January 11, 2019
UPDATE [12:45 p.m.] — The Yankees have reportedly signed free agent infielder D.J. LeMahieu to a two-year deal, which likely puts them out of the running for Manny Machado (unless it doesn't).
Yanks talking to a LeMahieu as @JackCurryYES reported. Would seem to close door Manny for them.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 11, 2019
That would leave the Phillies and White Sox as the only two teams left standing in the Machado sweepstakes — unless, of course, there's a mystery team.
I'm not a fisherman, but I imagine if it's a bigger fish you hope to land, you'll need some pretty decent bait. And the Phillies, well, they're trophy fishing.
Signing either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper would be a major coup for the Phillies. To this point, they've gotten nothing but nibbles from either side. However, on Saturday, the same day some are theorizing that Harper will make his decision, they'll head to Las Vegas to meet with Bryce Harper and his team.
The Phillies have already met with Machado, but according to a recent report, they've dropped another piece of chum in the water, perhaps in an effort to lure the All-Star infielder away from the likes of the White Sox and Yankees.
So why would an assistant coaching hire be something that could sway Machado's final decision? Funny you should ask...
See, Bobby Dickerson isn't just any old former Orioles infield coach. He was also Machado's mentor in Baltimore. Here's more from Dan Connolly of The Athletic:
Besides select family members and a few close friends, there might be no one who knows Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado better than Bobby Dickerson.
The longtime Orioles infield and third-base coach has had screaming matches with Machado and also has sat down and wept with the superstar when his time in Baltimore ended in July. Machado, 26, has often referred to Dickerson, 53, as one of his most important mentors.
It was Dickerson who went to Double-A Bowie and delivered a crash course in third-base instruction to a 19-year-old shortstop who would soon be thrust into a pennant race in 2012. And it was Dickerson who had those long talks with Machado about his legacy, about playing the game right and about how not to lose himself in his emotions. [theathletic.com]
Is this all part of Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail's master plan to lure Machado to Philly? And, more importantly, will it work?
We'll keep you posted on all the latest news and rumors surrounding Machado, Harper and the rest of the free agent market...
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