A couple of days ago, I put together the way the first free agents, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, fit all 30 teams. What I did not understand was the question about which player I would rather have.
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Based on the tenor of the discussions on the many Facebook bulletin boards on which I am in fact, the correct answer would be neither one nor the other. Both are the epitome of the spoiled and lazy modern player and they would be the clubhouse cancers of any team trying to win. At least that's what I keep reading. For whatever reason, people get very upset about things on social media.
There is no team in the majors that would not take both Machado and Harper if he could afford it. They are so good. In fact, they are apparently good enough to arouse widespread disdain, which is a good compliment.
So let's start with this: if I'm running a team, I'd like to have both players as a piece of foundation. There are 45 players in the history of the great league that have generated at least 580 tracks created during their 25-year season. This is the total career of Machado, who seems to be seven more than Stan Musial at the same age. Harper created 682 runs, which ranked 22nd in the 25-and-under ranking. It is in the lead of players like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker and Lou Gehrig.