It seems that all of the baseball world has tuned in the latest on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The two most talked about free agents have yet to find a new team. Many questions and speculations swirl around this topic, including which teams are better fits for them. Not to mention the contracts will be huge factors coming in, and their impacts on the franchises moving forward.
Here is a look at some reasonable suitors for these two All-Stars for the 2019 MLB season.
Potential Suitors: Bryce Harper
The former Washington Nationals Superstar has entered the free agent market from a Home-Run Derby winning season. But that will be how his Nationals tenure would end, for now. Among other things, Harper turned down a 10-year, $300 million extension from the organization. Now, where he ends up will either have people scratching, shaking, or nodding their heads.
These teams, however, have more than one good reason to be a decent fit for Harper.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The blockbuster trade that Los Angeles had with the Cincinnati Reds made several impressions throughout baseball. Many are calling this a clearing of cap room to bring in Harper, and reasonably so. Names like Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, both outfielders, are no longer on board. Plus, the Dodgers are among the small handful of ball clubs that could come close to Harper’s asking price.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have been on the move in free agency. With names like Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura now in tow, Philadelphia stands dead set on taking over the NL East and then some. If Bryce is the next acquisition, Philly could have the next big bat they’ve been looking for. Harper’s asking price will have to plummet for this move to become real. But the potential cannot be overlooked.
Potential Suitors: Manny Machado
Similar to Harper, Machado is one of the bigger fish in the free agency pond. Not to mention that no team has picked him up yet either. Machado was most recently with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who held their title for best team in the National League.
This two-way heavy hitter has several teams looking to add him to their ranks. But these clubs have been seen as favorites for Machado.
1. Chicago White Sox
This is a bit of a head-scratcher for most fans. How can a team that just tallied 100< losses last season reel in someone like Machado? Well, we got two reasons: Yonder Alonso and Jose Abreu. A beefed up infield could blaze a trail for Chicago as they commence their climb up back to relevance. There may not be a complete turnaround for the White Sox’s fortunes right away. But it would be a good start in the near future.
2. Atlanta Braves
With a team on the right track, it never hurt the Atlanta Braves to try and bring in Machado back to the East Coast. Manny’s defense and batting expertise could further propel Atlanta upward. With an infield that includes Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies, the Braves could have the NL East locked down for seasons to come. Plus, the younger players could feed off of Machado’s experience to further sharpen their own game.
Potential Suitors: Also Great Fits for Both
1. Chicago Cubs
With the eruptive success of the Chicago Cubs from the past five seasons, who wouldn’t want to play for them? They already have a formidable lineup already. But making moves to bring in Harper or Machado could tighten up some loose screws as they prepare for 2019. Plus, under Joe Maddon’s guidance, Harper and/or Machado can snag that elusive World Series ring that can put their resumes to the Hall-of-Fame conversation.
2. Los Angeles Angels
In a manner of wishful thinking, adding any of these two free agents to a team that boasts Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani could be a smash hit if handled correctly. Either Harper can further boost the outfield or Machado can pave the way to a shutdown infield. The possibilities are enticing. But the Halos cannot afford to mess if they are serious about bringing one or both of them in.
Featured image courtesy of Karen Hill/Houston Chronicle
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