Machado's first choice was the Yankees, who were believed to be the favorites at the outset of the season but are loaded with infielders after adding D.J. LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki to an already deep group and are spending elsewhere.
Gold Glove-winning free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu and the Yankees have agreed to a $24 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, a deal that would appear to eliminate NY as a destination for Manny Machado. The Philadelphia Phillies have also been linked to him, but recent reports are suggesting that they are prioritizing Bryce Harper over Machado.
Zolecki states that Machado has been the Phillies' top target because he'd give them an excellent bat and glove a third base. The Philly Inquirer has reported that the Phillies prefer the infielder to the outfielder, and by closing in on Harper, Philadelphia is putting pressure on Machado to make his decision soon.
Bryce Harper is a six-time All-Star.
The 30-year old LeMahieu was one of the best second basemen on the market this winter.
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees use LeMahieu as a utility player around the diamond. Considering his numbers dipped a bit in his contract year, it's fair to expect a bit of a rebound once he gets settled into his new deal. But if Machado is holding out for well over $300 million, then (1) Harper might not be signing for a very long time yet, and (2) for all we know, Harper might be initially asking for something that starts with a four.
Jeff Skversky of 6 ABC Philly spoke to both Middleton and Klentak after they landed back in the City of Brotherly Love.