MLBits: Machado Fallout, the White Sox Whiff, Bregman's Breakout, Moose at 2B, Reyes, Bauer, More

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MLBits: Machado Fallout, the White Sox Whiff, Bregman’s Breakout, Moose at 2B, Reyes, Bauer, More

Chicago Cubs

OMG … it happened.

You know, something … anything finally happened. Manny Machado signed a massive 10 year/$300M deal with the San Diego Padres and spared us another frustrating day of iced-out, free-agent misery. Now, the only pieces left to be signed are the complimentary types – like the 2015 NL MVP (Bryce Harper), the 2015 AL CY Young (Dallas Keuchel), and the 7-time All-Star closer (Craig Kimbrel). You know, complimentary types.

  • In case you missed it, Brett has some initial reactions and details of the Machado signing right here, but there’s obviously a lot more to unpack. For example, Jon Heyman is out there saying the Padres “aren’t ruling out Bryce Harper, too.” Which, yeah, sure, is probably something he heard … that I would strongly bet against. Then again, he’s not wrong to point out that their payroll is still at only $110M with Machado in the fold. They don’t have unlimited money, but the Padres did just refinance to free up more cash and are entering a critical period here with Machado and Hosmer in their prime.
  • But still … I doubt it. And for as much as Heyman is tapped in nationally, a Padres beat writer just stated that they’re definitively out on Harper.
  • Speaking of that signing, though, a little fun:

  • That’s hilarious. I wouldn’t have been able to keep it in.
  • For what it’s worth, the White Sox apparently woke up this morning thinking they had the best offer on the table for Machado, and I don’t actually doubt them on that. According to Ken Rosenthal, they were offering fewer guaranteed dollars ($250M), but at a higher AAV as it was spread over just 8 years. More importantly, if every option and incentive was reached, their deal would’ve reportedly swelled up to $350M. As it stands, Machado took the guaranteed $50M extra upfront. The Sox probably should’ve just guaranteed $300M if they were willing to go up to $350M, but well ….
  • Though they aren’t the only ones who think the Padres went over the top:

  • Hopefully, their “valuation” of Harper is much higher than it was for Machado, because otherwise, they may blow their best chance to spend stupid money this winter. A smart bet still has them walking away with Harper, but I wouldn’t exactly say it’s a lock.
  • As for the Cubs, they’d be wiser to save their money for this sweet-swinging lefty:

  • After Bregman’s response, that kid’s dad revealed that he was running around the house screaming (in joy) because of Bregman and Bregman responded: “Y’all in Florida? I’ll hit with him.” Which is really cool. Bregman, you’ll recall, was really good in his debut back in 2016 (114 wRC+) and followed it up with an even better sophomore campaign (123 wRC+), but he REALLY broke out last year, slashing .285/.394/.432 (157 wRC+, 7.6 WAR). I hope he’s really as cool as this Twitter exchange implies, because he’s another very likable, marketable star for baseball.
  • Bruce Bochy, manager of the Giants since 2007, is retiring after 2019.
  • When the Brewers first re-signed Mike Moustakas to a one-year deal, we assumed it was to play third base, Moustakas’ natural position, which would allow them to plug Travis Shaw, also a third baseman, in at second base. But not so fast. According to Tom Haudricourt, the Brewers are going to give Moustakas a chance to win the second base job during the Spring, so Shaw, who’s perhaps more out of position up the middle, could be the primary third baseman. I’d make fun of them for having terrible infield defense, but we did last summer and they won the division. So … yeah. That’s their plan.

  • Update on PECOTA … Brewers (88-74) first in the division. Cubs (79-83) … last. Me …

  • Trevor Bauer is apparently “More Concerned with Being Right than Being Liked,” which, okay, whatever. You can read all about his offseason prep and advanced training methods (which are actually quite impressive) right here at Sports Illustrated. And after that, you can scroll down to the weirdest part of the interview: “When Bauer meets a potential romantic partner, he outlines for her the parameters of any possible relationship on their very first date. ‘I have three rules,’ he says. ‘One: no feelings. As soon as I sense you’re developing feelings, I’m going to cut it off, because I’m not interested in a relationship and I’m emotionally unavailable. Two: no social media posts about me while we’re together, because private life stays private. Three: I sleep with other people. I’m going to continue to sleep with other people. If you’re not O.K. with that, we won’t sleep together, and that’s perfectly fine.'”
  • Earlier today, the Cardinals revealed that starter Carlos Martinez might not be ready for Opening Day and Brett wondered if he might be forced to stick in the bullpen all season long (strategically, that might be best for the Cardinals). But for however big the loss might feel in the rotation, Alex Reyes can close the gap and then some. And he’s already looking good:

  • And finally, new Mariners pitcher (and new MLB pitcher) Yusei Kikuchi has a pretty interesting delivery quirk. It’s like some sort of double clutch with his leg. I’m not sure I’ve seen this very often:

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami