The Phillies made a couple of big free agent signings this offseason when they first, inked Carlos Santana, and then brought in pitcher Jake Arrieta late in the spring.

While the young Phillies look promising, they are far from a finished product, but that could change in the 2019 offseason, when some big names become available on the free agent market.

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, and Josh Donaldson, are just a few of the big names that will hit the open market.

Of that group, one big name to to keep an eye on is Machado.

The Phillies brass has ties tot he Baltimore organization, and it was one of the keys to them signing Arrieta this spring and it could be what connects them to Machado in the 2019 offseason.

MLB writer and insider Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports lists his top 13 contenders, along with the field, to land the free agent prize - and has the Phillies at the top of that list.

Phillies people loved Jake Arrieta from their days together in Baltimore, and they went out and got him when no one figured they would. That deal was important to put the Phillies on the map, and to show even bigger free agents they made business.

That could include Harper, who we looked at last week, and perhaps even more likely, it could include Machado, who was the crown jewel of the Orioles system from their time there. Practically the whole executive group knows Machado, and there’s no reason to think they don’t love him; that means president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak, plus execs Scott Proefrock, Ned Rice and Joe Jordan (who was the O’s’ scouting director when they picked him No. 3 overall).

The Phillies definitely have the wherewithal; they were one of about nine teams known to have looked into a trade for Machado (even though they have enough infielders) and they could get even more serious in the winter.

Odds: 3-1

Machado is off to a hit start this season, hitting .321 with three home runs and six RBI in 13 games for the Orioles.

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