Neither Bryce Harper nor Manny Machado reportedly likes the idea of coming to play for the Phillies, instead preferring other destinations.
The pursuits of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have reached an impasse during the holiday season. Machado concluded his free-agent tour with the Phillies last week, but his decision likely won’t come until the new year. At this point, all that’s left to wonder is where the two superstars will inevitably sign.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post offered up some insight into the hunt, stating that the two may opt for shorter deals with higher average annual values. Both of these options would be more friendly to the Yankees and Dodgers, the other main contenders to land Machado and Harper.
In addition to giving the two another shot at free agency around the time they turn 30, Sherman provided another reason why they may prefer the short-term options in New York or Los Angeles:
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Word is neither player particularly likes Philadelphia and both would have preferred the Yankees, who have shown little interest in Harper.
Now, before you crucify the front office on sports radio, understand the context surrounding this quote from Sherman. Since free agency began the working theory has been that the two, especially Machado, would prefer to play for the Yankees. They had the better team last year and access to the biggest market in the world. It has already been reported that if the offers were close enough, Machado would sign with the Yankees.
Not to mention, the Yankees have already removed themselves from the Harper hunt.
Their outfield already is stacked enough with one of those outfielders (Giancarlo Stanton) holding another massive contract. While Harper likes the idea of playing there, he just doesn’t quite fit.
The whole reason Philadelphia is part of this conversation in the first place is their gaping hole at both positions and the gobs of money they have available. Money and term remain the driving factors in both of their decisions, both of which the Phils hold the advantage in. If they have to outspend the other teams to convince these stars to play here, so be it.
While it is unlikely Philadelphia was the top destination for either player coming into the offseason, getting the most money is ultimately what they are shooting for, which they will be able to get here.