Fly On The Wall: How Manny Machado Becomes A Phillie

Fly On The Wall: How Manny Machado Becomes A Phillie
  • Scott Engel

Here is How The Talks Would Go That Would Put Manny Machado in Philadelphia

By Cam Giangrande

t’s good to be a fly on the wall during the Hot Stove season.

“Danny, (Duquette), It’s Matt, (Klentak, GM of The Philadelphia Phillies), do you have a couple minutes?”

“Sure, what’s on your mind?”

“You know what’s on my mind. MANNY.”

“You, and everyone else.”

“But I’m in a position to give you what you want.”

“I’m listening.”

“Two of our top five pitching prospects; Adonis Medina, who’s 20 years old, and 22 year-old lefty, Ranger Suarez.”

“Give me an hour or so, to talk to our team and get back to you: I’m sure you realize you aren’t the only call I’ve fielded for him.”

“That’s fine…and by the way, any trade we bang out will need to have a 72 hour window for us to negotiate an extension with him.”

“Good luck with that, we’ve been trying for years…I’ll get back to you.”

One hour and 36 minutes later

”Matty?”

“Hi Dan, so what’s the verdict?”

“You didn’t lie…they are two of your Top 5 pitching prospects, but neither is 1 or 2. Why no Sixto Sanchez or Franklyn Kilome? I’ve got to sell this to our fans too.”

“First of all, you know why I didn’t mention those guys…because they are our first and second pitching prospects. And let’s face it, no matter who you get, you have to explain it to your fan base.”

“Fair enough, but those two guys aren’t enough.”

“Why do I have a feeling you’re about to tell me what will be enough?”

“On top of those two guys, we’d need back Kilome, rookie shortstop J.P. Crawford, and rookie outfielder Nick Williams.

That’s Insane, we couldn’t do that! Williams would be a deal breaker, we love him. I suppose Crawford is a bit expendable if we have Manny tied up.”

“We’ll do it, taking Williams out of the deal.”

“Still too much Danny, what if we just add Crawford?”

“Honestly, the one piece that has to be in the deal after looking at your pitchers, is Kilome…6’6 body, 98-plus fastball, He’s someone I can sell to the fans. You said Williams is a deal breaker; for us, not having Kilome would be a deal breaker.”

“Dammit!”

“Do you want to call me back?”

“No, I want to bang this out…I’m not doing a four for one with those guys. If I replace Kilome into the deal with one of the two initial pitchers I mentioned, (Suarez or Medina), would you do the three for one”

“I’d want the lefty Suarez.”

“Fine, we prefer Medina…OK, DONE DEAL!”

“Not so fast Matt, I want a fourth piece, you choose. One of your Top 30 prospects, it can be a lower one, pitcher or hitter, healthy or injured, I don’t care.”

“Give me a minute here to look at my charts…How about 17 year-old shortstop, Luis Garcia?”

“That’ll be fine. Good luck working a deal out with Manny. You know he’s hell bent on being the highest paid player in the game.”

“We’re making a push and we’ve got money to spend. Thanks Dan.”

“You’re welcome, thank you too. Goodbye.”

What Happens Next …

“Mr Lozano, (Dan Lozano, MVP Sports Group), this is Matt Klentak, GM of the Philadelphia Phillies…”

“I know who you are; Dan Duquette already called Manny, who called me. Respectfully, you can take 720 hours instead of 72, Manny’s going to free agency.”

“May I ask why?”

“I think you know why; free agency will draw multiple teams, and multiple teams draw multiple offers…which of course, makes Manny a very, very happy man.”

“Let’s cut the B.S. you want to give Manny a record deal, so your name gets in the paper, the way Boras’ name always does. The more you get for your guys, the more guys you get. Believe me, I get it. But we really want Manny, and we’re prepared to pay him. We have a long-term window that we want him to be the centerpiece in. And, we’re agreeable to him playing shortstop, which I know he wants to do.  Is there any chance I could speak with him directly?”

“No.”

“We’re prepared to make him one of the richest players in the game.”

One of?…I don’t want to waste your time, and I really don’t want to waste my time, so here’s the deal Matt, Giancarlo Stanton has the richest contract in the game, 325 million dollars. That’s where your negotiations begin

“We’re prepared to offer him a 10-year, 275 million dollar deal, which is the second largest deal of all-time.”

“27 and a half Million per year is friggin’ Yoenis Cespedes money. Like I said, do not waste my time!”

“OK than, let’s cut to the chase. You said 325 million was my starting point…what’s my finishing point? What are you looking for?”

“You know as well as I do that Harper wants 40 million a year for 13 years to be baseball’s first 500 million dollar man…”

“Wait a minute, there’s no way you realistically expect us…”

“Why not, that’s 40 times 13 years…520 million has a nice ring to it. Greinke is getting around 35 per year, this is only 5 million more…Manny’s gonna be 26 years old, he won’t even be 40 when the contract is over. Hell, you’ll be able to re-sign him to another three or four year deal at that time.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I am serious, you asked me for the number, that’s the number that allows you to get one of the best players in the game, and leap-frog his free agent status, and get to the front of the line. Why should Bryce Harper be the first to get it?”

“Jesus Christ, I understand wanting to set the market for your client, I really do, but you want to obliterate the previous threshold.”

“You came to us, sir.”

“I need to talk to my owners.”

“That’s fine, you have about another 71 hours.”

FOUR HOURS LATER

“OK, I spoke to my owners. 10 years, 350 million…and before you say anything, that deal accomplishes both goals for you. It gives Manny the largest total contract in the game and largest per season number of 35 million.”

“Harper’s going to destroy that number.”

“And so will Trout when his time comes, and Giancarlo when he opts out, and some 12 year-old kid in a dozen years. We’re talking about today, and if you guys say yes, your guy is at the top of the heap.”

“First of all, I’m surprised we’re still talking. It does tell me you guys are serious. And that offer isn’t insulting. I said Giancarlo’s 325 million was the starting point, and you have gone past it. But 10 years is a deal breaker, it’ll have to be 12 years minimum with two options built in.”

“Do you have a counter offer?”

“I’m painting you a pretty good picture…I’ll tell you what, in the spirit of negotiation, 12 years at 40 million per year, 480 million with two built in options. FINAL OFFER.

“You know my owner wants to get this done…I know you said final offer, but he just CAN’T go that high. 12 years at 35 million per, which is 420 million Dollars. That’s OUR FINAL OFFER.

“Wow, I’m really impressed. You don’t want 60 million dollars to be what keeps this deal from happening. Let’s split the difference: 450 million, with two 25 million dollar options, so in total, the deal can be reported as a 14 year 500 million dollar contract.”

“I don’t want to quibble, but make it 440 million with two 30 million dollar options. The 500 million stays the same, but we save 10 million in real money.”

“Congratulations Mr Klentak, tell your owners you just acquired Manny Machado. We can hammer out all the fine print later, but you have a deal.”