Phillies

Phillies trade rumors: Phillies aim for Manny Machado and Jean Segura in the same infield

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Phillies trade rumors: Phillies aim for Manny Machado and Jean Segura in the same infield

The Phillies could be headed for a complete overhaul of the left side of their infield.

The team is interested in acquiring shortstop Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners, according to a baseball source.

So how does that impact the Phillies' desire to sign free agent Manny Machado?

It doesn't.

According to a source, the Phillies remain committed to pursuing Machado with the hope of playing him at third base should they be able to land Segura. Machado has played both third base and shortstop in his career. Though he enjoys playing shortstop and has said he'd like to stay there, he is a much better third baseman, elite by some standards.

Can the Phillies sell Machado on this idea? Time will tell. The winter meetings begin next weekend in Las Vegas and industry activity is expected to ramp up as they approach. Patrick Corbin, one of the top pitchers on the free-agent market, could make a decision on where he'll sign in the coming days. The Phillies, along with the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals, are very much in the hunt for his services. The Phils hosted Corbin at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.

Already in recent days, there has been an uptick in action, especially in the National League East. The Atlanta Braves signed third baseman Josh Donaldson and the New York Mets are on the verge of acquiring all-star second baseman Robinson Cano and dazzling young closer Edwin Diaz from the rebuilding Mariners.

The Phillies are keenly aware of the Mariners' current tack. They had trade discussions with the Mariners about pitcher James Paxton before he was dealt to the Yankees earlier in the offseason and, according to sources who have confirmed multiple reports, engaged the Mariners about the possibility of acquiring Segura and Diaz in a package deal before Seattle turned its focus to sending Cano and Diaz to the Mets.

The Phillies would still like to acquire Segura, possibly in a package that would include Carlos Santana as well as the young talent that Seattle seeks.

Segura, who turns 29 in March, is signed through 2022 and owed $60 million. He is an excellent hitter — he hit .308 with an .803 OPS over the last three seasons — and an above-average defender. Segura has a no-trade clause but would likely waive it to escape a rebuild.

Even if the Phillies don't land Segura, they would still pursue Machado with the possibility of playing him at shortstop before an eventual move to third base.

Machado is not the only high-profile free agent that the Phils are pursuing. They also maintain interest in outfielder Bryce Harper and their pursuit of the left-hander Corbin is clear. Adding a top lefty to the bullpen is another offseason goal and free agents Zach Britton and Andrew Miller remain targets.

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New Phillie Andrew McCutchen is confident he can 'bring the old me back'

New Phillie Andrew McCutchen is confident he can 'bring the old me back'

Andrew McCutchen did some homework before signing with the Phillies.

“I reached out to Shane Victorino to get his insights,” McCutchen said at his introductory news conference Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.

“He said some great things. He loved it here and he felt I would love it, too.”

McCutchen signed a three-year contract with the Phillies last week. The deal guarantees him $50 million. He will play a corner outfield spot and most likely bat in the fifth or sixth spot in manager Gabe Kapler’s lineup. McCutchen will also wear Kapler’s former No. 22. Kapler wore that number last year and gave it up after a conversation with McCutchen, who wore No. 22 during his nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

McCutchen was a former first-round draft pick of the Pirates. He embraced the Pittsburgh community, did extensive charity work in the area, married a local girl and still lives in that area. He and his wife, Maria, have a young son named, fittingly enough, Steel. ("We wanted a strong name," McCutchen said.) He was thrilled when the Phillies showed interest because it keeps him close to home.

McCutchen had a four-year peak with the Pirates where he finished third, first, third and fifth in National League MVP voting from 2012 to 2015. His averages across the board over that span: .313 batting average, 35 doubles, 25 homers, 90 RBIs, .926 OPS.

Over the last three seasons, McCutchen’s numbers, while still quite good, are not as gaudy. He has averaged .263, 29 doubles, 24 homers and a .802 OPS. During that time, he was traded twice (to the Giants and then the Yankees) and has moved off center field. The Phillies believe that McCutchen, who turned 32 in October, still has big years in front of him. McCutchen is confident that he does.

“I am the type of guy who doesn’t settle for where I'm at,” he said. “I understand the past few years haven’t been what I wanted them to be and they haven’t been what people expected them to be. And I understand people have an expectation because of something you’ve done previously. So when you don’t meet those expectations that people have, you’ll get the backlash, you may get the, ‘You’re not good,’ and, ‘He’s in decline,’ and I get all that.

“But for me, personally, pushing that to the side, I do realize that I can be better and that I’m going to be better. I’m working to make the adjustments needed to be a better player.

“So I’m looking to come in here and bring the old me back. I know it’s there. I don’t accept what I’ve done. I’m looking forward to coming back and showing what I’m capable of doing and doing great things here.”

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Recent Manny Machado-centric moves made by Yankees and White Sox are meaningless

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Recent Manny Machado-centric moves made by Yankees and White Sox are meaningless

Baseball, basketball, football, no matter the sport, rarely does a star free agent’s decision come down to anything other than money and winning. 

Manny Machado is making visits this week. He was in Chicago with the White Sox on Monday and will also visit Yankee Stadium before coming to Philly for a visit Thursday. 

And while Machado makes the rounds, speculation is rampant that his other suitors are making moves to entice him. 

First, there was the White Sox trading for first baseman Yonder Alonso, whose sister is Machado's wife and who lives in the same complex as him in Florida.

Then, there was the Yankees’ adding outfielder and future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran to their front office. Beltran shares an agent with Machado. 

Let’s be real. Neither development matters. Machado is not going to turn down extra money or extra years under contract because the White Sox now employ his brother-in-law, or because Beltran is now consulting with the Yankees. 

This is Machado’s chance at a historic, life-changing payday. The money, realism of contending and position he’ll play are what matter most. 

If Machado picks the Yankees, it will be because that’s where he’s always wanted to play. If he picks the White Sox, it will be because he’s a crazy person.

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