This week is huge for the Philadelphia Phillies and their long-term goals. They are reportedly one of the three teams that superstar infielder Manny Machado will be visiting.
Machado’s name has been connected to the Phillies since the trade deadline back in July. Philadelphia reportedly prefers Machado over superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, who also has his own fair amount suitors.
While all the attention is on Machado and his respective visits, the Phillies have already met with Harper’s agent, Scott Boras at the Winter Meetings per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.
A couple of weeks ago, Heyman reported that Harper is “believed to be the Phillies’ top target.” It does not come as a surprise to see the Phils talk with Boras to see what his client’s price tag is.
Many folks around the league believe that both Harper and Machado will receive long-term contracts, which will exceed $300 million. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported last weekend that the Chicago White Sox would not overspend for either superstar player.
Along those same lines, Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said on Monday that they will not be “completely stupid” with their money.
“If you talked to John [Middleton], while he did say that we could be spending a little bit stupid, he also went to great lengths to say that one of those two signings were not going to be a prerequisite for a successful offseason,” MacPhail said (h/t MLB.com).
“You can have a very successful offseason and not include either one of those [players]. That may or may not be the case. But the way that it was portrayed put John in an awkward spot.”
MacPhail is correct in his thinking that one player will not make or break your offseason. But at the same time, it is rare to have two generational talents available on the free agent market.
As currently constructed, it seems like the Phillies would be better off signing Machado, rather Harper, since they just signed veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million last week.
However, The Atheltic reported that the signing of McCutchen would not stop Philadelphia from going after another outfielder (Harper) as they could trade either Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams.
If the Phillies do end up signing Harper, they will have a scary 1-2 combo in the middle of their lineup with power-hitting first baseman Rhys Hoskins. That being said, we are still a long way from both players making a career-altering decision and changing the landscape in baseball.