If you would rather the Phillies pursue Manny Machado over Bryce Harper, or vice versa, there may not be a need to choose favorites. Both camps could get what they want – at least some around the league are beginning to think so.
Longtime Major League Baseball insider Jon Heyman polled more than 10 rival executives as to whether Machado or Harper will land the bigger free-agent deal this winter. It's unclear which All-Star bat was awarded the better figurative payday, but the Phillies were the real winners here, anyway.
Machado-Harper may not be an either-or scenario for the Phillies, reports Heyman. Via Fancred Sports:
"The rival execs are convinced that the they could get both superstars, but that one or the other is almost a fait accompli," writes Heyman.
Heyman points to six reasons the Phillies are early favorites in the Machado and Harper sweepstakes, most of which won't come as news to fans. Essentially, the team has the money, wants to win and has shown interest in both players.
And yet, how many people realistically considered the possibility the Phillies could spend in the neighborhood of $800 million to sign two players this coming offseason?
Apparently, more than one front-office type has.
Signing Machado and Harper sounds like a pipe dream – though it might be more likely than Mike Trout winding up in a Phillies uniform.
Even if the Phillies don't wind up with both, which does seem like a longshot, the idea that one or the other might be "fait accompli" is reason enough for optimism. And just imagining a 2019 lineup with Machado and Harper should help fans slog through the dreary end of a lost season.