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January 19, 2019

Live free agency updates: What signing Machado or Harper would mean for rest of Phillies roster

All the talk this baseball offseason for Phillies fans has been about the potential of signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado — and for good reason. Those two are far and away the prizes of this free agency period, and they're both reportedly seeking record deals as they head into the primes of their careers. 

However, the latest buzz is that their decisions may not come down until February as this saga continues to drag on for yet another month. On the plus side, that gives us plenty of time to discuss literally everything that has to do with a potential mega deal between the Phillies and one (or perhaps both) of these players. 

We've looked at the financial aspect of it, the player-fit side of it, and even how much they have in common with manager Gabe Kapler. But what about the rest of the roster. The arrival of either player will not only greatly alter the look of the lineup, but will actually have a tremendous ripple effect on the entire roster. 

In a recent Phillies mailbag, beat writer Todd Zolecki was asked about two players who have been here through the team's rebuild and their status going forward.

Are the Phillies shopping Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera? Does the possibility of them being traded increase if we sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper?

-- Don B., Bradley Beach, N.J.

If the Phillies sign Machado, they will try to trade Franco, because there simply would be nowhere for him to play. Franco can play first base, but Rhys Hoskins will play there almost every day. Franco is not a shortstop, second baseman or outfielder. It just makes sense to move him.

If the Phils sign Harper, I think Nick Williams or Herrera could be traded. Williams might be the first choice because he is a corner outfielder, and in this scenario, Harper and Andrew McCutchen will have the majority of playing time at the corners. Herrera provides Philadelphia with depth in center field, so there are reasons to keep him. Plus, the Phillies seem to believe Herrera will bounce back after struggling much of last season.  []

So, whether the Phillies sign Machado or Harper, it seems like there will be changes to follow. The question now remains whether or not they'll actually sign one, or both, or neither. As always, we'll keep you updated with the latest news and rumors surrounding the Phillies right here in our live updates post. 

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