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MLB writer: Lack of teams interested in Bryce Harper, Manny Machado a ‘disgrace’

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain on the free-agent market, and one MLB writer believes the lack of teams lining up to make offers on such uniquely talented players is a “disgrace.”

While there are a handful of teams interested in Harper and Machado, including some that reportedly made formal offers to the top-tier free agents, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden cannot believe there aren’t more suitors for their services.

As it stands, the general consensus is that there are four teams in the mix to sign either Harper, Machado or possibly both, although the latter is a long shot due to the exorbitant salaries the two sluggers are demanding. Bowden cannot believe the lack of action, as well as interest.

“Who knows when players of this magnitude, at this point in their careers, will be available again?” Bowden writes in a piece published Wednesday. “This is a rare opportunity. They are both there for the taking. It’s time for some owner, some president, some GM, some front office to step up, shock the baseball world and sign them Otherwise, for Machado, it looks like it will be the White Sox, Phillies or Yankees and, for Harper, the Nationals or Phillies. Essentially just four teams legitimately bidding for the game’s two best free agents.

“What a joke. What a disgrace.”

Bowden is absolutely correct that both Machado and Harper, both 26 years of age, are arguably generational talents entering the prime of their careers.

That said, there are certain mitigating factors that may contribute to the lack of some smaller-market teams bidding for their services; namely, how both sluggers are said to be seeking contracts upwards of $300 million or more and terms of up to 10 years.

On the other hand, a report this week indicates MLB payrolls last season dropped for the first time since 2010, which comes amid a second consecutive offseason where the free agency period has been troublingly lackluster.

Whether it rises to the level of “disgrace” is debatable, the notion that both Harper and Machado remain unsigned — paired with the lack of suitors — is certainly something to ponder.