An offseason of waiting has reportedly come to an end for Manny Machado. One of the top two free agents on the market since the end of the 2018 season is reportedly heading to the San Diego Padres on a 10-year contract valued at $300 million. Could that mean we are one giant step closer to seeing Bryce Harper sign his name to the contract of his choosing?
Let’s freaking hope so.
There are Phillies fans who would have preferred the Phillies add Machado over Bryce Harper, but now with that scenario being off the table, it’s time for the Phillies to go all in on bringing the Harper sweepstakes to a close. Plenty of national baseball writers have continued to suggest the Phillies remain in the driver’s seat for Harper, although the Phillies beat has been a bit quieter on this ongoing offseason free agency watch with regard to Harper. Expect that to change pretty quickly, for better or worse.
Now that we know how much Machado got from the Padres, and knowing the Phillies seem to be the team most likely to be able to afford as high a price tag as Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, reportedly are seeking, we can start to see the pieces potentially coming together. If Machado got 10 years for $300 million, expect Boras to try milking out a contract that isn’t equivalent but slightly exceeds Machado’s deal.
The Phillies are still a better team today than they were at the end of the 2018 season. But with Machado off the market, the final pieces of the roster should start coming together quickly as Harper could potentially be the cherry on top of a solid offseason by Phillies general manager Matt Klentak.
For now, the waiting game continues.