In the latest reports regarding the two biggest free agents on the market being Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, teams have been narrowed down to two for both players…
For Bryce Harper, reports indicate that the Nationals and Phillies are the finalists for the big name five tool player. While for Machado, the two finalists are the White Sox and Phillies. The Yankees are out. As reports surfaced that the Yankees aren’t close to the $300 million mark that Machado is looking for. While there are reports that there is a mystery team in on Machado, no reports have surfaced regarding who the team is or what their price range is.
So lets say one of these players or quite possibly both sign to teams in the NL East. What does that mean for the future of the Marlins in the division?
Let’s start with the teams that could sign these players to lucrative contracts that range from 8-10 years. If the Nationals resigned Harper to a contact worth “way more” than $300 million then they would be in a financial hole for years.
The Nationals have spent $544 million on the contracts of just their pitching staff, more than half a billion dollars on just the pitching staff is insane. Signing Harper would most definitely hurt them financially. Not to mention if they want to extend players like Anthony Rendon. It is going to cost them a good amount of money to do so. If that happens, that puts the Marlins in a good position in the future to secure free agents that their rival team won’t be able to afford.
The Phillies’ owner has openly said that this offseason the team was going to spend “stupid money”. Not sure how stupid they would get but, my guess is that the offer to Harper and Machado would be very lucrative. With the “stupid money” they would have left over if they land either one of these players they could go out and spend even more. Such as closer Craig Kimbrel and/or relief pitcher Adam Ottovino.
The Phillies also need rotational depth and a quality starter. For them, starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, could cost some big bucks. Signing these players would also hit the Phillies kind of hard financially throughout the years down the road. The Marlins not spending much money on the free agent market puts them in a good position financially. Whereas the other teams in the division would be making moves to free up money.
So by all means NL East teams, go out and spend your money!