It certainly seems that way after the Philadelphia Phillies' five-hour visit with the star free agent Saturday. The Phillies reportedly prefer Machado, and their pursuit of the infielder could increase over the next few days.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Sunday, citing three sources, Philadelphia has "emerged as the clear-cut favorite" to sign the 26-year-old.
Executives from the Nationals, with whom Harper has spent his first seven big-league seasons, called a Harper reunion a "long shot". However, given the fact the group included managing partner John Middleton, club president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler, they likely at least put a legitimate offer on the table at some point during the meeting.
The White Sox and Phillies have both finished below.500 in each of the last six seasons. The 2019 Yankees will also be full of depth as they have valuable assets all around the diamond.
With the Yankees, LeMahieu will get a chance to move all around the infield. From a big picture view, the righty's signing is a hedge against the Yankees' commitment to Tulowitzki, Luke Voit, and even Miguel Andujar.
The Yankees' talks with Machado are either dormant or completely dead, and unless Machado accepts far less money from the Yankees than he might get elsewhere, Andujar will be back at third base.
In 128 games last season, LeMahieu, a right-handed hitter, batted.276 with a career-high 15 homers. The Yankees in turn sound committed to him.
Harper will be in Philadelphia and Machado will be playing for the White Sox.This is a great move by Brian Cashman as he has signed LeMahieu, a two-time All-Star, to a relative bargain, especially when you consider the alternative, Machado's asking price. The situation remains fluid, of course.