The Philadelphia Phillies fell off late this past season. But they’re close — really close. And as it turns out, they’ve got plenty of money to spend. In fact, team owner John Middleton plans to spend a lot. Even if it gets a bit…reckless.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money,” Middleton told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it. We just prefer not to be completely stupid.”
To be completely honest, this is a tremendous quote. And in fairness, this is exactly the type of attitude MLB free agency needs. Especially after last year’s will they, won’t they routine. A lot of teams got cheap last season, and will continue to do so. But it seems the Phillies aren’t going to be one of those teams.
“I don’t know who you’re referring to, but we will be spending,” Middleton added when asked about the possibility of spending somewhere in the range of $700 million for two of the league’s top free agents.
(He definitely doesn’t know who they’re talking about. Absolutely not. It’s definitely not Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.)
Anyway, starting pitcher Patrick Corbin is another top free agent to keep an eye on this winter. All three will be expensive. Harper and Machado will be the most expensive — in that order. It just depends on how much the Phillies are will to spend. Last season, they put together an 80-82 campaign. They started strongly, but faded late.
Would Harper or Machado put them over the top?