MLB Rumors: Phillies Interested in Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Corbin, Kimbrel

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper in action during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies may be gearing up to make a run at some of the biggest free agents on the market this offseason.

According to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, Philadelphia are interested in outfielder Bryce Harper, infielder Manny Machado, pitcher Patrick Corbin and closer Craig Kimbrel.

Harper is coming off a season in which he hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBI. While spending the first seven years of his career with the Washington Nationals, the former National League MVP has hit .268/.365/.564 with 14 home runs in 50 games at Citizens Bank Park.

Machado, meanwhile, hit .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs, 35 doubles, three triples and 107 RBI in 162 games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After winning two Gold Gloves at the hot corner, Machado played shortstop full-time for the first time in his career in 2018.

With Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw already locked up, Corbin is arguably the top arm on the market this winter. The southpaw went 11-7 with a career-best 3.15 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP in 33 starts, striking out 246 batters in 200 innings.

Kimbrel had another impressive year, earning his seventh All-Star selection while recording 42 saves and posting a 2.74 ERA in 63 appearances. He struck out 96 hitters in 62.1 innings. His strong year was capped off with a World Series title as well.

The Phillies' interest in Harper and Machado is nothing new, as there has been buzz surrounding the two stars dating back to the summer. However, the Corbin and Kimbrel interest is certainly noteworthy.

Of course, Phillies owner John Middleton recently went on the record of saying his team is willing to go on a spending spree this winter.

"We're going into this expecting to spend money," Middleton told USA Today Sports' Bob Nightengale. "And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it. We just prefer not to be completely stupid."

"It's exciting to contemplate what we may be able to do this off-season. We know the free agent class this year is really, really good."

Philadelphia is currently in the midst of a seven-year playoff drought. After hanging out in contention for most of the 2018 season, the Phillies finished the year at 80-82 and in third place in the NL East. Now, they are ready to spend big in order to try to take the next step back to winning baseball.

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