If my upcoming summer was an episode of F-R-I-E-N-D-S! it would be called “The One With All The Weddings.” As of today, I’m standing up in three weddings and have another FIVE to attend by the end of September. I honestly need to start budgeting for these freakin things, because this is getting a little ridiculous. Oh, but also … omgcongratulationsimsohappyforyou.
Saturdays are for baseball. Come on.
- In case you missed it, things have been heating up on the Bryce Harper front, with yesterday’s news that the Phillies might be closing in a bit. And apparently, it took things crystalizing on that front for some the other interested parties to up their offers: Jon Heyman reports that Harper has “multiple long-term offers for more than $30M a year,” adding that the Phillies are considered the favorites at the moment. Indeed, if we take that report as gospel, any notions of Harper getting fewer than 7 years and less than, say, $250M have pretty much been thrown out the window. And that, in turn, makes me feel a little better about the Cubs position out of this picture – in other words, at least the Cubs aren’t missing out on some huge discount by having their pockets sewn shut this offseason.
- To that end, Bob Nightengale seems to really believe it’ll ultimately be the Phillies and that Harper will get north of the 10/$300M deal he turned down from the Nationals back in September.
- But teams are clearly getting serious about these two guys, with Heyman reporting that the Padres offer to Manny Machado is around 8 years/$250M (some reports say it’s even higher than that) and that their offer to Harper is getting competitive, as well:
Padres aren’t kidding around and are said to have made serious offers for both Machado and Harper. Their bid for Machado is believed to be for about $250M (and about 8 years) tho there is the Cali tax and possibly deferrals. Bid for Harper believed to be for more than that.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2019
- The Padres have always felt like a long-shot on Harper to me (ditto the Giants), but they do seem like a reasonable landing spot for Machado (just don’t ask Buster Olney, who, for some reason, thinks they’d be crazy to sign him) and are clearly willing to make the finances work. I can’t wait to see where these two guys end up. And I will point out a distinct lack of White Sox rumors on either front lately. I wonder if the bidding just got too rich for their blood?
- Obviously, the Giants are out on Harper, now that they’ve brought in 31-year-old free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin to camp as a non-roster invitee (I’m kidding, if it wasn’t clear). Given their present roster makeup, the Giants always felt like the worst fit for Harper among the obvious suitors and despite their needs in the outfield, but they have been involved and I wouldn’t be shocked if they had one of those big offers out there.
- This offseason, the Reds have traded for Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Sonny Gray (did I miss one?) while sprinkling in some smaller free agent signings to fill in the cracks, but they might not be done yet. With that said, the Reds have avoided spending too much money this winter, so I don’t really expect them to start now. Who knows, maybe another trade presents itself, but I’d bet more on some sort of low-cost bullpen addition, if anything.
- UPDATE: Just after I clicked publish:
#Reds in agreement with free-agent infielder Derek Dietrich on a minor-league contract, pending a physical. Deal includes invitation to major-league spring training and will be worth $2M+ on the major-league side.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 18, 2019
- Or maybe just the right opportunity comes around like Mike Moustakas and the Brewers:
Source confirms Moustakas deal with Brewers is $10M with a mutual option for 2020. @JonHeyman was first.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 17, 2019
- For what it’s worth, Steamer is projecting Moustakas to slash .260/.321/.491 with 31 home runs next season, which equates to production roughly 13% better than the league average, which is a lot to get for just 1 year and $10M.
- Early and notably team-friendly extensions for Aaron Nola, Luis Severino, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco have led us to believe that some young players have taken notice of the risky (to put it nicely) free agent market and have gotten too scared to bet on it when the time comes. HOWEVER, Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer’s recent arbitration wins may do their part to push back against some of these pre-arb deals. The TribLive discusses that exact concept with respect to young Pirates starter Jameson Taillon.
- The players union is probably not going to be happy about this, but Khris Davis is apparently willing to take a salary cut to make an extension work in Oakland: “He would be willing to accept $10MM per year if the A’s were to extend through at least the 2021 season,” writes Mark Polishuk of MLBTR. Davis is slated to make $16.5M via arbitration in 2019 and has hit over 40 home runs in each of the last three seasons. But don’t think he’s abandoning his big league brothers – he just knows what’s up: “It’s not a good thing being a free agent right now,” Davis said. “I’m already 31. I don’t know if I’m too old. There’s a lot of things that run through my head.”