Each winter, there are a handful of teams everyone is curious to follow. The Phillies were already one of those teams, as a surprising first half led them to be buyers at the non-waiver trade deadline before completely falling apart down the stretch.
Team owner John Middleton only added to Philly’s winter intrigue by saying the organization is ready to spend and “maybe be a little bit stupid about it.” With incredible talents like Harper and Machado on the open market, that has to be music to the ears of fans in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Phillies have enough financial flexibility and spending power to make more than one big splash. When specifically thinking about Harper, there isn’t a whole lot that needs to happen for him to have a spot on the roster.
Nick Williams and his 1.0 career fWAR through 223 big-league games is currently penciled in as the starting right fielder. The outfield alignment will potentially be shifting anyways if Philly can find a taker for Carlos Santana, which would enable Rhys Hoskins to move back to first base.
At this point in the winter, the question doesn’t appear to be if the Phillies will get Harper or Machado. It’s more like: which one will they get, and could they get both?