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Consider this the second in a two-part series that started with last week’s plea to the Yankees to end the charade and sign Bryce Harper already.

Pitchers and catchers are already reporting for spring training in Florida and Arizona, and 29 of 30 clubs will be holding workouts by Thursday. And yet Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned in an offseason that most expected would be a free-agent feeding frenzy and has instead turned into a long meditation on the unintended effects of compounding luxury-tax penalties.

The Phillies’ circumstances are quite a bit different than the Yankees’ are: They didn’t just watch their hated rival win the World Series, no team official called them a “fully operational…

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