East coast player heads back east
Harper isn’t the only big fish in the pond as Machado also looks to cash in this offseason. And MLBTR has the former Orioles’ star signing with another east coast club, the Phillies. The predicted contract? 13-years, $390 million (gasp!). Another deal worth $30 million per season. Like Harper’s, I’d expect Machado’s contract to include opt-outs in some shape or fashion.
For a club on the rise in the Phillies, Machado would clearly impact one of the major’s worst lineups (91 wRC+) in 2018. While the annual cost of $30 million is rather high, Philadelphia has the financial backing to support a contract of this magnitude without missing a beat. It is a risky investment to pay any player massive dollars over a thirteen-year period, though.
The primary concern for any prospective suitor is where will Machado prefer to play. The Orioles primarily used him as a third baseman in recent seasons before 2018. Following his trade to Los Angeles in July, the Dodgers continued to use Machado as their shortstop. Shortstop is clearly Machado’s preference, but the position change wasn’t considered a defensive success. I’m speculating here, but he can hold up negotiations over this preference. If so, certain teams could lose a shot at one of the best talents in the game.
Over the long haul, Machado may have a bit more value than Harper. The former’s versatility shouldn’t be ignored while Harper is likely bound to stay a corner outfielder with the potential to transition to first base role in the later years of his contract. And, no, the Astros aren’t going to jump into the Machado sweepstakes.