Manny Machado and Bryce Harper if one of them winds up taking the Philadelphia Phillies' money: Be prepared to get very, very dirty
Three and a half months after the pursuit started, here's where things stand with Harper, Machado and their suitors. Plus, updates on Craig Kimbrel, Nolan Arenado and other stars seeking paydays.
The way free agency is ready to take their place among MLB's elite. going, the rush to sign early-bird contract extensions could become the norm. But at what cost?
They will have signed on to live in a city devoted to the rawest of competitors. The Broad Street Bullies, the Flyers of the '70s who won a lot of games, but have been remembered as much for their brawls. Chase Utley, who once told an opposing catcher from the batter's box that the pitcher needed to drill Utley, because he knew the retaliation was in order. Brian Dawkins, the fearless Eagles security who launched himself into tackles. Reggie White, the Minister of Defense
Team success would matter, of course, and if Harper or Machado wound up at the top of a championship dogpile or catching cans of beer in a victory parade, they would be in the Philly Circle of Trust, for sure, as Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Brad Lidge are, as Allen Iverson is. But before that, in those first games or seasons that Harper or Machado wore a Phillies uniform – if they choose to take the Phillies' money, and uniform – they should make a habit of running out every ball . Go airborne to third base, and to Pete Rose.