Phillies believed to be favorites to sign Harper and Machado

Philadelphia Phillies listed as favorites to land Harper and Machado
With the World Series in the books, the baseball world now turns to the hot stove, and according to at least one online sportsbook, it appears the Philadelphia Phillies will be busy.

Bovada has the Phillies as the favorites to land Bryce Harper at even money and Manny Machado at 3/2 odds.

Sure, it's plausible the Phillies could chase after both and make a real splash. The organization has the money and is built to take the next step to contend. However, team president Andy MacPhail made it clear last month that he's only interested in paying a mega-contract to a player if he and the rest of the front office agree that the club is just one player away from legitimately competing for the World Series.

That's a hard sell, even with an overflowing treasure chest sitting on general manager Matt Klentak's desk.

Yes, Harper and Machado drastically improve the Phillies offense and run production, but you have to think even with those two the club still has holes to fill. The rotation is full of young arms behind Nola and Arrieta but remains unproven with three spots likely up for grabs come spring. There's no dedicated closer in the bullpen, and there are still questions surrounding the potential of J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery.

There's value in adding Harper or Machado, sure, but neither (and even both) guarantee a division title, let alone a trip to the Fall Classic.

MacPhail mentioned next year's free agent class too, and the year after that. It's almost as if he's laying the groundwork for a potentially quiet winter, waiting to incrementally improve the club while pouncing on another superstar who may command a little less than the likes of Harper or Machado.

Exercising patience may not be the favorite move, but does that make it wrong?
_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: