This week, star free agent infielder Manny Machado will be visiting Citizens Bank Park for the first time since July 25, and it will not involve playing a Major League Baseball game. Instead, he and the Philadelphia Phillies will meet on Thursday at the venue for a "recruiting visit" with club officials, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.
The visit will be Machado's third of the week, following similar visits with the Chicago White Sox on Monday, and the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Perhaps the third time, or visit, will be the charm for the Phillies and Managing Partner John Middleton, who is willing to spend "stupid" amounts of money?
The Phillies have strong interest in signing Machado to be their third baseman. However, landing Machado will not be easy as the player has had a long desire to play for the Yankees. The Yankees could even offer Machado a chance to play shortstop, at least for part of the 2019 season, as Didi Gregorius recovers from elbow surgery. Machado is an elite defensive third baseman, but shortstop is his favorite position.
Though the Phillies favor Machado over Bryce Harper, this winter's other mega free agent, they remain interested and engaged with Harper and pursuit of the outfielder could intensify if they don't land Machado.
The Phillies invited southpaw free agent Patrick Corbin to Citizens Bank Park, before he ultimately signed with the Washington Nationals on a six-year pact. Unwilling to follow Middelton's "stupid" spending promises with Corbin, is hard to believe the Phillies will pass on impressing Machado (at least monetarily), too.