The MLB offseason is always a struggle. The wait from October to February never gets any easier, but this offseason in particular has seemed especially grueling. This is because of the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sagas that seem like they will never end.
The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the most active teams this offseason. They’ve upgraded the shortstop position with the signing of Jean Segura. Philadelphia signed a veteran presence and former MVP in Andrew McCutchen to add talent to the outfield. Also, the Phillies got a proven closer in David Robertson to top the list. There is no denying the team has improved since last season.
With that being said, this is not holding back the Phillies of attempting the biggest splash of the 2019 offseason. Both Machado and Harper are still on the table, being as secretive and drawn out as they have since October. From the little that is known, however, Philadelphia still floats in both lists. So, let us see the progress and releasing of information since last discussed.
For one, we will start with the star shortstop. It really seemed that the Phillies were almost out of the equation entirely, and that the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees were in a final push for Machado. Especially after the pickup of Segura, which seemed like a sign that they would direct their attention towards Harper fully.
But all of the sudden, the Phillies added another point to their sales pitch with the signing of Bobby Dickerson as their infield coach. This coach was also known as the mentor to Machado in his upcoming through the Baltimore Orioles, who he still has close contact with.
Baseball really is like a game of chess, even in the offseason.
This move could either be the deciding factor toward Machado becoming a Phillie, or only a passive attempt to let him know he is still wanted in this city. Beside this move, the team has basically been watching their competition make their best attempts as well.
The Bronx volcano has been dormant lately, but as always shown by Brian Cashman, when he breaks his silence, the team will erupt in offers. Rick Hann, however, has made his intentions well known. He currently has an offer on the table for $175 million for seven years, which is nowhere near his desired price range. Unless the White Sox adjust a lot of in-house contracts to free cap space, it looks like their offer could result as a laughing stock of an attempt.
Savior in the outfield
Now for the Harper side of the saga, he seems much more promising to be in Citizen’s Bank Park come opening day. The best part of it all is: he should be making up his mind very soon.
After a five-hour meeting in Harper’s home town of Las Vegas, he made it clear that he would most likely have a decision by “the end of the week”. According to those who were apart of this meeting, it seemed that Harper “loves” the Phillies approach and personnel. This would go very differently than the Phillies meeting hosted for Machado. After the team has done basically everything in their power to convince the power house lefty, now they must patiently wait.
I sincerely hope this is the last speculation piece I will have to write on these two players, as in the near future we should be ready to see them put pen to paper and debut their new threads. If this is the end of the rumors, and it is finally time to report actual news instead, then it was a fun ride. But do not worry, because although this off season may be reaching its end, it is never too early to think of the offseason of 2020. Which, not to get ahead of myself, could include the Phillies making a push for Mike Trout. I will leave it at that for now.
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