Looking for the latest news and rumors on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado? Don’t worry. We have you covered. From now until both free agents make their decisions, we’ll be here every day, tracking every rumor and breaking down what it all means. Check back often for the latest.
Manuel Machado, the father of free agent Manny Machado, might know something we don’t know.
According to Hector Gomez of ZDeportes, Mr. Machado is dropping hints that his son could end up signing with a team that fans and reporters aren’t necessarily thinking about.
Manuel Machado, Manny’s Father:
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 18, 2019
Making matters worse for them is this report of two potential mystery teams from SNY’s Andy Martino.
Yep. Two as yet unidentifed teams in fact on Machado https://t.co/ymxZhuJELI
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 19, 2019
WHAT THIS MEANS: It means we’ve heard from everyone that’s close to or directly involved in the process except for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado themselves.
Machado’s father would seem to be as good a source as anyone. And the fact that two reporters are supporting the idea of mystery team(s) lends it even more credence. But we always have to be aware of agents and camps creating spin to better position their interests.
What we’ve probably really learned here is that we’re still a long ways from Machado making a decision, and that it’s possible he’s waiting for one or two teams in particular to get involved.
Jan 17: Could Phillies pair Mike Trout with Harper or Machado?
The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly dreaming big in regards to their future lineup, and those dreams extend well beyond this offseason.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, the Phillies are envisioning a future lineup that will include one of either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, to go along with Mike Trout.
Philadelphia began this offseason keeping Trout in mind. According to a baseball source with direct knowledge of their shopping plans, the Phillies have enough spending money to sign both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but would like to sign just one of them to leave room in the budget in case Trout reaches free agency in two years. In one dream scenario, the Phillies would field an all-MVP outfield in 2021: Trout, Harper and Andrew McCutchen.
Trout, who’s a New Jersey native and a Philadelphia Eagles fanatic, will be a free agent following the 2020 season.
WHAT THIS MEANS: We’re probably getting a little too far ahead of ourselves here, but given the lack of activity one can’t blame our minds for wandering.
A Harper signing would be the next step in building the aforementioned dream outfield that would also include Andrew McCutchen. One-third of that outfield is already in place after the team inked McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million contract this winter. As noted, Trout would come at least two years down the road. Though it’s possible the Phillies could test the trade waters in hopes of making this scenario a reality sooner than later.
If the Phillies have the money now to sign both Harper and Machado, then they should definitely be players for Trout. But the bigger question is will Trout even be available? It’s entirely possible he signs an extension with Los Angeles, which could leave the Phillies regretting not going harder after both Harper and Machado.
Aside from Trout’s availability, a lot can and probably will change over the next two years. The Phillies might find success without Trout, or discover they have bigger needs to address. The market landscape could change, which could lead more teams to getting involved on Trout. It’s even possible, though far from likely, that Trout’s value will decline.
Whatever the case, it is clear that Trout’s future availability is having a notable impact on Harper and Machado’s market.
Jan 16: Could Bryce Harper-Gabe Kapler bromance help the Phillies?
The days keep rolling by and there’s still no definite movement on a contract for either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But as the world waits for their decisions, FanCred’s Jon Heyman released a delectable nugget of information on Wednesday about Bryce Harper and Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, and what happened when they met in Las Vegas last week.
Word is, Harper and Kapler really hit it off during the Las Vegas meeting, which could be another factor in Phillies’ thinking. Easy to see that: both quite intense
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2019
They didn’t just become friends, they reportedly “really hit it off.” Is anyone else imagining them riding around Philadelphia on tandem bikes?
There was a little news on the Machado front as well, with ESPN’s Buster Olney reporting more details about the offer the Chicago White Sox made a few weeks ago.
The White Sox offer to Machado is for $175 million, over seven years. In some ways, their approach is like Boston's w/ J.D. Martinez last winter — the Red Sox offered $100 million and waited for two months. If CWS offer emerges as best, a big ? is: Would Machado/NYY re-engage?
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 16, 2019
WHAT THIS MEANS: If Heyman’s report is true, that’s good news for both the Phillies and Harper. As Heyman said, Kapler is an intense guy, but his managerial style isn’t for everyone. If Harper had been put off by Kapler’s intensity and his near-relentless focus on positivity, that could be the end of any interest he had in signing with Philadelphia. For the Phillies, they could be feeling much better about offering Harper a massive, multi-year contract if they saw their possible new star hit it off with their handpicked manager.
As for Machado, while we knew a seven (or eight) year deal had been offered by the White Sox, the figure of $175 million is new. If that’s indeed the highest offer Machado has received, it’s no wonder he hasn’t signed yet. It’s far below what he’s looking for, and with an annual value of just over $21 million a year, it’s an offer that nearly every single MLB team could beat. Now we just have to wait and see of one will.
Jan. 15: Phillies still in on Harper and Machado, but won’t sign both
The Philadelphia Phillies remain the most fascinating team in the sweepstakes for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado because they’ve said they’re going to spend “stupid money” this offseason and, as far as we know, are in on both Machado and Harper.
But now there’s this: They’re making it clear they won’t sign Machado and Harper.
That’s from The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, who dug into the Phillies’ ongoing dance with baseball’s two biggest free agents. He says the Phils prefer Machado and they’re confident they’ll get one of them, but they’re not trying to get both. Gelb writes:
The Phillies are believed to prefer Machado over Harper because he is an elite hitter and defender, but conflicting information has spread from team to team and agent to agent. That, of course, is by design. The Phillies do not benefit from broadcasting their preference. League sources insisted the Phillies have made this much clear during negotiations: They will not sign both players.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Phillies remain in the best place — lots of money, lots of use for a top-flight free agent and an improving young team to build around. They’re a good destination for either Harper or Machado, and while Phillies fans might have held a sliver of hope that both would end up with them, that was never too realistic of a dream. Stupid money is one thing — spending close to $600 million on both Machado and Harper would require many more adjectives. Still, it remains a pretty good bet that one of these guys will be playing in Philly next year.
Jan. 13: White Sox reportedly offer Machado eight years
The Chicago White Sox have offered Manny Machado an eight-year deal, while the prized free agent remains engaged with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to a Sunday report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Passan also reports that the Phillies remain focused on Bryce Harper, which jibes with earlier reports that his weekend visit with the team in Las Vegas has changed the tides of baseball’s biggest offseason story.
The meeting appears to have shifted the landscape of both Harper and Machado’s free agency, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
Earlier Sunday, Nightengale reported that optimism is high following the Saturday meeting that included Harper, his wife Kayla, his agent Scott Boras and other members of his representation. Zolecki dove a little deeper, reporting that the meeting in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas went so well, the Phillies’ primary focus may have shifted from signing Manny Machado to signing Harper.
Two sources told MLB.com on Sunday that the Phillies’ presentation and meeting went well. So well, in fact, that the Phillies might be shifting their focus from Manny Machado to Harper, although it is unknown if the club made a formal contract offer to Harper before leaving town. The Phillies’ contingent consisted of managing partner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak, manager Gabe Kapler and assistant general manager Ned Rice. The same group, plus others, made a similar pitch to Machado late last month at Citizens Bank Park.
While USA Today paints the Phillies as the favorites to land Harper, ESPN maintains that the Nationals “remain a possible landing spot” for the outfielder.
WHAT THIS MEANS: The reported five-hour meeting has thrown another wrench into what we thought we knew about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado’s free agency.
Entering the weekend, the Washington Nationals were the apparent favorites to retain Harper, while the Phillies and Chicago White Sox were leading the Machado chase. If Harper’s weekend meeting really had the impact on Philadelphia that’s been reported, then Machado’s market may be played out, while Harper’s could be on the verge of blossoming again.
As always, we have to be aware of certain Hot Stove caveats. This could be just a case of who spoke to who last. Or it could be more jockeying for position. Or it could be something that’s true today and forgotten by tomorrow. The situation remains fluid, and probably won’t be truly settled until there’s ink on paper.
Jan 12: Bryce Harper leaves meeting with Phillies without a contract
Bryce Harper met with the Phillies on Saturday for the first time since he faced them at Citizens Bank Park in September, and although he didn’t come away with a contract, Philadelphia remains confident. According to a report from Philly.com’s Matt Breen, the Phillies believe they will have the largest contract offers for Harper and Manny Machado.
With Harper reportedly wanting to play for the Dodgers and Machado potentially interested in playing alongside his brother-in-law and workout buddy with the White Sox, it’s certainly possible that the Phillies will not wind up with both players. But given owner John Middleton’s willingness to spend “stupid” money, it seems unlikely they would whiff on both if they do indeed have the largest offers.
WHAT THIS MEANS: As the Nationals look like they’re back in the running for Harper and mystery teams enter the fray for Machado, it’s important to remember the Phillies have plenty of money to swing around and plenty of incentive to land a superstar this offseason.
The Phillies seem to prefer Machado on their team, but a flirtation with Harper carries the added benefit of putting pressure on the Nationals to prevent him from leaving for a division rival. The free agent market might be glacially slow right now, but the Phillies remain serious contenders for both players and probably this offseason’s most intriguing team as far as spending potential goes.
Jan 11: Is a mystery team in on Machado?
The Manny Machado sweepstakes has taken a couple interesting turns over the last few hours.
Early on Friday, the New York Yankees all but confirmed they’re out of the running for Machado’s services by signing free agent DJ LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million contract. Now comes word that a mystery team has joined the pursuit alongside the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.
Machado camp is telling some folks there’s a mystery team in addition to Chisox, Phils. Validity is unknown.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 11, 2019
WHAT THIS MEANS: There are no two words more dreaded during Hot Stove season than “mystery team.” Sometimes these reports prove valid. Other times it’s an agent simply blowing smoke to create leverage. But every single time it causes reporters and fans alike to lose sleep.
If there really is a mystery team in the race, the possibilities would have to be limited. That is, unless Machado has decided to lower his demands or is now looking for a shorter-term deal. The latter might make sense if Machado’s camp thinks a stronger market could develop a year or two down the road.
The Phillies and White Sox reportedly haven’t come close to meeting Machado’s $300 million asking price, and at this point it doesn’t seem like anyone else will either.
Jan 9: Are the Yankees out of the running for Manny Machado?
As the Manny Machado sweepstakes presumably nears the finish line, at least one report suggests the New York Yankees are on the outside looking in.
That report comes from ZDeportes baseball reporter Hector Gomez. According to Gomez, the race to sign Machado is now down to two teams: the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 9, 2019
For what it’s worth, and it’s probably worth a lot, Fancred’s Jon Heyman didn’t seem to be buying that report. While he didn’t outright dismiss Gomez, he insisted the Yankees haven’t been informed they’re out of the running for Machado.
Can’t confirm Yankees are out (there’s no word they’ve been told this at least), but as said, they haven’t engaged in negotiations lately or made an official offer. They aren’t meeting the believed 325M-plus target, or even 300. Or even coming especially close. https://t.co/pTjdkPLjSP
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 9, 2019
That comes on the heels of Heyman reporting the Phillies and White Sox haven’t come close to Machado’s $300 million asking price, and that the Yankees haven’t officially made an offer.
Word is, Machado camp still seeking 300M plus. ChiSox, Phillies not believed to be close to that ask (though exact current offers aren’t known, and can change). Meanwhile, Yanks, believed to be preferred destination, have yet to make official offer. Still no word of mystery team.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 9, 2019
WHAT THIS MEANS: It means the more information we get, the less we seem to know.
At this point, it seems unlikely Machado would have dismissed any of his main suitors. That is, of course, unless the Yankees have informed him no offer is coming. That, too, seems unlikely, especially based on Heyman’s report that the Yankees believe they’re still in the running.
The Yankees have long been described as Machado’s preferred destination. Until the Phillies, White Sox or perhaps a mystery team emerges with the $300 million offer that Machado’s camp is reportedly seeking, it seems safe to assume the Yankees will remain firmly in the mix.
Jan 9: Bryce Harper’s destination may be becoming more clear
Despite a meeting on the horizon with the Philadelphia Phillies, the latest chatter on Bryce Harper’s free agency is that a reunion with the Washington Nationals is looking most likely. Meanwhile, Manny Machado, this winter’s other marquee free agent, is reportedly firm in seeking $300 million and no team is close yet.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Nationals have the “momentum” in re-signing Harper, which would make sense since we know they’ve already shown a willingness to give him $300 million. That could also mean the Phillies would turn their attention to Machado.
Here’s what Feinsand wrote:
According to a source, there is momentum building toward Harper’s return to Washington, while the Phillies — who are set to meet with Harper this week in Las Vegas — appear to be turning up their pursuit of Machado.
“It’s heating up,” the source said.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Nats and Harper continue to seem like a good match, if only for the fact that we know they’ll give him $300 million. They made that offer at the end of the regular season and have reportedly offered “much more” since then.
As for Machado, don’t put too much stock into who has and hasn’t made an official offer — looking at you here, Yankees fans. As we’ve said before in this space, an “official” offer is more of a formality, and a team with no official offer can just as easily sign someone any day of the week. That said, the bigger worry for Machado is whether someone will go as high as $300 million. Or if the Yankees will get close enough to whomever does, if that’s really who he prefers.
The Phillies, who said they’d spend “stupid money” this winter, can certainly offer him $300 million. And would seemingly be more likely to do so if Harper opts to return to D.C.
Jan. 8: Harper, Phillies set Vegas meeting
Don’t count out the Philadelphia Phillies just yet.
Despite recent reports suggesting free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren’t enamored with the city of Philadelphia and may prefer to play elsewhere, the franchise that’s willing to spend “stupid money” to make a splash this winter isn’t close to giving up their pursuit.
As Heyman confirmed Tuesday, the Phillies have scheduled a face-to-face meeting with Harper and agent Scott Boras this weekend in Las Vegas.
Sources: Phillies contingent is making the trek to Las Vegas this coming weekend to visit with Bryce Harper. They are still among known trio on Machado as well. Signing both hasn’t been ruled out but seen as unlikely. If get neither, will re-evaluate (Keuchel? Kimbrel? Pollock?)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 8, 2019
WHAT THIS MEANS: It’s getting to be crunch time and the Phillies know it.
Philadelphia will be the fourth team Harper has met with directly. The Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are the other teams to have landed a meeting. Not surprisingly, they’re also the teams believed to have the best shot at signing Harper. The Phillies did meet with Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, at the winter meetings. If they hope to be serious contenders, though, they have to get on the same page with Harper.
On the surface, this feels like it could be a turning point in the process. If Harper seems interested, we might see just how much money the Phillies are willing to spend. If the Phillies leave Las Vegas feeling like a long shot to sign Harper, it could be time for them to move on and someone else to step up.
Jan 7: Manny Machado’s wife is reportedly “enamored” with New York City
You know the old saying: Happy wife, happy life.
According to the latest report on Manny Machado’s free agency, the happiness of his wife Yainee may lead to happy fans in one MLB city. According to the New York Daily News’ Wallace Matthews, Yainee Machado is “enamored” with New York City and has a “strong influence” on the decision.
From The Daily News:
According to another source, who knows Machado well, there is a wild-card to this negotiation who might tip the balance toward the Bronx: Machado’s wife, Yainee.
According to the source, Yainee Machado – who is the sister of Yonder Alonso, the first baseman recently traded to the Chicago White Sox, one of the teams Machado visited on his sales tour – is enamored of New York City and very much would like to live here. The same source says Yainee has a very strong influence on her husband’s decision-making.
WHAT THIS MEANS: This means we’re still in the “looking for clues” portion of the Machado sweepstakes. There’s nothing terribly substantive happening in his free agency (or Bryce Harper’s, for that matter) so we’re still playing the game of “a person close to him thinks x-y-z.”
That being said, it’s completely logical — and expected, really — that Machado’s wife would be a strong influence on his free agency decision. After all, we’re not talking about something that would just be a two-year deal. Machado is reportedly seeking a deal for 10 years or close to it. Yainee should be part of the decision, which is why she’s accompanied him on his team visits.
We’ll end this passage with the requisite warning that this rumor also qualifies as “NYC newspaper says Machado prefers NYC.” So take solace in that, Philly.
Jan. 4: Harper reportedly offered ‘much more than’ $300M
We knew that Washingon Nationals made an offer to keep Bryce Harper before the end of the season. It was reportedly worth $300 million and Harper turned it down. The latest Harper rumor would seem to suggest we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Jim Bowden, the ex-GM and current analyst for The Athletic, reports that the Nationals have upped their offer to Harper to “much more than $300 million.” And just like that, folks, let’s really start the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
#Nationals last offer to Bryce Harper was actually “much more than the $300m being reported by the media” according to a source. Apparently, The 10-year $300m offer was actually just the team’s 1st offer to Harper.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 4, 2019
WHAT IT MEANS: Let’s give this the usual Hot Stove warning — this is all an act to some degree. That quote came from somewhere, whether it’s an agent trying to drive up the price for Harper or the Nationals trying to make other teams pay more. The first scenario seems more likely. Regardless, just know that there’s always a bit of posturing going on in these matters.
Will Bryce Harper get more than $300 million? It’s entirely possible, if a team wants to go 10 years. Might the Nats be willing to pay more than $300 million for him? Sure.
We do know Nats ownership has met with Harper and his agent Scott Boras recently, so that would seem to suggest there could be new offers on the table too.
Jan. 3: Machado reportedly has offer from White Sox
Manny Machado has an offer on the table from the Chicago White Sox, according to the latest from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. There are no details on the offer in terms of money or years, but it’s reportedly out there.
Nightengale also says the White Sox have not made an official offer to Bryce Harper yet, though the two sides have been in “constant contact.”
If you’re doubting the Machado/White Sox report, consider this: Stadium also tweeted a mocked-up picture of Machado in a White Sox uniform saying an offer has been made. As the Chicago Tribune notes, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is one of the owners of Stadium.
Manny looks pretty good in black and white, don't ya think? 👀 pic.twitter.com/H4FbYeQVmI
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) January 3, 2019
WHAT IT MEANS: First off, it means Machado could up and decide to join the White Sox anytime he wants if there’s an offer on the table. Beyond that, this shouldn’t necessarily be read as the White Sox being the favorites to sign Machado. It’s mostly a formality, part of the process. But there’s nothing to say Machado also couldn’t decide to sign just as easily with another team — say the Yankees or the Phillies — who haven’t made a formal offer but have been in touch with him. To that point, Phillies GM Matt Klentak said Thursday that he expects their dialogue to continue with Machado.
Jan. 2: Will they get 10-year deals?
It’s anybody’s guess when Bryce Harper will make a decision on his next contract, but when he does he’ll reportedly have at least two, and possibly three, 10-year contracts to consider.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, along with the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox, are all believed to be willing to lock Harper up for the next decade. However, there is one contrasting report from 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine. The longtime Chicago baseball reporter says any talk of the White Sox going to 10 years with Harper is “without any substance and flat out wrong” according to his high-ranking sources.
WHAT IT MEANS: Welcome to the Hot Stove, where every report is almost immediately met with a counter report. The White Sox not going to 10 years though would be consistent with most reports we’ve heard this winter. That also applies to their pursuit of Manny Machado. The White Sox will reportedly not go above seven years on any deal.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from Wednesday’s rumor mill is how involved the Nationals remain despite owner Mark Lerner seemingly dismissing a reunion before the winter meetings. If Harper isn’t really enamored with Philadelphia as reports last week suggested, and both the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees aren’t going all-in, perhaps the Nationals have a real chance to get back in the sweepstakes.
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