Prepare your battle stations! Per NBCSN Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, Manny Machado will be visiting Philadelphia later this week. The superstar infielder is set to visit Citizens Bank Park on Thursday. While this development will likely fill the hearts of Phillies fans with festive cheer, don’t get too excited. The news follows that of two other stops Machado and his team are planning to make this week.

He’s set to meet with the Chicago White Sox:

The Yankees, meanwhile, will host Machado a day before his visit to Philly:

It’s been hard to get a read on what exactly Machado is looking for in a potential suitor. He’s expressed a desire to play shortstop, where he’s played below-average defense to the tune of -11 Rdrs (defensive runs saved above average) in 199 games at the position over parts of three seasons. According to the same metric, he’s saved 85 runs in 731 games over seven seasons at third base.

More after the jump:

The Phillies and White Sox could theoretically offer Machado the chance to play short, though with different ramifications. The Phillies could move recently-acquired Jean Segura to second base and trade César Hernández or Scott Kingery, allowing the other to serve as a utility player. Per Salisbury, the Phillies would prefer to sign Machado to play third base, which would allow them to maintain their infield depth without making a trade. The White Sox would need to decide whether giving up on 25-year-old Tim Anderson makes sense for them, or if they could convince Machado to replace Yolmer Sánchez at third base.

The Yankees are the only team that would seemingly have a roadblock at shortstop in Didi Gregorius. The 28-year-old shortstop has been viewed by many around the game to be one of the better all-around players at his position. What the Yankees presumably have on their side is Machado’s reported desire to play in the Bronx and the reality that they likely won’t have Gregorius for the first half of the season and potentially longer as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

As far as I’m are concerned, the Phillies need to make a blockbuster signing of either Machado or All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper. To that end, Bob wrote up a delightful piece for the site yesterday. I’ve compared the Phillies impending offseason to that of the Sixers, though there are certainly some huge differences: one superstar can have an immeasurably significant impact on a team’s championship chances in basketball. The Phillies will need more than just one superstar to make themselves contenders in the National League. For a team whose owner started the off-season stating the team could spend money stupidly, the failure to acquire a big-name free agent would be an absolute PR disaster for a team looking to capture the hearts of the Delaware Valley next summer.