The Phillies might be in on Machado and Harper. Other big contracts of the like have been signed in recent years. Some have worked out and some haven’t.
There is no secret the Phillies are going to be in on one or both of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper this offseason. They are the two biggest names in a free agency class stacked with talented players. They are both still in their 20s with plenty of prime seasons still left in them, a rarity in baseball free agency.
Last offseason, we saw teams hesitant to give out big deals to aging players, making the hot stove look like a glacier. The Phillies signing Carlos Santana was one of the few deals handed out early on during the free agency process. Many players, including Jake Arrieta, didn’t even sign until spring training began.
This year will be far different with the likes of Machado, Harper, and plenty of other young, talented free agents on the market. They will command massive, likely record-setting contracts from whatever team they sign with. The Phillies certainly have the money necessary to sign one of these deals.
To get a better sense of the history of large contracts signed by hitters, let’s perform a case study of previous $200 million-plus contracts signed by hitters.