While the Manny Machado sweepstakes heat up, the Phillies could logically land the star and it could make sense.
The Philadelphia Phillies gave third baseman Maikel Franco every chance possible to prove he could become the cornerstone of a franchise in rebuild mode. From the looks of it, Franco had the potential to become a player similar to Adrian Beltre.
He had the size, power, arm strength, and fielding ability, but that potential has yet to pan out. The rest of the Phillies' prospects have progressed, but Franco has remained stagnant, causing the front office to reevaluate their plan for the left side of the infield. And the answer could simply be signing or trading for Manny Machado.
If Philadelphia were to trade for Machado this season, there is only one way the team will do it— Machado has to sign a long-term extension with the team following the trade. That extension will have to be in the neighborhood of $25-30 million a season.
It has been projected that both Bryce Harper and Machado will command contracts of $400 to 500 million over the next 10 seasons, but the Phillies could make an offer to Machado that he can't pass up if they can prove to him that this organization is the best fit for him.
That pitch will have to really blow Machado away. The now 26-year-old is entering the prime years of his career and he wants to contend for a world championship, something that is not going to happen for Baltimore in the near future.
"Everybody knows the type of player I am," Machado told NBC Sports Philadelphia on July 4. "If not, I wouldn’t have been talked about. I have to go out there and perform. I have to go out there and play and do everything possible to be ready to play. Do I want to play for a contending team? Yeah. Do I want to go to the playoffs? Do I want to win a ring? Of course, I do. Those are all things everybody wants. For me to go out somewhere and help out a team — I don’t know if it will be here or someone else — I’m going to do everything in my power to help that team out."
Machado would fit in perfectly with the Phillies who are in need of an everyday shortstop. The Phillies have been plugging in rookie Scott Kingery into the six-hole on an everyday basis, but Kingery's main position is second base.
A trade for Machado could potentially include the Phillies' current second baseman Cesar Hernandez and a couple prospects. This would open the door for Kingery to play second on a full-time basis and allow for Machado to continue playing shortstop.
Machado may feel the Phillies are a good fit for him as well. He has admired the team's success from afar and is familiar with some members of the front office,
"They are a good ballclub," Machado added. "They are all young and they’re hungry. They want to win, so they’ve been impressive. I can’t tell you any more about it because I’m on the other side and I don’t really see them that much. They are a very good ballclub.
"I know how [Phillies President] Andy Andy [MacPhail] works and I’ve seen those guys work. They turned [the Orioles] organization around and I’m sure they are going to try to do the same thing on the other side."
All of this will need to come down to if Machado would be willing to sign an extension with the Phillies following a trade. If that doesn't seem like a reality, the Phillies will simply move on as they have been in trade talks with the Royals for Mike Moustakas and the Rangers for Beltre.
Plus, if the Phillies don't acquire Machado this season, they will certainly make a play for Machado in free agency since they will have a surplus of payroll to spend.