What about Manny Machado?
That's the question many a Phillies fan has asked the last 48 hours as Phils officials flew to Las Vegas to meet with Bryce Harper and came away, according to one report, as the clear-cut favorite to land the game-changing outfielder (see story).
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported late Sunday night that the White Sox have offered Machado an eight-year deal. Reading between the lines of what has been reported locally in Chicago and nationally, the offer would seem to be in the range of $240 million, which would be nearly four times richer than the largest contract in White Sox history. Such a deal would not exceed the total value of Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million contract, but it would be an average of $5 million more per year.
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The Phillies possess the financial muscle and stability to match or beat an offer that size. And you'd figure they knew at the beginning of this offseason that in order to sign Machado, eight-plus years may be a requirement.
But there is another possibility to consider and that's a shorter term deal for Machado. The White Sox and Phillies are his two most interested suitors. If the White Sox offer him $30 million annually for eight years and the Phillies offer him a higher annual figure over a shorter term, it might behoove a 26-year-old superstar to take the shorter deal and sign another big contract at 31. Such a deal could result in greater future earnings than an eight-year deal now and free agency at 34.
A contract with opt-out clauses would also benefit Machado and Harper in terms of maximizing their salaries over the next decade.
There's growing buzz in the baseball world that Machado's decision could come this week. It seems that finally, after a slow build for months, that the coming days could provide us some action.
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