This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"Let’s focus, though, on the type of team that has historically signed the biggest free-agent deals, the ones trying to launch themselves into contention, the ones for whom marginal wins mean the most. Between the likely value of the two players, and the current rosters and projections of the teams, it seems to me that there are 11 teams for which you can make a real argument for this. Go to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper and offer them a contract that makes them the highest-paid player in baseball next season, and allows them to leave the next time the market looks better than sticking around."