Sports | April 29, 2019 12:17 pm

How Have Manny Machado and Bryce Harper Impacted Their New Teams?

The Padres and Phillies are both on 93-win paces thus far

Bryce Harper (34) greets Manny Machado (13). (Tony Quinn/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty)
Bryce Harper (34) greets Manny Machado (13). (Tony Quinn/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty)
Corbis via Getty Images

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Between the two of them, former National Bryce Harper and former Oriole Manny Machado were guaranteed more than a half-billion dollars in future salary when they signed their respective free-agent deals with the Phillies and Padres. Huge commitments by both clubs which would theoretically lead to a huge impact both on the diamond and off of it. Now, about a month into the 2019 season, we can ask: Has it?

On the field at least, the impact has not been great if you look at their individual stats.

Neither Harper nor Machado rank in the top 10 in any of the major offensive categories in the National League and both have been outplayed by MVP favorites like Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.

That said, San Diego and Philadelphia have been playing well and both teams have a 16-12 record thus far and are on 93-win paces.

Were Machado and Harper — who does lead the NL in walks — not in the lineup, it’s tough to image either team being in that position. 

“When ownership made that choice, it raised our collective expectation level,” Padres manager Andy Green said of the Machado signing. “That is very difficult to quantify – when a team looks at each other in that clubhouse and goes, ‘We’ve got enough to go win baseball games now,’ and feel strongly about that, instead of trying to manufacture that feeling.”

This week, the offseason’s two biggest acquisitions meet for the first time when the Phillies travel to Petco Park on Friday

“We’ll challenge them right now,” Machado said. “Once you step on that field, it’s game on. It’s 25 against 25 and the better team’s going to win. Whether we have a better team or they do, nobody knows. But know we’re going leave it all on the field.”