MLB Free Agent Rumors: Phillies Have ‘Doubts’ About Manny Machado, Remain ‘Open-Minded To Pursuing Him’
Gregory Fisher-Icon Sportswire

For a handful of years, this winter’s Major League Baseball free agent class has been much anticipated with perennial All-Stars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado headlining it.

While a bit of the shine has been taken off it with some players signing extensions before ever getting to free agency, Harper not having his best year in 2018 and Machado’s reputation taking a bit of a hit in the postseason, it is still a very solid group.

Machado, in particular, may have cost him some money while playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers as he not only had some dirty plays but also did not hustle in some of the biggest games of the season. He went on to say that he is never going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ which is certainly not what teams that are looking to sign him want to hear.

One of those clubs is the Philadelphia Phillies, who are expected to be among the big spenders this winter. The Phillies are still expected to pursue Machado, but Jim Salibury of NBC Sports reported they are going to proceed cautiously:

Machado’s comments earned him some doubts and some detractors in Philadelphia, but club officials remain open-minded to pursuing him.

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner had similar comments in regards to Machado and his lack of hustle, so that is two of his biggest pursuers that have some doubts.

Machado has all of the talent in the world and is coming off a career season in which he hit .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI, which is a career-high.

Machado may still earn the lucrative that he is seeking, but the price tag looks to have certainly come down from what it once was for the four-time All-Star.