The Philadelphia Phillies may have the most at stake when it comes to enticing major free agents to sign this offseason. The team has seemingly sunk a ton of its efforts into gaining the signatures of Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado. If you believe the latest reports on the Phillies’ pursuit of the two most prized free agents, then things aren’t looking good for the City of Brotherly Love.
Manny Machado Reportedly Isn’t Enthused About Playing in Philly
According to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Machado doesn’t “particularly like the Phillies.” Whether that’s a perception that could be swayed by a charismatic team advocate, or something more deep-rooted is anyone’s guess.
However, if true, the Phillies have staked the success of their entire offseason on signing a player who doesn’t hold the organization and/or city in high regard. Clearly, that’s an uphill battle.
Apparently, Bryce Harper Feels the Same Way
Machado isn’t the only one of the Phillies’ top talents that aren’t dying to take pictures next to the Liberty Bell or to reenact scenes from Rocky at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
According to Sherman, Harper also isn’t in love with the prospects of playing in Philly. Per Sherman, both Machado and Harper would prefer to be courted by the New York Yankees.
Harper has reportedly received almost no attention from the Bronx Bombers. Machado has been given a strong look, but the Yankees aren’t said to be inclined to give Machado or Harper the long-term deals they’re seeking.
The Fit in Philly
Machado has said, he wants to play shortstop again which could create a conflict in Philly, though only a small one. The Phillies just acquired shortstop Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners and the 28-year-old Dominican is coming off a strong season.
The Phillies probably wouldn’t allow a positional conflict between Machado and Segura to prevent them from inking the former, but with potential power threat Maikel Franco at third base and the solid Cesar Hernandez at second, you have to wonder what the team’s plans are for its infield.
If Machado really wants to play shortstop, it’s something he’s likely to get and that would probably mean moving Segura to second base, where he has played before, and Hernandez would go to the bench.
White Sox Waiting in the Wings
While the Phillies are attempting to woo Machado and Harper, the Chicago White Sox are quietly, but consistently being mentioned as a major suitor for both men.
The White Sox won’t have much of a conflict at Machado’s preferred position, and there is a reason to believe owner Jerry Reinsdorf will authorize the kind of spending necessary for the club to lure Machado and Harper.
Reinsdorf, who is the majority owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox has always openly favored the latter. He is 83 years old and has made it known he wants to win another world series in his lifetime.
Don’t underestimate that commitment to spending as it could be the deciding factor. Stay tuned.