays.