The Phillies are, by all appearances, finalizing the big trade with Seattle we learned about last night that will bring them shortstop Jean Segura.
But don’t think that will take them out of the running for the big shortstop on the free agent market. Indeed, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that despite the Segura trade, the Phillies still have interest in Manny Machado to play third base:
It’s Machado’s stated preference to play shortstop, but money talks, right?
It’s also the case that Phillies front office sources may merely be talking here, perhaps in an effort to either drive up Machado’s price for their competitors or to make the fan base believe they are going all-out when, maybe, they aren’t. Who knows?
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.