Report: Phillies could try to sign both Bryce Harper, Manny Machado
The Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams that are trying to trade for Manny Machado as the July 31 deadline nears, and they will likely try to sign the star shortstop this winter even if they can’t acquire him sooner. Believe it or not, signing Machado to a long-term deal may not even be the biggest move the Phillies hope to make this offseason.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Phillies owner John Middleton is willing to be extremely aggressive in pushing to get his team back to the playoffs, and that means making a run at Machado and Bryce Harper. That’s right — both.
Owner John Middleton has emerged as a driving force in Philly. He's very aggressive and has no reservations about spending money. This is hard to fathom, but I've talked to people who think he might try to sign both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as free agents this winter. https://t.co/kT9jzpul9M
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 15, 2018
The Phillies look like one of the finalists to trade for Machado, though at least one other team may be motivated to beat them out. Any team that trades for Machado would probably be relatively confident in signing him long-term, so waiting for free agency would be risky for Philly.
Harper is actually having a rough year at the plate with a career-worst .214 batting average and has had some questions come up about his effort recently, but his power numbers remain strong and both he Machado will be two of the highest-paid free agents in MLB history. Signing both seems unfathomable, but the Phillies are in first in the NL East this season and are apparently serious about ending their six-year playoff drought.