We have spent the last week talking about the Phillies employing shortstop J.P. Crawford at third base.  One of our Phillies mailbag questions even asked us why. But maybe there's a bigger reason the Phillies want to show that Crawford will not necessarily be at third base:  One Manny Machado.

The Phillies might actually trying to keep the shortstop position free for Machado.  In today's FRS Inside Baseball Notes post, Jon Heyman reveals the Phillies are completely fine with Machado playing his preferred position of shortstop:

The thing is, they haven’t gotten much to this point from anyone on the left side of their infield, from J.P. Crawford to Maikel Franco to Scott Kingery. The Phillies are said to be willing to appease Machado by playing him at shortstop, where he looks fine despite so-so metrics.

Machado is known to really wish to play shortstop, his original position.

Machado originally moved to third base to accommodate shortstop J.J. Hardy, back in his prime with the Orioles.  Hardy has not announced his retirement, but he is not currently with the Orioles and not active in baseball, leaving room for Machado to return to his natural position this season.

The Phillies cannot publicly speak to describe their interest in Machado.  However, from all that has leaked, their interested is believed to be more than sincere. Previous relationships between Machado and Phillies president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak, and scouting director Joe Jordan, who signed Machado, give the Phillies an "in" that others may not have.

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