Citizens Bank Park

A glimpse at Manny Machado’s day in Philly

A glimpse at Manny Machado’s day in Philly

Manny Machado pulled up to Citizens Bank Park in a silver SUV just before noon on Thursday and immediately received some advice from a man who had been working at a construction site across the street.

"Do the right thing and sign!" the man, identified as Tom Cudeyro, a Phillies fan from South Jersey, shouted. "Get the money!"

Machado was greeted at the front door by Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler.

The Phillies hope Machado does what Pete Rose, Jim Thome and Cliff Lee did before him. They hope he signs with the club as a free agent and they planned to make their desire to have him clear during a face-to-face meeting at the ballpark that was scheduled to last several hours.

Ultimately, money will do the talking. Machado and Bryce Harper, the other mega free agent on the market, are in a stare down to see who can land the winter's biggest deal — and, for that matter, maybe the biggest deal ever, something that could eclipse $300 million.

The Phillies surely have the interest in Machado. They envision him gobbling up balls at third base and hitting for average and power in the middle of their lineup for many years. They also have the money to get him. The question is: Can they beat out the New York Yankees for Machado's affection and his signature? Machado, 26, has long dreamed of playing for the Yankees and they can offer him the chance to play shortstop, his favorite position, at least at the beginning of his contract as incumbent shortstop Didi Gregorius recovers from elbow surgery.

The Phillies might have to outbid the Yankees for Machado, but they seem willing to do that. If they strike out on Machado, they could become more serious about signing Harper. But right now, Machado is clearly the Phillies' focus because, in addition to having huge offensive impact, he would have huge defensive impact at third base, more than Harper would in right field.

Machado visited with White Sox officials in Chicago on Monday and Yankees officials in New York on Wednesday. He arrived at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, posed for a picture with Cudeyro, the construction worker/fan, and made his way through a phalanx of cameras on his way to the ballpark entrance.

Machado was to spend several hours visiting with Phillies officials. He and his wife, Yainee, were to have lunch in a suite overlooking the field and Machado's image on Phanavision. A tour of the clubhouse and other ballpark facilities was planned. The Phillies' welcoming party included Klentak, Kapler, managing partner John Middleton, club president Andy MacPhail, assistant general manager Ned Rice, hitting coach John Mallee and bench coach Rob Thomson. Surely, there would be a give and take, with Machado asking questions about the team's direction and team officials asking about the controversial "Johnny Hustle" comments that he made in October.

Dinner, at an undisclosed location, was planned in the evening and Machado is scheduled to return home to Miami on Friday morning.

With the recruiting visits coming to an end, Machado and agent Dan Lozano will start to dig deeply into teams' actual offers and then it's decision time.

White Sox?

Yankees?

Phillies?

Stay tuned.

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Here's the scoop on Manny Machado's visit to Philly

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Here's the scoop on Manny Machado's visit to Philly

The Manny Machado Free Agent Tour is coming to Philadelphia.

Machado will be in town Thursday for a recruiting visit with Phillies officials, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The trip to Philadelphia is part of a busy week for the star infielder. Chicago-based baseball reporter Bruce Levine has reported that Machado will be in that city to visit with White Sox officials this week and George King of the New York Post reports that Machado will visit the Yankees in New York on Wednesday.

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.

Earlier this offseason, the Phillies hosted pitcher Patrick Corbin for a recruiting visit at Citizens Bank Park. He also visited the Yankees and Washington Nationals and ended up signing a six-year deal with Washington.

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End of an era as McFadden's will close at Citizens Bank Park

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End of an era as McFadden's will close at Citizens Bank Park

Closing time.

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

After a run of 15 seasons, the McFadden’s location at Citizens Bank Park will close its doors for good. The bar/restaurant opened in 2004 and has been a staple for every season the Phillies have played at the ballpark.

McFadden’s official Instagram page posted this on Tuesday.

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There are a couple factors in play here. While no one has cited any reason for the closing, two big issues could be in play. The Phillies had yet another disappointing year through the gates, averaging just over 27,000 fans per game, which is up from last year, but down significantly from the 2007-to-2013 days, and XFINITY Live!, located directly across the street, provides some big-time competition for the popular establishment.

With 2019 comes great hopes for the Phillies and their fans, with the potential to add some significant pieces to their team, which could be a major boost for attendance, yet it remains to be seen how this prime real estate at the ballpark will be utilized next season.

There’s still time for one more drink and maybe to spill one out for McFadden’s.

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