Dollar amounts may matter more than pitches, but Phillies general manager Matt Klentak feels “really good” about the latter ones they made to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
The Phillies hosted Machado in Philadelphia in December and then went to Las Vegas to meet with Harper earlier this month. Now they’re playing the waiting game, like the rest of MLB, as both free agents remained unsigned with spring training right around the corner.
“I feel very confident that we’ve put a very strong foot forward, both with our presentations to these guys and the way we’ve welcomed them to Philly or told them about the franchise when we went out to see Harper,” Klentak said Wednesday on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, via Crossing Broad. “I feel really good about that, the pitches that we’ve made.”
Klentak said there is “ongoing dialogue” with Machado and Harper’s representatives, but refused to disclose if he had made offers to both, saying it was not in the best interest of the franchise to make that public.
“I don’t know exactly what’s going to cause one or both of them to sign and move to resolution, but like I said earlier, different markets will develop for different reasons,” Klentak said.
The Phillies figure to be in a good position to land at least one of the prized free agents to cap off an offseason that began with their owner, John Middleton, saying they were ready to spend “stupid” money.
But Klentak threw some cold water on the fans holding out hope the Phillies could end up landing both Machado and Harper.
“Is it impossible? No. I think it’s very unlikely,” Klentak said. “I’ve kind of said that on the record or off the record most of the offseason. It’s not about wanting a player or not wanting a player. It’s about managing payrolls and the franchise to have opportunities to improve the club in future years. … I just don’t know if that’s the prudent course of action for us. It’s not because we’re cheap or we don’t like the players, it’s about the dynamics of roster building.”
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