With the 2018 baseball season officially at its end, fans and general managers can formally turn their attention to the oncoming free agent class.
Atop everyone's list, whether it makes budgetary sense or not, are Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
According to Bovada, the Philadelphia Phillies suddenly have the best odds at landing both of them.
Wait...what? We'd heard plenty about Machado's connections to Philly, but apparently, with a boatload to spend to supplement their core, Philadelphia will be a major player for both me. Do these guys know something we don't?
If the Phils end up with just one of the two players, they become a force to be reckoned with. Landing both prized free agents could turn them into favorites to win the National League.
Increasing the Phillies' chances of getting Harper is the fact that one of the perceived favorites to sign him, the New York Yankees, have initially leaked that they aren't that interested in going after him. Additionally, Scott Boras went as far as to say that Harper's got a done deal already locked in somewhere. Would Harper really join Philly, blow their budget, and block his "rival" Mike Trout from making his dream move back home several years down the line, as we've all sort of thought he would? Don't rule it out!
Manny Machado is the jackass that everyone assumes Bryce Harper is.— Jake Humphrey (@JakeHumphrey91) October 28, 2018
However, it may not be ideal for the Phillies to try to sign both players, as they have each earned reputations as being difficult to deal with. Additionally, the Phillies could probably spend the money not used on signing one of them to improve multiple other weaknesses, specifically in the back end of the 'pen. It's probably best that the Phillies decide on one of the two instead of going for both.
But it's wild they may be leading both charges at the moment.