The Philadelphia Phillies plan to go after Anthony Rendon and are willing to exceed the luxury-tax line in order to sign the free-agent third baseman, sources told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
If the Phillies don't land the All-Star, the team will try to add free-agent Josh Donaldson as a potential contingency plan to fill their need at third base, according to Nightengale.
Rendon has yet to meet with the Phillies, Nightengale added.
Signing the likes of Rendon or Donaldson would push the Phillies over MLB's luxury-tax threshold. The team would subsequently be forced to pay a 20% penalty on its payroll above $208 million.
Philadelphia's total tax allocations for the 2020 season currently sit at over $196 million, according to Spotrac.
Rendon reportedly rejected an offer in the $210-million range in September from his former team, the Washington Nationals. The 29-year-old finished third in NL MVP voting in 2019.
Donaldson, 33, will likely land a lucrative multi-year contract after winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award. The former 2015 AL MVP posted a .900 OPS with 37 home runs while playing for the Atlanta Braves last season.
Both players are tied to draft-pick compensation after rejecting qualifying offers.
The Phillies already reportedly agreed to a five-year, $118-million deal with starting pitcher Zack Wheeler this offseason. The club made several prominent moves last winter, which was highlighted by the signing of outfielder Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330-million pact.