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January 05, 2019

Live MLB free agency news, updates, rumors: If Manny Machado wants to play shortstop, Phillies will probably let him

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122018_Manny-Machado_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Shortstop Manny Machado sits in the visitors dugout at Citizens Bank Park.

There is a big factor in play currently as the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox vie for Manny Machado this offseason: playing shortstop.

The Yankees hurt their case to sign the All-Star infielder last week, when they signed Troy Tulowitzki to a deal and said that if healthy, he will play shortstop. New York has been Machado's dream team all his life, but to go there he'll need to play a different position.

"We're going into this with a commitment level to try Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop," Yankees manager Brian Cashman said, via ESPN. "We have really reacted in a positive way to have that type of dialogue with Troy and to commit to giving him that opportunity to be our everyday shortstop."

After Philly made its trade for Jean Segura last year, they too took shortstop off the board, leaving Chicago as the only big suitor with the open spot. Machado has said several times he prefers to play short, as he did in Baltimore, and it will play a role in his decision.

However, the Phillies are desperate, and Segura has played second base — for one season (2016) he played there. It seems a no-brainer they'd move Segura over to make room for Machado should that be the only sticking point. They'd figure out Cesar Hernandez later.

A few days ago, the White Sox reportedly made their offer to Machado. It's assumed the Phillies have also made an offer, as the 26-year-old spent four hours visiting Citizens Bank Park back in December.

Here's MLB columnist Bob Nightengale on the Chicago offer:

However, the Chicago White Sox, who along with the Philadelphia Phillies are the only teams to publicly express interest in both players, have formally offered Machado a long-term contract proposal, four persons with direct knowledge of the offer told USA TODAY Sports. 
They spoke only on the condition of anonymity since they are in the middle of negotiations. It’s characterized as a serious offer, likely closer to $200 million than $300 million, but not enough to sway Machado to board a flight from Miami to Chicago for a press conference. 
 The White Sox have yet to make a formal offer for Harper but remain in constant contact, meeting six weeks ago in person with Harper, his wife and agent Scott Boras. [USA Today]

There is no sign on when Machado, or Bryce Harper for that matter will make a decision regarding their future playing spot.

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