Predictions on Machado’s and Harper’s Impending Decisions


Cameron Takmil, Staff Writer

In the midst of the MLB offseason, it’s been nothing short of spectacular as many teams went upon one of two routes. Franchises like the Mets and Phillies sacrificed substantial young assets to start winning as soon as this upcoming season. Other teams like the Seattle Mariners held fire sales and are pressing the reset button, with hopes of finding their franchise cornerstone among the ranks of minor leagues and collegiate baseball.

Despite a flurry of moves made up to this point, trades and signings have stagnated lately. This is all due to superstars Manny Machado of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals still remaining in Free Agency. These two stars could elevate teams to championship contention and ultimately shift the balance of power in the grand scheme of the MLB. Both have shown throughout their career that they can perform at MVP levels, which is enticing for all franchises with money to spend. The huge factor in their decisions is winning. Both lack a championship on their illustrious career resume, which may be something they want to achieve soon.

Harper and Machado are both at the ripe age of 25 and their next contract will probably last until their late 20s, which is a prevalent age where many athletes see an athletic decline in their abilities as a player. So this contract is arguably the most important contract of their career.

Teams like the Padres, Mets, Phillies, Nationals have been few of the many teams that have made big plays on the 26-year-old Las Vegas native. Although the sweepstakes for the 2015 NL MVP are still broad, Harper hasn’t singled out any teams or stated any preference. In spite of that, many believe the Phillies and Nationals have the biggest chance to land Harper. Philadelphia has been active this offseason and could take their division by storm if they manage to steal Harper from their divisional rival, the Washington Nationals.

If Philly acquires Harper, they could be the best in their respective division. They could push past New York whos projected to be the 2nd best. As for Washington, they could offer Harper the best deal and give him the most money. He could stay and build on what he has in Washington. In my opinion, Harper is going to Philadelphia. Harper can grow his fame and legacy in Philly, as its a bigger market, suited for his talents and could use a leader like him. It seems like a perfect fit for both parties, which convinces me enough.

For Manny Machado, the 3rd Baseman star has been targeted by more or less the same group of franchises as teams are exploring the possibility of pairing him with Harper, still, Machado by himself could help any team’s aspirations of a championship. Teams like the Yankees, Padres, Pirates, Phillies and White Sox have shown heavy interest in Machado. In spite of all those teams being interested many aren’t all in to shift their roster to fit Machado.

On the other hand, the Chicago White Sox already have offered an 8-year deal that would expire when Machado is 34 and near the end of his career. Rumors have stated that the White Sox are likely where Machado is landing. Machado could help lead Chicago back to the playoffs, as they’ve missed out on the postseason since 2009. Machado could become the face of the franchise and join his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso. With Machado and piece, the White Sox could rise in the fairly weak AL Central. Phillies have been interested with the idea of Machado as well, but I think the White Sox will capitalize on their early offer and ultimately land Machado. With a few more pieces, Manny Machado could be their key to returning to the playoff hunt for years to come.

All in all, this MLB offseason has been packed with surprises, and the result of these two moves could add onto that as well as change the competitiveness of certain teams. With spring training coming closer in our calendar´s, it won’t be too long before Machado and Harper find a destination.