The Philadelphia Phillies entered the offseason favored by bookmakers to sign top free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Both remain available, but there's just one catch: Neither player is reportedly too keen on joining the Phillies, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
Word is neither player particularly likes Philadelphia and both would have preferred the Yankees, who have shown little interest in Harper.
Sherman doesn't expand on what Machado and Harper have against Philadelphia, but notes that he still expects the pair to sign with the highest bidder. That could be the Phillies.
The Phillies sure hope so. They've taken steps to improve their roster this winter, adding shortstop Jean Segura among other moves, but need to put the bow on top by adding an impact-level talent like Machado ( or Harper to feel more confident about their chances of keeping up with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in the National League East.
The Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers have also been tied to Machado and/or Harper this winter. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs likely won't be deemed out of the running on Harper until he shows up to spring training in another team's uniform.