Article by: Zach Henley
After being revealed as a secret team, the San Diego Padres have signed free agent Manny Machado. The deal is reported to be a 10 year, $300 million deal with a five-year option. Machado is joining the Padres after being a part of the Orioles and Dodgers last season. The Padres are coming off a very disappointing season going 66-96 with a negative 150 run difference. After signing Eric Hosmer last offseason, the Padres went into 2018 with a positive outlook. With the team going 31-50 at home, they struggled all season on the road. Now that Machado and Hosmer are at the corners, the defense should be significantly better.
The Machado signing means one thing, where and when will Bryce Harper sign? According to recent reports, the Philadelphia Phillies have been rumored as the top team in the sweepstakes. That being said, the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals still have a fair chance to sign the all-star outfielder. Harper might change his terms due to the signing of Machado, and might revalue his worth. MLB GM’s knew that whoever would sign first, would immediately affect the other. The Padres are giving Machado a hefty paycheck, so any team looking for Harper, better have the guts to spend that much as well.
Earlier this week, the Giants reported that long time manager Bruce Bochy is going to retire at seasons end. This could change Harper’s mind, because maybe he won't want to get comfortable with Bochy, and then having to learn a new manager’s play style. In Philadelphia, Gabe Kapler showed promise leading his team to a much-improved season in 2018. That proved for now that Kapler is looking like he has a home for quite some time.
Bryce Harper wanted to make his decision by the time Valentine’s day came around, but that clearly didn't happen. My prediction is that Bryce will sign late this week to the Philadelphia Phillies for the same amount as Machado, including a player option.
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