Thursday, January 3, 2019

Why the New York Yankees Should Sign Bryce Harper and Not Manny Machado

All the major league baseball hot stove rumors this off-season have the New York Yankees targeting free agent Manny Machado and not Bryce Harper. If the rumors are true the New York Yankees are making a huge mistake.


                                                  (Photo by Keith Allison)

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the two huge free agent prizes for all the teams in major league baseball. Both Harper and Machado are 26 years old. Studies have consistently shown that most major league baseball players hit their prime at 27 years of age.

So anybody signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to long-term deals should get most of their money's worth as these two stars are just reaching their prime. Even a 10 year deal for them should not be overly prohibitive since both players are likely to still be productive MLB players at age 36, barring injury.

Looking at the two players, though, reveals that Bryce Harper is the real free-agent prize. He is not just a better offensive player than Manny Machado he is head and shoulders better.

OBP 


  • Harper - .388



  • Machado - .335



SLG


  • Harper - .512



  • Machado - .487



OPS


  • Harper - .900



  • Machado - .822



In three key stats, Bryce Harper is far superior to Manny Machado. Harper has a 16% higher OBP, 5% higher slugging percentage and a 9.5% higher OPS.

Here's another key stats where Bryce Harper is far superior.


Run Average


  • Harper - .185



  • Machado - .140



In terms of scoring runs, Bryce Harper is 32% better than Manny Machado per official at-bat. That is a huge difference. You win baseball games by scoring runs and Bryce Harper is far better at that than Manny Machado is.

Keep in mind that Bryce Harper has played his whole career in a lousy hitters park while Manny Machado has played mainly in a hitters park in Baltimore. And despite that, Harper has still put up far superior numbers.

Bryce Harper has also led the league six times in key offensive stats (runs, home runs, OBP, SLG, OPS and Walks). Manny Machado has only led the league once (doubles).

Bryce Harper was the National League MVP in 2015 at the age of 22. Young players who win the MVP Award have a long history of winning the award again in their careers. The best Manny Machado has ever done in the MVP voting is 4th place.

When you look at the stats the question for the New York Yankees is why would you sign Manny Machado over Bryce Harper? Without any doubt Harper is the far superior offensive player who has much more upside than Machado does.

While Manny Machado does play SS and Bryce Harper is an OF, the offensive difference between the two is so great that the New York Yankees would be foolish to sign Manny Machado instead of Bryce Harper.

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