December 21, 2018
UPDATE [4:20 p.m.] — According to Jon Heyman, Manny Machado has informed the three teams he visited this week — the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox — that they can expect his decision sometime in 2019.
Manny Machado has conveyed to the three known interested teams — White Sox, Yankees and Phillies — that his decision will come after the new year.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 21, 2018
Stay tuned, because it doesn't seem like this ending any time soon...
UPDATE [10:55 a.m.] — This was not the first update I was hoping to share with you all, but according to a report from Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Machado has been telling his friends that he prefers the Yankees, assuming the money is similar. That being said, Bowden still lists the Phillies as the best fit for Machado.
Machado went on tour this week, visiting the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox and taking the time to meet face to face and give each organization a chance to sell themselves to him. Machado has told friends in Miami that his preference is the Yankees, and if the offers are close, he’ll be headed to the Bronx. I’m not convinced that Machado is the best fit for the Yankees since they already have Miguel Andújar, who profiles out to a legitimate middle-of-the-order thumper and a player who can become at least average defensively at third base. I think Harper would be the better fit. But GM Brian Cashman has focused on the two-way abilities of Machado, and he’s certainly familiar with him, having gotten to see him play often in the AL East for most of his career. The Phillies and White Sox both have legitimate chances, but the Phillies likely have the advantage because they are already contenders and their current team President, Andy MacPhail, has an established relationship with Machado, having previously worked with him in Baltimore.
Best Realistic Fits: 1. Phillies 2. Yankees 3. White Sox [theathletic.com]
Of course, the cynic in me can't help but think, "Hey, that's exactly what I'd say if I wanted to make sure I get the best offer from the Phillies." Saying that essentially tells the Yankees they don't have to overbid anyone. If you're out for the biggest contract of your career, wouldn't you want these teams out-bidding each other like crazy? The only thing those comments guaranteed is that the Phillies beef of their offer to make sure it's more attractive than the Yanks' offer.
And maybe that's exactly what Machado and his camp are hoping.
As for Bryce Harper, he lists the Phillies as the fourth most-likely landing spot, behind the Dodgers, Yankees and Nationals. He also has the Phillies in the top three for both Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel.
It might be time to get stupid with that money, Phillies...
On Thursday, all anyone in Philly could talk about was the meeting taking place at Citizens Bank Park between representatives from the Phillies and prize free agent Manny Machado.
Machado, whose visit with the Phillies capped off a week of recruiting trips that also included stops in New York and Chicago, said his four-plus hour meeting with the team was "pretty awesome" as he left the ballpark and headed out to dinner with Matt Klentak and Co.
As for the Phillies, they seem to think the meeting was a success as well, although they don't know if will be enough to lure Machado to Philly. Here's more from MLB.com's Phillies beat writer, Todd Zolecki:
Afterwards, the buzz inside the ballpark was that the Phillies, Machado, his wife, Yainee Alonso, and his representation had a productive visit. It does not mean the Phils will sign Machado to a multi-year contract in the coming weeks. The Yankees or White Sox could outbid them and Machado, who grew up a Yankees fan, visited those teams earlier this week.
The meeting likely means the Phillies believe they put their best foot forward, selling the organization and the city as an excellent place to play and live. It likely means Machado sold himself, just months removed from his controversial "Johnny Hustle" comments and actions in the National League Championship Series and World Series. [mlb.com]
According to Zolecki (and others) the Phillies would prefer Machado over fellow superstar free agent Bryce Harper, but just how much that's going to cost remains a bit of a mystery. The only man who really knows is Machado. On the team side, it's Klentak who will reportedly be the man to put together the club's final offer to Machado — before it's approved by ownership, of course.
From there, all the cards belong to the 26-year-old shortstop, who flew back to Miami following his meeting with the Phillies. So when might a decision happen?
"I don't know about that," Machado said as he exited CBP late Thursday afternoon. "That's my agent's job. I'm just enjoying the ride."
Whenever Machado decides to make his decision, we'll have you covered. And, in the meantime, there are other moves to be made, so we'll keep you updated with all those right here in our daily live rumors post...
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