The free agent market as a whole is moving at a plodding rate. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, there also hasn’t been a ton of action surrounding superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Of course, with so much money at stake, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock that both players are taking some time to work out new deals.
The latest …
- Machado is still looking for an offer in excess of $300MM, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). The White Sox and Phillies are the only two teams known to have made formal proposals, neither of which have reached that value. Of course, the Philadelphia organization is reportedly set to put in another offer, the details of which remain unknown. The Yankees have also still yet to officially put anything on the table for Machado, Heyman adds.
- Will there be significant movement? If so, when and by what mechanism? MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand hears that the markets for Machado and Harper are “heating up.” As his sources have it, the Phillies are “turning up” their efforts for the former, while the Nationals have “momentum building” to bring back the latter. Bruce Levine of 670theScore.com also cites a sense of market movement, but he hears it’s the White Sox who are gaining “momentum” on Machado. Levine also mentions a fourth, unknown potential suitor for Machado, though Heyman claims there’s “still no word” of a shadowy pursuer.
- Generally, there’s still a dearth of hard information on the various teams’ stances regarding these players. It’s still easy to imagine the negotiations evolving in any number of different ways. Still, it’s striking that so few teams appear to be involved. The entire situation is a “disgrace,” Jim Bowden of The Athletic argues (subscription link). He ticks through a variety of ballclubs that should be able to fit $30MM+ salaries and have cause to be involved, decrying a market situation in which “essentially just four teams [are] legitimately bidding for the game’s two best free agents.” On the same note, Jonah Keri of CBS Sports provides some anonymous opinions on the matter from well-placed league executives. There seems to be at least something of a consensus that teams are less interested than ever in exceedingly lengthy contracts, even for players of such relative youth, with a variety of other theories batted around regarding this duo in particular. The story also delves into broader market topics and is well worth a read.