So asks the

I’m begging you, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, please put us out of our misery and sign somewhere already.

It has been an unusual baseball offseason in a couple of ways. One: It’s not often that talents like Machado and Harper, both 26 and together possessing 10 All-Star berths and 61 career bWAR, are on the free agency market at the same time. Two: We are now one measly month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and neither the erstwhile Orioles and Dodgers shortstop nor the sometime Nationals outfielder has a new team to call home. Yet. And so we, the collective baseball public, have been left to our own devices.

Perhaps you root for the Chicago White Sox. Over the last few years, your team has been hoarding prospects and keeping payrolls low. Lately, the Sox have been collecting members of Machado’s inner circle—Yonder Alonso, the shortstop’s brother-in-law, and Jon Jay, who trains with him in the offseason—and surely, surely, the man himself must be coming to the South Side. But has the team limited its offer to seven years, a line the White Sox reportedly drew in the sand for both players? Or … is it eight? Or is it—ugh—maybe none of the above?

Or maybe you root for the Phillies, whose brass met with Harper in his native Las Vegas last week, and the pitch reportedly went so well that the team has considered focusing just on him. “Optimism is high,” per reports! But alsothe Phillies went and hired a Manny mentor, and, well, inquiring minds want to know: Could you get both of them?

Is it Los Angeles you love? Your window is closing; you know that. These great teams, these last two years of almost—it’s reasonable to think that the Dodgers have been, or moreover that they are, just a superstar bat and a sprinkling of luck away from winning it all. Manny—he loved it there at the end of 2018, said so himself! Why not make it official, long term? Bryce makes even more sense—we all know he wants a ring, wants the glow of a big-market spotlight: Haven’t they, ahem, finagled the books so they can accommodate a massive salary?

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