Phillies rumors: Executive says they will sign Harper or Machado

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BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: Yan Gomes #7 of the Cleveland Indians is out at second base on a fielder's choice as Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles is unable to turn the double play in the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 22, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: Yan Gomes #7 of the Cleveland Indians is out at second base on a fielder's choice as Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles is unable to turn the double play in the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 22, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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One MLB executive told Robert Murray of FanRag Sports that the Phillies will sign one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado this offseason.

The Phillies have more than enough money to go out and spend big in next year’s free agency class, even after being among the biggest spenders last offseason. They have a chance to add even more talent to their roster after signing Jake Arrieta, Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek, and Tommy Hunter.

The two big names in free agency will be Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Philadelphia has been named as a landing spot for both players since discussions of this free-agent class started several years ago. With the club inching closer to playoff contention, signing one of these two certainly makes sense.

Robert Murray of FanRag Sports expects Philadelphia to go big in free agency, and one MLB executive agrees:

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"Machado and Harper are the big fish in this free agent crop and I’m going to go on record right now: One of those two players will be playing in Philadelphia next season.“They’ll get one,” one baseball executive opined.The fit, financial flexibility, the opportunity to play in one of the best cities to play sports — joining a strong core of young talent. Having Carson Wentz, Joel Embiid and one of Harper/Machado as the faces of your three major sports teams seems ideal. By the beginning of 2019, it’s possible."

From the outside looking in, many who watch MLB have believed that Harper and/or Machado will be major targets for the team. It appears those in the league also are confident one of the two will wind up in Philadelphia.

With the Phils off to a tremendous start to the season at 14-7, the third-best record in the National League, they are showing signs that they are ready to contend in the near future. Adding one of Harper or Machado would be the icing on the cake of getting them into the conversation as legitimate playoff contenders.

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Harper and Machado have both started off the season on fire. Harper currently leads the National League with eight home runs and 29 walks. He has 19 runs batted in and a .268/.462/.620 line in 23 games so far. Harper has been carrying an 11-12 Nationals team decimated by injury.

Machado currently leads the league with a 218 OPS+ and 63 total bases.

He has a lofty .360/.447/.708 line with eight home runs of his own as well as 17 runs batted in. The Orioles have been an atrocious 6-17 this year, but Machado has not been the reason why.

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It’s hard to say who the team would prefer between Machado and Harper. Both have their talents and would easily become the best player on the team. It may simply wind up being a matter of who they can lure to town over other teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants.

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