MLB Trade Rumors projects the Phillies land three top free agents this offseason

Charlie Morton is one target the Phillies may have
It's fun to project where free agents will land in the offseason and it appears one website projects Matt Klentak and Co. to be pretty busy over the coming months.

MLB Trade Rumors released their list of the top 50 free agents on Friday and provided predictions on where each would sign. The piece also included contract projections.

So, what about the Phillies?

According to the piece, MLB Trade Rumors expects Klentak and the Phillies to sign Manny Machado, Charlie Morton, and Nick Markakis. That's quite a haul if it comes to fruition.

Here's what MLB Trade Rumors had to say about each:

Manny Machado: Thirteen years, $390MM. As generational as Harper’s free agency may be, Machado’s case is just as compelling. Machado, only 102 days older than Harper, draws significant value from his ability to play on the left side of the infield. A shortstop by choice, Machado spent the bulk of his career as a Gold Glove defensive third baseman with the Orioles. He was derailed with knee injuries in 2013-14 but averaged 159 games in the following four seasons. The Orioles (and eventually Dodgers) gave Machado his preferred shortstop position in his contract year, and results were mixed. Machado’s defense at shortstop seemingly improved after leaving Baltimore, but there’s not much data to go on. It’s unclear whether Machado will force the issue and demand to play shortstop for his next team, or if he’ll be open to returning to third base. Machado comes free of a qualifying offer by virtue of his midseason trade.
Charlie Morton: Two years, $32MM. Morton, 35 in November, emerged as one of baseball’s top dozen strikeout artists (among starters) over the past two years with the Astros. Among those with 300 innings over that span, Morton ranks sixth with a 95.4 mile per hour average fastball velocity. He’s aged like a fine wine, adding velocity and changing his game from the ground-ball pitcher of his Pirates years. Morton, a family man with four children, wasn’t sure as of April whether he’d pitch in 2019. More recently, he’s said he will keep going, adding that he would like to re-sign with Houston. The Astros surprisingly chose not to issue a qualifying offer, which could be an indication that they’re thinking of moving on from Morton for some reason. Morton will entertain many two- or even three-year offers on the open market, especially unencumbered by a QO. If he doesn’t return to the Astros, Morton has cited proximity to his wife’s family in Delaware as a major factor. That could put the Phillies and Nationals as frontrunners.
Nick Markakis: Two years, $16MM. Markakis had a couple of excellent early-career years with the Orioles, eventually landing a four-year deal with Atlanta after the 2014 season. The right fielder was a one-win type of player from 2015-17, but then for the first four months of 2018 Markakis unexpectedly posted a 129 wRC+. In truth, he’s probably a league average hitter, and he’ll turn 35 in November. Aging corner bats of this mold have not been valued highly on the free-agent or trade markets in recent years. 
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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