Handicapping the three-team race for Manny Machado

The Manny Machado Tour of 2018 seems to have ended with the free-agent superstar’s visit to Philadelphia on Thursday. Tour might be laying it on a bit thick. It was only three cities, with Chicago and New York coming before Philly. The Rolling Stones still make more stops than that, and they ran out of surplus value in the late 1970s.

Where will Manny land? The honest answer here is simply that I don’t know. I could guess, especially in this instance, when there is apparently a 1-in-3 shot at being right. But the tea leaves in the Machado pursuit have been tough to read, and it doesn’t help that for each of the three teams involved, I think Bryce Harper would be the smarter mega-splurge.

I don’t know what Manny thinks. I don’t know much about Manny, really. My direct experience with him is that he is pleasant and cordial and also very adept at forming answers that in a general way answer the questions, but when it comes to specifics don’t reveal anything at all. His “Johnny Hustle” comments probably serve as an example of why he usually takes this path.

Let’s assume the money part of this is a minor factor. What I mean by that is not that Machado doesn’t care about the money part. I’m assuming that the market for him is what it is, and that all three of these teams are willing to work within those parameters to the extent that Machado’s final decision will not necessarily be based on the terms of the contract. The contract might have ruled out the other 27 teams, but from here on out, I assume it will be other things that sway Machado’s decision.

Where is the best fit for Machado among the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies? Here is my conjecture, ranking the fits in order. Me being Manny, if you will, but also me being the teams. When it comes to $300 million or so, this has got to work both ways.

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