Matt Klentak: “Very unlikely” Phillies sign both star free agents
In a radio interview Wednesday, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak reiterated the unlikeliness of the club signing both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
When Matt Klentak appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic Wednesday, the Phillies‘ pursuit of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado was obviously the main point of discussion. One of the key takeaways from the conversation was confirmation that the club is likely only signing one of the two star free agents.
Klentak said that is “very unlikely” that both players sign here, although he mentioned it is not impossible. He cited the fact that the team still needs to be able to build a roster and managing payrolls for future years. Klentak made sure to state that it has nothing to do with wanting the player or not.
This quote confirms what has already been reported about the club. Matt Gelb of the Athletic reported earlier this month that the club only plans to sign one of the two, making it clear during negotiations.
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Klentak also dove into other aspects of the free agency process with Harper and Machado. He said that the meetings went well and that he felt like they “put a really strong foot forward” with their pitches and presentations.
Klentak did mention the fact that all these negotiations will come down to the money. The club is now in “ongoing dialogue” with each player’s agent (Dan Lozano for Machado and Scott Boras for Harper).
Klentak would neither confirm nor deny if they have extended an offer to either player as it wouldn’t benefit the team to disclose that.
Looking at the other moves the team has made this offseason, Klentak stated that he feels much better about the defense. He pointed out Rhys Hoskins moving back to first base and Andrew McCutchen replacing him in the outfield along with the trade for shortstop Jean Segura. Klentak said making the trade with Seattle for Segura early gave them more flexibility the rest of the offseason.