Someone Sign Harper And Machado

You know what makes the game good? Good players.

February 18, 2019 - 12:16 pm
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CHECK THIS OUT. Breaking news. This is insane. There’s a report that someone might be close to signing Bryce Harper.

Hell yes I said it! Hell yes, I went there. Freaking quote me. I’ll put my name to it. A major league baseball team might be close to signing Bryce Harper? Someone might offer a 26 year old superstar a multi-year contract?

Some team is getting really aggressive and thinking about offering money in exchange for goods and services? This is incredible.

Sounds like some team is really thinking outside the box, right? I mean, come on. This isn’t the Major League Baseball that I know and love, but I guess sometimes someone has to break the mold. Someone’s going all Steve Jobs and trying to completely revolutionize everything by… signing a good player to a contract. 

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that “Bryce Harper, who has been waiting for someone to meet his price, appears to have found that team in the Phillies. There is no deal yet but he will ultimately receive more than the 10-year, $300 million contract he turned down from the Nats in September.”

Whoa! Slow. Your. Roll. Let’s not go crazy. Next you’ll be telling me that someone is possibly thinking about considering the potential of drafting an offer for Manny Machado. Wait – Bob Nightengale has something on that, too.

The Padres’ offer to Manny Machado is an 8-year deal worth at least $240 million, with money deferred, rival GMs have been informed this weekend. Still unknown whether he wants to go to SD.

Let’s not rush this. Haste makes waste. I mean, you’ve only had more than three months to evaluate Harper and Machado, and come up with a contract offer.

And besides, running a baseball team isn’t about trying to win or put guys in your uniforms who fans want to see and cheer for.

It’s about assembling a largely faceless and anonymous collection of middle relievers and utility players who provide maximum protection for when injuries strike in a 162 game slog through the season. That’s what fans want. They don’t want superstars. They want roster flexibility and above all, they want to make sure that the owners are turning as big a profit as possible.

Take me back to when you were a kid and first fell in love with the game.  Think about it.  What did you love most about the sport growing up. When you and your old man went games, what did you like best? What was your favorite part? Was it the time when your favorite team made a trade to dump salary and make sure they kept themselves under the luxury tax? Or was it the time they acquired someone in the Rule 5 draft who had a WAR of over 1? Who can forget the first time they had the baseball card of a front office analyst? Best of times, man.   So many great memories.

Here’s the thing with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado reports – teams have been allegedly close to signing them for months. Just about every team not named the Garbage Marlins has been linked to them at one time or another.

Hell, the Phillies were talking about signing both of them at the same time and maybe adding Mike Trout in the future. Seriously. That’s the kind of noise they were talking.

And now we’re here in Spring Training and they still aren’t signed.

Check that Harper report from Nightengale – there’s a key phrase in there: “There is no deal yet.” That’s not a knock on Nightengale, that’s a knock on the state of the game. Because for months now, every Harper report has included the line, “there is no deal yet,” and there still isn’t a deal.

“There is no deal yet” might as well be the title of the movie adaptation of this MLB offseason. Who needs the excitement of “Moneyball” when you can have the gripping thrill-ride that is: “there is no deal yet.”

So it’s kind of hard for me to get fired up about a report that someone might have offered them a contract. I’ll believe they have signed when I see them holding up a jersey at a press conference.

Do me a favor: someone please sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Anybody. I don’t care who it is and what you offer. Just sign them.  And the fact that neither of them has signed makes me think something is going on: I’m not saying collusion, I’m just saying something; because last year, when teams weren’t scratching fat checks, the argument was, they were saving their cash for harper and Machado: great.  Except neither of them have signed yet.  Someone slide this dude a piece a paper. 

And then maybe do the same for  CY Young winner Dallas Kuechel. And Craig Kimbrel while you’re at it. You remember Kimbrel, right? The 7-time All-Star and the closest thing to Mariano Rivera since Mariano Rivera. He doesn’t have a job either.

Don’t sign Bryce Harper for Bryce Harper. Sign him for me.  

I don’t want to talk collusion. I want to talk baseball. Actual baseball. On the field. About teams who want to win. About teams who want to go from being just outside the postseason to in the postseason and think that Harper or Machado or Kimbrel is the difference. About teams that want to go from good to great. And from great to the World Series.

And I’m guessing that fans want that too. And at a time when the league is trying to come up with one experiment after another, including pitch clocks, to make the game better, maybe someone should just sign the good players. Because you know what makes the game good? Good players. You know what makes the game more entertaining: the best players actually being under contract. Want to improve the game? Make sure the best players in it or actually part of it.