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On The Move presented by Penske

Source: Rangers mull dealing Minor to Phillies

Veteran lefty may net young, controllable pitching Texas covets
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Phillies have expressed interest in left-hander Mike Minor, who is currently the Rangers' No. 1 starter. It is a move Texas has to consider because Philadelphia is deep in young, controllable pitching.

Acquiring young pitching has been the Rangers' goal this offseason, and there could be an attractive match with the Phillies. One source said the Rangers would be willing to trade Minor if the Phillies are willing to give up at least a couple of their better young pitching prospects.

ARLINGTON -- The Phillies have expressed interest in left-hander Mike Minor, who is currently the Rangers' No. 1 starter. It is a move Texas has to consider because Philadelphia is deep in young, controllable pitching.

Acquiring young pitching has been the Rangers' goal this offseason, and there could be an attractive match with the Phillies. One source said the Rangers would be willing to trade Minor if the Phillies are willing to give up at least a couple of their better young pitching prospects.

"We are still in the pursuit [stage]," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said about the overall quest for young pitching. "We probably spent more [time] overall discussing with other teams some of the players on our club that they are interested in, [to] see what fits are there."

Minor made a successful transition to the rotation this past season after an outstanding year as a reliever for the Royals in 2017. He was 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA in the first season of a three-year contract. The Phillies could also be interested in Minor as a reliever and their interest may depend on if they land free agent left-hander Andrew Miller.

The Phillies are deep in young pitching -- including left-handers Ranger Suarez and Cole Irvin, plus right-handers Enyel De Los Santos and Drew Anderson. All were at Triple-A at the end of last season.

Some of the Phillies' best pitching prospects are in the lower levels of the Minors. Right-handers Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina, and left-handers David Parkinson and Kyle Young were in Class A, while left-hander JoJo Romero was at Double-A.

• The Rangers are among the teams showing interest in free-agent righty Mike Fiers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com. The Reds, Giants and Nationals are also considered to be in the mix.

Fiers, 33, split the season with the Tigers and the Athletics, going 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 30 starts and one relief appearance. He would give the Rangers a third proven starter behind Minor and right-hander Lance Lynn. The Rangers reached an agreement on a three-year, $30 million contract with Lynn at the Winter Meetings, but an official announcement is pending a physical.

• Texas has not announced it yet, but it reached an agreement during the Winter Meetings on a Minor League contract with outfielder Danny Santana. He has 364 games of Major League experience with the Twins and Braves. He owns a career batting average of .256 with a .292 on-base percentage and a .375 slugging percentage.

Video: CIN@ATL: Santana hits game-tying RBI double to right

• The Rangers are also working on a Minor League contract for right-handed pitcher Rafael Montero. He was 5-11 with a 5.52 ERA in 18 starts and 16 relief appearances for the Mets in 2017 before missing all of last season because of Tommy John surgery.

• Texas claimed infielder Carlos Asuaje off waivers from the Padres at the Winter Meetings, but he may end up playing in the Korea Baseball Organization.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Mike Minor

White Sox acquire Alonso in deal with Tribe

Veteran is Machado's brother-in-law; expected to split time between first base, DH
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- It doesn't take much of an internet search to find out first baseman Yonder Alonso is the brother-in-law of premium free agent Manny Machado.

That same search turns up that the White Sox are reportedly meeting with Machado this coming week. So, the addition of Alonso via trade from the Indians in exchange for Minor League outfielder Alex Call, a move made official on Saturday morning, figures to help the recruitment cause.

CHICAGO -- It doesn't take much of an internet search to find out first baseman Yonder Alonso is the brother-in-law of premium free agent Manny Machado.

That same search turns up that the White Sox are reportedly meeting with Machado this coming week. So, the addition of Alonso via trade from the Indians in exchange for Minor League outfielder Alex Call, a move made official on Saturday morning, figures to help the recruitment cause.

Hot Stove Tracker

But general manager Rick Hahn, speaking on a conference call on Saturday before going to work the scoreboard at one of his sons' youth hockey games, pointed out this deal was much more than a family affair.

"Fundamentally this is a baseball deal," Hahn said. "We feel this makes us better.

"We like how Yonder fits in between the lines and in the clubhouse, and helps further what we're trying to accomplish in 2019 and beyond. The potential ancillary benefits to it in terms of his relationships with others really can't be part of pulling the trigger in making the decision to acquire a big league player, especially a veteran one with this type of contract commitment."

Video: White Sox trade for Yonder Alonso

Alonso, 31, hit .250 with 23 home runs, 83 RBIs, 19 doubles and a .738 OPS in '18. He played 138 games at first base for the American League Central champions, and he will split time with Jose Abreu between first and designated hitter. Abreu, who enters his last year of White Sox contractual control, played 114 games at first and served as DH 13 times during an '18 campaign marked with a couple of late injuries.

Abreu has not been a huge fan of the DH role, and Alonso only DHd once in each of the past two seasons. But Hahn talked to Abreu prior to the trade on Friday, and he's excited to have his good friend join the team.

"If he had his preference, he'd play 162 games per year, all of them at first base," Hahn said of Abreu. "Ultimately as he's gotten older and he's seen the seven and a half or longer month grind as part of being a big leaguer, he knows there's benefit to being off his feet and pacing himself, so he can be strong and continue to be the powerful offensive force that he is at the big league level."

Alonso has an $8 million salary for 2019 and a $9 million option for '20 with a $1 million buyout. Per Cot's Contracts, Alonso's 2020 option is guaranteed if he passes a physical after the 2019 season and has 550 plate appearances in 2019 or 1,100 plate appearances in '18-19 combined.

Plenty of contractual room exists for the White Sox even after adding Alonso's salary, as Spotrac has them just over $33 million pre-arbitration for '19. This Alonso move, which followed the free-agent signing of catcher James McCann on Friday yet to be announced by the White Sox, might indicate a change in direction from fellow premium free agent Bryce Harper. Or the relationship between Machado and Alonso could be just an interesting side note.

Regardless of the potential ancillary benefits mentioned by Hahn, the White Sox are happy to add a player in Alonso, who they pursued via free agency last offseason and have scouted since his days at the University of Miami.

"He provides a nice balance in our lineup and has nothing but a great reputation in terms of his game preparation, his professionalism, and the element of veteran leadership he will add to our clubhouse," Hahn said. "We certainly feel like it improves us in 2019 and like the potential of having him around in 2020 as well."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Yonder Alonso

The latest Harper free-agent rumors

MLB.com

After a seven-season tenure with the Nationals that included a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, an NL MVP Award in 2015 and six All-Star nods, Bryce Harper is now a free agent for the first time.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the outfielder.

After a seven-season tenure with the Nationals that included a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, an NL MVP Award in 2015 and six All-Star nods, Bryce Harper is now a free agent for the first time.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the outfielder.

White Sox reportedly have spending limits for Harper, Machado
Dec. 15: The White Sox like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and are hoping to make one of them the centerpiece of their roster as they emerge from a rebuilding period, but it remains to be seen if the club will actually be among the top bidders for the two superstars.

A source tells ESPN's Buster Olney that Chicago is unwilling to make a record-setting offer to either player.

"The interest of the White Sox is more measured and modest than frenzied, and within more conventional financial bounds," Olney wrote Saturday for ESPN+ (subscription required).

That might not be enough for either player to choose the White Sox, especially with the team unlikely to be a serious contender in 2019 -- even with a big free-agent splash.

As MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal wrote for The Athletic (subscription required) last week, "the prevailing assumption in the industry is that [agent] Scott Boras wants to set new benchmarks with Harper's free-agent deal, whether in total guaranteed salary, average annual value or -- preferably -- both." One would assume Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, wants to do the same, or at least come close.

Rosenthal also recently broke down why signing Harper or Machado would be out of character for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who has never given out a bigger contract than the six-year, $68 million deal Jose Abreu signed in October 2013.

The 'Updated Harper Destination Power Rankings'
Dec. 13: If you were hoping there'd be some resolution to the Bryce Harper sweepstakes by the end of the Winter Meetings -- you know, since they were held in his hometown of Las Vegas this year -- well, sorry to disappoint.

While the superstar outfielder isn't going to be signing before all the managers and front-office executives depart, that doesn't mean no headway was made on the Harper front. Plus, the baseball world still will be plenty focused on Harper -- as well as his chief competitor for a record-setting contract, Manny Machado -- as we hurtle toward the holiday season.

That in mind, here are the latest "Harper Destination Power Rankings," courtesy of MLB.com's Will Leitch.

The Phillies remain atop the list because they "seem absolutely committed to get one of the two superstars on the market," Leitch writes.

The next two teams? That would be the Dodgers and Yankees, neither of whom has much space in their loaded outfields -- at least, not at the moment. But given the resources, spending power and World-Series-title-or-bust goal, both franchises simply cannot be ruled out.

If there's one dark horse in the chase for Harper, it's the White Sox, who Leitch ranks fourth, stating they "might be the most perfect fit in all of baseball for Harper. Their cascades of young talent will be reaching the Majors in the next few years, right as Harper is in his prime. He'll be surrounded by hyper-talented, cost-controlled stars for the next five or six years, in a division that the White Sox could rule well into the next decade."

So ... what's it gonna be, Bryce?

Who is the front-runner for Harper?
Dec. 12: The Phillies? The Yankees? The Nationals? The Cubs? The Dodgers? All of those teams -- and a few more -- have been linked to Bryce Harper so far this offseason. But which club appears to be in the lead to land the superstar slugger in free agency?

"The front-runner right now, believe it or not, is the Chicago White Sox," CBS Sports Network analyst and former MLB general manager Jim Bowden said Wednesday. "They're the team with the checkbook open. They're being very aggressive."

Tweet from @CBSSportsNet: ���The front runner right now, believe it or not, is the Chicago White Sox.���@JimBowdenGM tells @AdamSchein that it���s the White Sox who are in the lead for Bryce Harper's services. #T2S pic.twitter.com/XoXndaF0F2

With the Winter Meetings being held in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas, the White Sox met with Harper at some point, according to Bowden, who reported that the club stressed the strength of its promising farm system. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez, right-handers Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning, as well as infielder Nick Madrigal -- the club's top pick in the 2018 Draft -- are among the big-name, high-upside prospects who have reached the Major Leagues or should arrive soon.

Will the White Sox pull off a surprise splurge on Harper with a record-setting contract to push the franchise from rebuilding mode toward contention mode in an AL Central division that could be up for grabs as soon as 2020?

Video: Scott Boras discusses the market for Bryce Harper

Boras not ruling out Yankees, Nats as suitors for Harper
Dec. 12: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman all but ruled out the club as a suitor for free agent Bryce Harper earlier this week, saying that there's "no spot" for the 26-year-old in New York's crowded outfield and that using him at first base "isn't an option," according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

And yet, Harper's agent, Scott Boras, isn't ready to say the club is out of the running.

"I've never heard the Yankees say that," Boras said at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday when asked about the team being out on Harper. "It might be that they say things to [the media]. I don't know. I wasn't there.

"As far as the Yankees … you're talking about star players. I go back to Mark Teixeira. The Yankees are very adept; they're smart. If they're going to do something, I think they can earnestly tell you that right now they're not doing it, and have every intention of doing something else when it's best for them to do it. When the nurse walks into the room with the thermometer, the issue is not what the thermometer says that day; the issue is, what's the health of the patient when they're ready to leave the hospital? They're not ready to leave the hospital yet."

Whether it's a smokescreen or not, it benefits Boras for other teams to think the deep-pocketed Yankees are interested in Harper. It's also possible that Cashman's comments were the true smokescreen, as Boras suggested.

The Yankees seem to have a deep outfield, but Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier played a combined 15 games for the club in 2018 due to injuries, while Brett Gardner experienced a steep decline at the plate (86 OPS+). Aaron Hicks has been productive for New York over the past two years, but he has never played more than 137 games in a season and can become a free agent in a year. And with Giancarlo Stanton's injury history, it would be risky for New York to play him in the field every day. That leaves Aaron Judge as the only "sure thing" among the team's outfielders.

Boras also addressed the Nationals, whose principal owner, Mark Lerner, recently acknowledged that he doesn't expect Harper to be back, only for the club's general manager, Mike Rizzo, to say Washington hasn't "closed the door" on a reunion.

"I've talked to Nationals ownership a great deal," Boras said, per MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "I have a very clear understanding, as does Bryce, of their position. We've always had a great relationship and we'll continue to have a great relationship. I think when they say the door is open, I would certainly pay attention to what they're saying."

Phils get McCutchen -- but they're not out on Harper
Dec. 11: The Phillies' first key free-agent acquisition of the Winter Meetings wasn't for Harper. It was for another outfielder -- Andrew McCutchen -- whom they landed Tuesday on a three-year deal. But Philadelphia wants to be a major player in free agency this offseason, so adding McCutchen doesn't take the club out of the running for Harper.

Per MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, the Phillies are still involved in both the Harper and Manny Machado sweepstakes.

Tweet from @ToddZolecki: Told the McCutchen deal does not remove the #Phillies from Manny Machado and Bryce Harper sweepstakes. Phils might not feel as pressured to spend stupid money to get them, however. Remains to be seen.

That echoes an earlier report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that McCutchen's signing wouldn't preclude Philadelphia from adding another outfielder. That outfielder could be Harper; it could be someone else (say, Michael Brantley).

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Both @MattGelb and I are hearing same from multiple sources. Told addition of McCutchen would NOT preclude #Phillies from signing another outfielder, whether it���s Harper or someone else. https://t.co/ToylyfCwL7

If it seems like going after Harper on top of McCutchen might make the Phillies outfield too crowded, don't worry. Rosenthal also suggests that getting McCutchen could lead Philadelphia to move one of its younger outfielders in a trade.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Agreement with McCutchen opens up #Phillies to possibility of trading a younger OFer. Sixto Sanchez, the #Phils��� top pitching prospect, also has been involved in numerous trade discussions, sources say.

On the other hand, signing McCutchen could also be a sign that the Phillies are focusing more on Machado over Harper, as far as marquee free-agent targets. NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury noted that possibility.

What would it take for Harper to land in LA?
Dec. 11: As agent Scott Boras continues to sell Bryce Harper as a player who can make a LeBron James-like impact, both on and off the field, could the 26-year-old outfielder follow in the NBA superstar's footsteps and head to Los Angeles?

It's certainly not out of the question, though it remains unclear if the Dodgers plan to make an aggressive play for the free agent. The contract that Harper is expected to command would be out of character for the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers front office, which hasn't handed out more than $93 million to any one player despite consistently maintaining a high payroll.

As MLB Network insider Joel Sherman noted in a column for the New York Post on Tuesday, Los Angeles is hesitant to tie up a large portion of its future payroll, which could reduce its flexibility as the retooling Giants and D-backs become serious contenders in the National League West again within the next few years.

But Sherman still envisions a scenario in which Harper lands with the Dodgers.

"Again, it takes dominoes falling," Sherman writes. "Manny Machado would sign with the Phillies; the Nationals, Cardinals and Yankees really would continue to have no interest in Harper; and the only substantial long-term offers would come from someplace like the White Sox. In that scenario, could Harper instead pivot to accept a four-year deal from the Dodgers for a record annual amount and, say, an opt-out after two years to get back into free agency either after his age-27 or -29 season?"

It may also take a trade or two to clear room for Harper in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers have a deep outfield. ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the club has talked to other teams about moving two players from the group of Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger, though there has been no indication that those discussions are connected to Harper.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Dodgers have talked to other teams about moving two outfielders among the group of Kemp, Puig, Pederson, Bellinger, and as they look to re-shape payroll, they are also are prepared to move starting pitchers Rich Hill and Alex Wood.

Can White Sox capitalize on opportunity to land Harper?
Dec. 11: The possibility of the White Sox winning the Bryce Harper sweepstakes "seemingly is growing more realistic," according to Ken Rosenthal's latest column for The Athletic on Tuesday (subscription required). But the question remains, would owner Jerry Reinsdorf be willing to break the bank?

As the Winter Meetings enter their second day, Rosenthal lays out the factors the White Sox have going for and against them. In their favor: other suitors dropping out on Harper, and financial flexibility. Not so much in their favor: the size and type of the deal Harper wants.

Two teams that could have been major players for Harper, the Yankees and Nationals, appear to have dropped out of the running, based on comments from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Nats owner Mark Lerner in the last few days. And sources have told Rosenthal that another pair of teams that looked like potential landing spots, the Cubs and Cardinals, are also not engaged in pursuit of the superstar outfielder. Teams like the Dodgers and Phillies will likely go after Harper, per Rosenthal, as well as others, but the White Sox look like they might see less competition than they could have.

Rosenthal also notes that no other team has a more favorable payroll situation to making room for Harper. The White Sox have just over $50 million committed for 2019… and just over $5 million committed for 2020. In 2021 and '22, they have just one player under contract, shortstop Tim Anderson.

So they're in prime position to make a marquee signing, especially in a wide-open American League Central. But to actually get Harper, they'd need to hand out a deal the likes of which the franchise never has before.

The White Sox's largest contract ever awarded is Jose Abreu's six-year, $68 million deal signed in 2013. Reinsdorf does not typically give free agents big contracts, and on top of that a source told Rosenthal that Reinsdorf has privately expressed doubt that his club will win the bidding war for Harper. Plus, Harper also likely wants a deal with multiple opt-outs, which would mean the White Sox risking him leaving just as they were poised to contend.

But Chicago's owner has surprised before -- Rosenthal cites his "stunning" signing of Albert Belle to a five-year, $55 million deal in November 1996 -- and now would be the perfect time to do it again.

Does Harper fit with Yankees?
Dec. 10: The Yankees continue to be mentioned as a team that could be a fit for Bryce Harper, but could the club actually fit Harper?

When asked about the superstar, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said there's "no spot" for him in New York's crowded outfield and that deploying him at first base "isn't an option," according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Tweet from @Feinsand: Asked about Bryce Harper, Brian Cashman rattled off the names of his six outfielders and said there���s no spot. Reiterated that playing Harper at first base isn���t an option for the Yankees.

Indeed, with incumbent starters Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks, as well as returning options Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier as backups, the club is more than set in the outfield. And while the topic of Harper as a first baseman has been floated by his agent, Scott Boras, that possibility doesn't appear to interest Cashman, despite the Yankees relying on the still-unproven Luke Voit and Greg Bird at the position.

If that wasn't a forceful enough take on Harper, Cashman followed up by saying, "I'm surprised [the media is] still asking" about the team's interest, as MLB.com's Bryan Hoch relayed.

Tweet from @BryanHoch: Cashman said that at no point this winter did he talk about getting an outfielder. ���The Harper stuff, I���m surprised you���re still asking.���

Rizzo: Nats not closing door on Harper
Dec. 10: Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner's candid interview with 106.7 The Fan on Friday drew widespread publicity, as Lerner acknowledged that the reported 10-year, $300 million offer Bryce Harper rejected at the end of the regular season was "the best we can do," and indicated that he didn't expect the free-agent outfielder to be back.

And yet, a reunion between Harper and Washington is a possibility that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo isn't ruling out.

"We haven't closed the door on [Harper]," Rizzo said Monday on MLB Network Radio. "He's a big part of our franchise. He's near and dear to my heart personally, and professionally he's a great player."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: Mike Rizzo: "We haven't closed the door on Bryce Harper."Plot: [Thickens]#Nationals GM at the #WinterMeetings: pic.twitter.com/I5Aq4SzQiP

The Nats have been one of the busier teams this offseason, acquiring Patrick Corbin, Trevor Rosenthal, Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, and it's unclear if the club will still be open to giving Harper $300 million should the 26-year-old come back to the negotiating table. But with rivals such as the Phillies expected to be among the bidders for Harper, it is better for the Nats if other teams think Washington might still be in.

Harper to the Cards still a long shot
Dec. 10: The Cardinals got one elite bat in Paul Goldschmidt. Bryce Harper could push them to another level. But as exciting as a lineup anchored by Harper and Goldschmidt would be, that scenario remains unlikely, according to a report from The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal on Monday (subscription required).

Rosenthal cites St. Louis' roster inflexibility as a chief obstacle to signing Harper, even though the Cards might have the payroll flexibility to give the superstar outfielder the type of long-term deal he's looking for.

For one thing, the Cardinals have $49.5 million tied up in Dexter Fowler over the next three seasons, and Rosenthal calls Fowler "virtually impossible to trade" after Fowler struggled through injuries and poor performance in 2018.

Another option to make room for Harper would be to try to move Marcell Ozuna, but he'd also be difficult to trade. Ozuna just had a right shoulder procedure this offseason, and he's also likely to make a sizeable salary in his last year of arbitration before hitting free agency next offseason. Rosenthal shoots down the idea of St. Louis simply cutting ties with Ozuna and eating the money as unreasonable -- both based on how the organization typically acts and because there's a solid chance Ozuna returns healthy and hits like he did in his All-Star 2017 season, when he clubbed 37 homers for the Marlins.

There is one outfielder the Cardinals might reasonably trade: Jose Martinez. But Martinez doesn't slot in as a starter anyway, and his cheap salary could mean St. Louis keeps him around as a bat off the bench.

Rather than an all-out pursuit of Harper, Rosenthal thinks the Cardinals' priority will be to sign a top left-handed reliever like Andrew Miller or Zach Britton.

Crowded Yankees outfield may be obstacle to Harper signing
Dec. 9: The Yankees are among the rumored destinations for Bryce Harper, and while they plan to meet with the free-agent star, there may be some obstacles to any potential signing.

New York is reportedly questioning if there's a place for Harper due to their surplus of outfielders -- including Giancarlo Stanton, who's due to earn $25 million-$32 million per year through 2027 -- per MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The Yankees are also in the mix for shortstop Manny Machado, who seems to be a more natural fit given Didi Gregorius will miss much of the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The club is said to be prioritizing acquiring another starting pitcher, even after the James Paxton trade, and the price to acquire Harper may prove too high, as Heyman also said New York is unwilling to offer Machado the $300 million contract both he and Harper are rumored to be seeking or perhaps exceed. Harper already turned down a reported 10-year, $300 million offer to remain in Washington, D.C.

Still, the Yankees are among the few teams with the financial means to sign a marquee free agent like Harper. And with Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner publicly acknowledging he doesn't expect Harper to return to the club, the pool of teams that would conceivably add a free-agent contract the size of Harper's to their payroll has shrunk by one.

Boras' handbook compares Harper to LeBron James
Dec. 9: Agent Scott Boras is known for compiling expansive free-agent handbooks extolling his clients' achievements and qualities, and his book on Bryce Harper sounds like a doozy.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the document Boras has been giving to Harper suitors is 118 pages and features comparisons both predictable and provocative, an example of the latter being LeBron James.

"My goal in this thing is to let teams know what they're getting," Boras said. "That's why we brought in the LeBron comparisons. A lot of people don't know what he's done by the age of 25, and how that compares to what LeBron James did at 25. You get a very clear path on how hard it is to achieve a standard of excellence in an arena where you're both No. 1 picks, both rookies of year, both MVPs, and set a standard that no one can meet.

"The way to articulate this in true business form is look at the Nats' franchise. It was worth $480 to $500 million before he got there, and now it's worth more than $2 billion. TV ratings have tripled.

"Every GM in baseball wants him because he fills a need, but the owners are pursuing Bryce Harper because they know he can also make them a billion dollars over a period of years."

Per Nightengale, teams haven't made formal bids to Harper yet, nor is Boras making specific contract demands.

"The only thing we know for sure," one GM said, "is that he's looking for more than 10 years and $300 million."

Of course, 10 years and $300 million is what the Nationals reportedly offered at the end of the regular season, and Harper rejected it, prompting Nats owner Mark Lerner to indicate that he didn't think Harper would be back in a revealing interview with 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

"Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly,' Lerner said. "And we said, 'If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we'll see whether we can finish it up.' But we just couldn't afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that."

Added Lerner: "If he comes back [to the negotiating table], it's a strong possibility that we won't be able to make it work. But I really don't expect him to come back at this point. I think they've decided to move on. There's just too much money out there that he'd be leaving on the table. That's just not Boras' MO to leave money on the table."

Harper and Machado negotiations could drag beyond Winter Meetings
Dec. 9: Those hoping the free-agent odysseys of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will reach their respective conclusions during the Winter Meetings may be disappointed.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), the history between agents Scott Boras and Dan Lozano could be a major factor in negotiations stretching well beyond this week.

Boras, who represents Harper, used to rep Machado as well before losing him to Lozano in 2011 -- the same year Alex Rodriguez, another former Boras client, joined Lozano. As a result, Boras may have extra motivation to get Harper the bigger deal between this offseason's top two free agents.

"The prevailing assumption in the industry is that Boras wants to set new benchmarks with Harper's free-agent deal, whether in total guaranteed salary, average annual value or -- preferably -- both," Rosenthal writes. "Therefore, he will want Machado to sign first, securing the negotiating equivalent of 'last licks,' in which he would step to the plate knowing the number to beat. Boras' track record also indicates he would be willing to go to extra innings, moving at his own pace, stretching talks into January, if necessary."

But as Rosenthal points out, Machado isn't necessarily going to sign quickly. While Lozano isn't the same type of showman as Boras, outdueling his counterpart has to at least be on his mind in some capacity, and Machado is reportedly receiving interest from at least six teams, including the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox.

Meanwhile, Rosenthal notes that some rival agents and club executives think the market for Harper will be limited, given the bar Boras is believed to be setting. "It's Philly bidding against Philly," one agent said of the Harper sweepstakes.

White Sox selling Harper and Machado on a bright future
Dec. 8: The White Sox are willing to break the bank to land Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, but it may take more than cash to get one of those players to sign on the dotted line. Chicago also offers one of the biggest media markets in sports, but even that might not be enough.

As a 10-season postseason drought hangs over the franchise, the White Sox will need to sell Harper and Machado on the idea that World Series championship contention is right around the corner as their talent-rich farm system -- led by top prospect Eloy Jimenez (No. 3 overall, per MLB Pipeline) -- continues to bear fruit.

Granted, adding Harper or Machado might not make the White Sox instant contenders, even in the underwhelming American League Central.

The club has major needs on the pitching staff, especially with No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech (No. 19 overall) set to miss all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery, and it's unclear when No. 3 prospect Dylan Cease (No. 25 overall) and No. 6 prospect Dane Dunning (No. 59 overall) will be ready to contribute to the Major League rotation.

But general manager Rick Hahn thinks other players are clued-in enough to understand what the White Sox are building toward.

"You have to understand these guys are professionals, and they understand deep nuances about each individual franchise," Hahn said, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "From a macro standpoint, the idea of potentially being part of a winner in Chicago has very broad appeal.

"From a nuanced standpoint, the chance to be part of the White Sox organization based upon what our future looks like, futures that these players are familiar with and understand having either seen personally some of these young players play or video or talked to other players about them, it's something that they buy into."

While Chicago is likely planning for Jimenez to take over in left field at some point next season, Harper would fit perfectly into the right-field vacancy created when the club non-tendered Avisail Garcia, and the 26-year-old would also give the White Sox a strong left-right tandem of Harper and Jose Abreu in the middle of the order.

Do Phillies prefer Harper or Machado?
Dec. 7: Bryce Harper or Manny Machado? Manny Machado or Bryce Harper? The Phillies, with all the money they have to spend this offseason, are in on one or the other -- maybe even both. While they recently traded for infielder Jean Segura from the Mariners, they even more recently missed out on splurging on lefty Patrick Corbin, so the possibility that they could land Harper and/or Machado likely only increased.

But if forced to choose between the two superstars of this free-agent market, does the club have a preference? MLB.com's Todd Zolecki weighs exactly that question. His answer?

"There are indications Philadelphia prefers [Machado] over Harper. Now, Machado is not an iconic player like Harper. He is not as accomplished a hitter as Harper. But he is one of the game's greatest talents and he also plays a premium position. It is why Machado has a career 33.8 WAR, while Harper has a career 27.4 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference. If the Phils can convince Machado to play third base -- his best position -- they will have one of the best left sides of the infield in baseball for years. Oh, Machado could come at a lower price than Harper, too."

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman is hearing otherwise, though, writing Thursday for Fancred Sports that Harper "is believed to be their top target." However, a confidant of Harper thinks the outfielder is "lukewarm on Philly, as a city, anyway."

If that's the case, then perhaps Machado is the more likely option, whether the Phillies prefer Harper or not. 

Could Cubs be lurking for Harper?
Dec. 4: Despite their perceived financial limitations and with many other clubs in the market for Harper, it's long seemed destined that the Cubs will make at least some push to acquire the six-time All-Star. 

Harper has been connected to the Cubs for some time. He is close friends with Kris Bryant, has a dog named Wrigley and has made various social media quips in recent years poking at his perceived allure for potentially playing on the North Side.

In an article published on Monday for The Athletic (subscription required), Patrick Mooney outlines the logistics for why Chicago will at least check in on Harper soon, particularly with the Winter Meetings beginning on Sunday in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas. 

"Knowing the personalities involved and how they operate, it wouldn't make sense for [president of baseball operations Theo] Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer to decline the opportunity to get some face time with a superstar player, or for super-agent Scott Boras to exclude a big-market team like the Cubs from the negotiations," Mooney writes. 

Epstein has made bold deals in years past when he's explicitly outlined intentions to avoid such moves. After a last-place finish in 2014, he signed Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal. He also shelled out $184 million to Jason Heyward the following offseason for a nine-year contract, and $126 million over six years to Yu Darvish last year. 

Video: Cubs may need to adjust roster to fit Bryce Harper

But the Cubs' financial framework for 2019 is much different than in years past. Mooney outlines that the Cubs already have committed roughly $160 million to 13 players next year, nearly an additional $40 million in projected arbitration raises, with a $13 million earmark for player benefits and an estimate of $5-10 million in what he describes as the "Trade Deadline fund" that the front office holds in reserve. That all puts the Cubs around $220 million in payroll, per Mooney, which is in line to exceed the Competitive Balance Tax that is set for $206 million for 2019.  

Yet despite all of the signs indicating the Cubs won't be in the market for Harper, the club doesn't seem inclined to stand pat -- especially after losing the division lead that it held nearly all season to the Brewers in Game 163 and the NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies at home.  

"Epstein's aggressive style and competitive nature also won't let him bring back essentially the same group of players and hope for different results," Mooney writes. 

Indians send Alonso to White Sox, free up cash

Latest deals trim roughly $18M from payroll; Tribe also nets OF Call
MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- When the Indians acquired both Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers in a three-team deal with the Mariners and Rays on Thursday, the writing was on the wall for Yonder Alonso, who was no longer a clear roster fit on a team suddenly loaded with first-base types.

That wall did not lie. The Indians traded Alonso to the division-rival White Sox on Friday for Minor League outfielder Alex Call. The club officially announced the deal on Saturday morning.

CLEVELAND -- When the Indians acquired both Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers in a three-team deal with the Mariners and Rays on Thursday, the writing was on the wall for Yonder Alonso, who was no longer a clear roster fit on a team suddenly loaded with first-base types.

That wall did not lie. The Indians traded Alonso to the division-rival White Sox on Friday for Minor League outfielder Alex Call. The club officially announced the deal on Saturday morning.

"We had been in conversations with a variety of teams [about] Yonder as we were moving things forward with the three-team trade with Seattle and Tampa Bay," Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. "So we developed an understanding and a landscape for Yonder -- and the White Sox emerged as a potential option for us in the last few days. ... This is the concept that we felt makes the most sense for us and that's why we moved it forward."

The real key to the deal was the Indians' ability to move the entirety of the $8 million owed to Alonso in 2019, as well as the $1 million buyout of his vesting option in '20. Taken in totality with the swap two weeks ago that sent Yan Gomes to the Nationals and the aforementioned three-team deal swung at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, the Indians have shaved roughly $18 million off their '19 payroll.

Video: Antonetti discusses acquiring Santana and Bauers

"I think we've had a couple of goals going into the offseason and that's first and foremost trying to make sure we have a team that's capable of winning the American League Central in 2019, but also position the organization for sustaining success beyond that," Antonetti said. "There are a couple [of] ways to do that. One is to infuse young, controllable talent into the organization and the second element of that is to manage our finances -- and we feel like the series of [moves] we've made up to this point advances both of those goals."

That savings has significance in a marketplace where the Indians have listened to offers for starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. They don't have nearly the financial incentive to move one of their controllable starting stalwarts that they once did. Although Antonetti did not take any potential trade option off the table, the Indians can conceivably use the money saved in the three completed swaps to fill their Major League needs without robbing from their signature strength.

"It's still relatively early in the offseason," Antonetti said. "So I think what we will continue to do is be aggressive -- taking opportunities to improve our position moving forward. Whether that's a 2019 impact or it's gonna help us sustain success beyond 2019, we'll have to see what opportunities present themselves."

If we were to boil the activities of the last few days down to their essence, the Indians swapped in Santana for Encarnacion and Bauers for Alonso, gaining 2019 salary relief and sacrificing Yandy Diaz, a '19 Draft pick and Minor Leaguer Cole Sulser. Though he obviously has nowhere near the established track record of Alonso (who had a .738 OPS, 23 homers and 19 doubles in his lone season with the Tribe), Bauers could profile as a sort of younger, cheaper version -- a left-handed bat with on-base ability and potential for 20-homer pop as his isolated power improves. Bauers comes with some added defensive versatility, having experience in the corner-outfield spots though he is most comfortable and valuable at first base.

"We feel like he's a developing, young hitter [who has] got a good approach at the plate with emerging power," Antonetti said. "... We think he has a lot of ingredients to be a successful Major League player."

Of course, salary relief comes with a cost of a different sort. In making these deals, the Indians created a new hole in their infield, where Diaz was penciled in for regular at-bats at third base. At the moment -- and in case you haven't noticed, the Indians' roster is a moving target -- Jose Ramirez could return to third base and Jason Kipnis might return to second. But that only adds to the riddle that is and has been the outfield, where Jordan Luplow is the only external addition of the offseason to date who profiles as big league ready.

So as was the case with the previous two trades the Indians made, the Alonso deal will best be judged when the entirety of the offseason is taken into account -- and only the Marty McFlys among us are capable of that. But the Bauers addition was a clear precursor to an Alonso trade, and the Indians did not take long to drop the other shoe. He goes to a White Sox club that could use Alonso's arrival as a lure (beyond the hundreds of millions of dollars) to try to attract Alonso's brother-in-law, Manny Machado.

As far as what the Indians got back in the Alonso deal, Call is considered an organizational depth piece. The 24-year-old split 2018 between Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, turning in a combined .248/.345/.415 line with 12 homers and 28 doubles in 505 plate appearances.

"We do think [Call] has some ingredients to be a pretty good hitter," Antonetti said. "He showed good patience at the plate and we think there's an opportunity for his power to continue to develop. In fact, his exit velocity has increased a little bit over this past season and we're hopeful that trend can continue."

Again, though, the real addition was the subtraction of salary -- and that might result in the ability to retain Kluber and Bauer.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians, Yonder Alonso

The latest Machado free-agent rumors

MLB.com

Manny Machado has been one of the game's best players since debuting in 2012, and he is set to cash in as a first-time free agent this offseason.

Below, you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the infielder.

Manny Machado has been one of the game's best players since debuting in 2012, and he is set to cash in as a first-time free agent this offseason.

Below, you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the infielder.

Alonso is headed to the White Sox. Is Machado next?
Dec. 15: The White Sox have officially acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians in exchange for Minor League outfielder Alex Call.

Alonso, 31, hit .250/.317/.421 with 23 home runs in 145 games for the Tribe last season, on the heels of an All-Star campaign split between the A's and Mariners, in which he slugged .501 with 28 homers in 142 games. He has an $8 million salary for 2019, and a $9 million club option for '20, with a $1 million buyout.

Alonso is also the brother-in-law of free-agent superstar Manny Machado, who is reportedly scheduled to meet with the White Sox in a matter of days. Chicago has been rumored to be interested in adding Machado to a club that will soon see top talent from the farm system coming into the big leagues. Adding his brother-in-law to the roster may enhance the organization's chances at landing one of the premier talents in the game. More >

White Sox reportedly have spending limits for Harper, Machado
Dec. 15: The White Sox like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and are hoping to make one of them the centerpiece of their roster as they emerge from a rebuilding period, but it remains to be seen if the club will actually be among the top bidders for the two superstars.

A source tells ESPN's Buster Olney that Chicago is unwilling to make a record-setting offer to either player.

"The interest of the White Sox is more measured and modest than frenzied, and within more conventional financial bounds," Olney wrote Saturday for ESPN+ (subscription required).

That might not be enough for either player to choose the White Sox, especially with the team unlikely to be a serious contender in 2019 -- even with a big free-agent splash.

As MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal wrote for The Athletic (subscription required) last week, "the prevailing assumption in the industry is that [agent] Scott Boras wants to set new benchmarks with Harper's free-agent deal, whether in total guaranteed salary, average annual value or -- preferably -- both." One would assume Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, wants to do the same, or at least come close.

Rosenthal also recently broke down why signing Harper or Machado would be out of character for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, even for a contract that doesn't set records. As Rosenthal noted, the biggest contract in team history is the six-year, $68 million deal Jose Abreu signed in October 2013.

Would Machado return to 3B if price is right?
Dec. 13: Manny Machado spent the past year making it abundantly clear that he prefers playing shortstop. It's why he moved last offseason from third base, where he played the vast majority of the first six seasons in the Major Leagues, to short -- his natural position, the one at which he was drafted back in 2010.

But now that he's a free agent and various teams courting him have different needs on the left side of their infields, would Machado consider moving back to the hot corner? Is it a matter of finding the right fit? The right team? The most amount of money?

"Manny's mindset is to be a shortstop," Machado's longtime coach and baseball mentor Bobby Dickerson told Scott Lauber of Philly.com. "He really wants to play short. But I do think for the correct team in the correct situation and the right contract, all those things, he'd be willing to play third. I don't know this, but I believe it."

After emerging as one of the elite defensive third basemen in the sport early in his career, Machado's performance at short came into question at times in 2018, particularly before he was traded to the Dodgers from the Orioles.

That could mean certain suitors might be wary of how he'd handle the position going forward, especially as the 26-year-old heads toward his late 20s and into his 30s. Given their current rosters, it's possible the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox -- the three known clubs with which Machado is expected to meet, among other mystery teams -- would prefer to deploy him at third.

Asked specifically about whether he thinks Machado would play third base for the Phillies in the wake of their recent acquisition of shortstop Jean Segura, Dickerson offered: "I think if the contract is right, he would. It may have to go an extra five million, or more, or whatever to get him out of [shortstop]. But if the contract is right, I think he would go to third."

Does Machado have a preferred landing spot?
Dec. 13: There's been no shortage of speculation about which teams are in on free-agent star Manny Machado. It's been reported he's due to meet with the Phillies, the White Sox and the Yankees. Oh, and at least three mystery clubs, too.

While teams continue to woo Machado, perhaps it's worth considering this process from his point of view, too. Does Machado have a preference for where he winds up?

"Manny Machado's first choice is the New York Yankees," CBS Sports Network analyst and former big league general manager Jim Bowden said Wednesday evening. "So if the Yankees come to the table ... and are willing to compete financially for his services, they will be the team that gets Manny Machado."

Tweet from @CBSSportsNet: ���Manny Machado���s first choice is the New York Yankees.���If the Yankees are willing to meet Machado���s price tag, @JimBowdenGM tells @AdamSchein he will be wearing pinstripes. #T2S pic.twitter.com/rLwUfByWj5

The Yankees certainly have the resources to go after Machado, who is expected to score a contract that could rival that of Bryce Harper's this offseason (read: north of $300 million over 10 years). The question, then, might be how badly general manager Brian Cashman and the rest of the club's front office and ownership want Machado.

While owner Hal Steinbrenner said last month he took issue with Machado's lack of hustle in the postseason, Cashman has said he's discussed Machado with agent Dan Lozano and multiple reports have indicated Cashman indeed is interested in finding a way to make this fit. There are ways to make that happen, between the immediate need for a shortstop with Didi Gregorius due to miss a chunk of 2019 after Tommy John surgery and the possibility the Yankees could dangle young third baseman Miguel Andujar.

Tweet from @JackCurryYES: Cashman said Yankees haven���t met w/ Machado or any free agents yet. But if they advance to having serious discussions w/ Machado, Cashman noted how Hal Steinbrenner has already said he���d want to have a sit down w/ the player and discuss what was said in October.

Machado just might be envisioning himself in pinstripes? But do the Yankees see that, as well?

Do Phillies prefer Harper or Machado?
Dec. 12: Bryce Harper or Manny Machado? Manny Machado or Bryce Harper? The Phillies, with all the money they have to spend this offseason, are in on one or the other -- maybe even both. But if forced to choose between the two superstars of this free-agent market, does the club have a preference? MLB Network insider Joel Sherman gets the sense that it's Machado, adding that Philadelphia could look to sign the 26-year-old infielder and Michael Brantley.

Tweet from @Joelsherman1: #Phillies chose McCutchen over Brantley but if Philly signs Machado over Harper (which appears preference), it���s posssible double back to Brantley for needed LH bat. But Brantley has alternatives could move on b4 that.

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki also hears Machado is first on the team's wish list

"There are indications Philadelphia prefers [Machado] over Harper," Zolecki writes. "Now, Machado is not an iconic player like Harper. He is not as accomplished a hitter as Harper. But he is one of the game's greatest talents and he also plays a premium position."

That said, with new acquisiton Jean Segura locked in at shortstop, the Phillies will need to convince Machado to move back to third base. Philadelphia may also need to outbid the Yankees by a notable margin, as New York is believed to be Machado's preference.

 Machado to meet with Yanks, Phils, White Sox and mystery teams
Dec. 11: The biggest transaction on the second day of the Winter Meetings -- at least as of late afternoon -- was the Phillies' deal to sign Andrew McCutchen to a reported three-year, $50 million pact. How does that impact Manny Machado, specifically?

It doesn't really change much, frankly, as McCutchen is expected to handle one of the corner outfield spots in Philly, and the amount of money -- while not insignificant -- shouldn't preclude the Phillies from making any substantial offer to Machado. In short: There's still a fit on the left side of the Phillies' infield, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman pointed out. 

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Brantley is out as a Phillies option since McCutchen deal, but door is still open for Harper (and of course Machado

So what's next for the superstar 26-year-old? Machado is slated to meet with teams most interested in him soon, and Heyman reports that three of them are the Yankees, White Sox and -- yep -- the Phillies, as well as three "mystery teams."

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Yanks, White Sox and Phillies are 3 teams that will meet with Manny Machado. The 3 alleged mystery teams remain so.

The takeaways from that? One, those three clubs are in big markets and have money to spend. Two, it's likely that nothing will happen any time soon (think: during the Winter Meetings) on the Machado front, given that he's planning to visit with a number of franchises. 

Video: After Cutch, Phils could still target Harper, Machado

Are Yankees in on Machado, out on Harper?
Dec. 10: With a need at shortstop and a crowded outfield, the Yankees may be in the mix for Manny Machado but not so much for Bryce Harper. If it's a choice between Machado and Harper, it appears New York would lean toward the former -- and might, in fact, be out on the latter, as MLB.com's Bryan Hoch noted after GM Brian Cashman said Harper isn't a fit in their loaded outfield or at first base.

Tweet from @BryanHoch: What we learned from Day 1 of the #Yankees #WinterMeetings: they are in on Manny Machado (and others), and out on Bryce Harper.

The question, then, becomes whether the typically deep-pocketed Yankees are serious enough about Machado to meet what is expected to be an asking price in the range of $300 million. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees plan to meet with Machado but won't necessarily pony up to that extent.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Yankees like Manny Machado and will meet with Machado but source says they will not pay $300M for Machado. Phillies, Chisox and mystery teams(?) seen as main competitors.

New York is among the few teams with the financial means to sign Machado to a long-term deal, and it has an immediate need at shortstop, where Didi Gregorius will miss a chunk of next season recovering from Tommy John surgery. To that end, it's not a surprise that Cashman said he has spoken with Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Tweet from @Feinsand: Cashman said he has spoken with Dan Lozano, the agent for Manny Machado, multiple times. They have not spoken in Vegas. ���I���m not going to deny we���ve had a conversation or two.���

Heyman also reported that although New York is "pursuing" Machado, the club is considering other candidates to address its need in the infield, including Reds trade chip Scooter Gennett and versatile veteran free agents Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Yankees are pursuing Machado but they have other infield options ��� Marwin Gonzalez, Josh Harrison and possibly even Scooter Gennett to name 3

Heyman listed the Phillies, White Sox and potential mystery clubs as the Yankees' primary competitors for Machado. And even after trading for James Paxton, the Yankees are still looking to add to their rotation, which has been said to be their priority over pursuing Harper or Machado.

Harper and Machado negotiations could drag beyond Winter Meetings
Dec. 9: Those hoping the free-agent odysseys of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will reach their respective conclusions during the Winter Meetings may be disappointed.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), the history between agents Scott Boras and Dan Lozano could be a major factor in negotiations stretching well beyond this week.

Boras, who represents Harper, used to rep Machado as well before losing him to Lozano in 2011 -- the same year Alex Rodriguez, another former Boras client, joined Lozano. As a result, Boras may have extra motivation to get Harper the bigger deal between this offseason's top two free agents.

"The prevailing assumption in the industry is that Boras wants to set new benchmarks with Harper's free-agent deal, whether in total guaranteed salary, average annual value or -- preferably -- both," Rosenthal writes. "Therefore, he will want Machado to sign first, securing the negotiating equivalent of 'last licks,' in which he would step to the plate knowing the number to beat. Boras' track record also indicates he would be willing to go to extra innings, moving at his own pace, stretching talks into January, if necessary."

But as Rosenthal points out, Machado isn't necessarily going to sign quickly. While Lozano isn't the same type of showman as Boras, outdueling his counterpart has to at least be on his mind in some capacity, and Machado is reportedly receiving interest from at least six teams, including the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox.

Meanwhile, Rosenthal notes that some rival agents and club executives think the market for Harper will be limited, given the bar Boras is believed to be setting. "It's Philly bidding against Philly," one agent said of the Harper sweepstakes.

White Sox selling Harper and Machado on a bright future
Dec. 8: The White Sox are willing to break the bank to land Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, but it may take more than cash to get one of those players to sign on the dotted line. Chicago also offers one of the biggest media markets in sports, but even that might not be enough.

As a 10-season postseason drought hangs over the franchise, the White Sox will need to sell Harper and Machado on the idea that World Series championship contention is right around the corner as their talent-rich farm system -- led by top prospect Eloy Jimenez (No. 3 overall, per MLB Pipeline) -- continues to bear fruit.

Granted, adding Harper or Machado might not make the White Sox instant contenders, even in the underwhelming American League Central.

The club has major needs on the pitching staff, especially with No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech (No. 19 overall) set to miss all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery, and it's unclear when No. 3 prospect Dylan Cease (No. 25 overall) and No. 6 prospect Dane Dunning (No. 59 overall) will be ready to contribute to the Major League rotation.

But general manager Rick Hahn thinks other players are clued-in enough to understand what the White Sox are building toward.

"You have to understand these guys are professionals, and they understand deep nuances about each individual franchise," Hahn said, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "From a macro standpoint, the idea of potentially being part of a winner in Chicago has very broad appeal.

"From a nuanced standpoint, the chance to be part of the White Sox organization based upon what our future looks like, futures that these players are familiar with and understand having either seen personally some of these young players play or video or talked to other players about them, it's something that they buy into."

With Tim Anderson at shortstop, Machado would fit better at third base for the White Sox. But if the 26-year-old insists on playing short, it's unlikely the club will let Anderson's presence get in the way. The 25-year-old Anderson is a potentially dynamic player -- he produced 20 homers with 26 steals in 2018 -- but he has major strides to make in the plate-discipline department. Anderson has recorded 428 strikeouts with just 56 walks in 1,643 career plate appearances, contributing to a .286 on-base percentage. 

Superstar or bust for Phillies?
Dec. 5: The Phillies could have used left-hander Patrick Corbin just as much as the Nationals, but now that he's reportedly agreed to a contract with Washington, Philly.com's Scott Lauber writes that Philadelphia needs to make signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado its main priority. While Phillies owner John Middleton has said that his club could be "a little stupid" in how it spends its considerable financial resources this offseason, Lauber argues that giving Corbin the sixth year he desired on his contract would have been ill-advised if it hurt the Phillies' chances for Harper or Machado. Philadelphia's starting rotation, led by Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta while also featuring improving youngsters including Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez, was one of the club's stronger areas in 2018, but its offense finished with the fewest hits in the Major Leagues. Philly's lineup is desperate for an impact bat, argues Lauber, meaning the club "can't afford to miss out" on at least one of the big two superstars atop the free-agent board.

The Nationals can't completely be ruled out of the Harper sweepstakes, and the Dodgers have sent some Harper-related signals this week, too. And the Yankees are looming, of course, with perhaps the Cubs lurking as well. It's up to the Phillies to convince either Harper or Machado to come to the City of Brotherly Love, and Lauber argues that Middleton's money is their best argument.

Rival exec on Yanks and Machado: 'Cash is on him, believe me'
Dec. 3: Regardless of ownership's apprehensions of Machado's work ethic and perceived character concerns, all signs have pointed to the Yankees at least exploring the possibility of adding the star shortstop this offseason. They were reportedly interested in him last winter, tried to acquire him ahead of the Trade Deadline in July and now have at least have an immediate positional need with Didi Gregorius slated to miss a chunk of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. 

General manager Brian Cashman has played his free-agent strategy close to the vest, but at least one rival executive suggested recently that the club will certainly pursue Machado. 

"Cash is on him, believe me," the executive told Andy Martino of SNY.tv in New York. 

Video: Cashman discusses how to evaluate free agent Machado

Last month, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner called Machado's now-infamous "Johnny Hustle" comments "troubling" and said he was hoping to conduct a sit-down meeting with Machado to glean clarification to Machado's remarks. Martino reported after the postseason that the club was "lukewarm" on Machado given his postseason antics, though that approach appears to have altered. 

Video: Feinsand on Machado clarifying 'Johnny Hustle' remark

The Machado market, like most this offseason, has been slow to develop, and it could remain stalled for the Yankees in the immediate given that they have gained serious momentum in their pursuit of Patrick Corbin. Martino writes that the Yanks "are more squarely focused on pitching" this week, even after acquiring Mariners No. 1 starter James Paxton two weeks ago. 

Machado has been rumored to be in the market for one of the richest contracts in baseball history, potentially in the neighborhood of $300 million, and the Yankees are among only a small handful of clubs with the financial bandwidth to offer such a deal. Gregorius will be back at some time in 2019, but he will become a free agent at season's end, which could create a long-term spot for Machado. 

With the Winter Meetings beginning on Sunday in Las Vegas, the market could accelerate across the board -- for everyone, including Machado. 

Manny Machado

Tigers agree to deal with shortstop Mercer

MLB.com

Days after Tigers general manager Al Avila joked about finding a shortstop sometime before Spring Training, he has found one. The team announced Friday it has signed former Pirate Jordy Mercer to a one-year contract.

The two sides reached an agreement Wednesday on the $5.25 million deal, pending a physical. The Tigers held off on announcing or confirming until that was complete.

Days after Tigers general manager Al Avila joked about finding a shortstop sometime before Spring Training, he has found one. The team announced Friday it has signed former Pirate Jordy Mercer to a one-year contract.

The two sides reached an agreement Wednesday on the $5.25 million deal, pending a physical. The Tigers held off on announcing or confirming until that was complete.

The Tigers entered the offseason searching for a veteran defensive shortstop to replace free agent Jose Iglesias and stabilize an otherwise young infield group. Their preference was a short-term deal to serve as a stopgap until prospects Willi Castro and Sergio Alcantara are ready to compete for the big league job.

Video: Tigers sign shortstop Jordy Mercer to a 1-year deal

"One of our priorities this offseason was to sign a shortstop, and Jordy is a solid addition to our ballclub," Avila said in a statement Friday. "He was one of the players we targeted heading into the offseason, and we're really drawn to his consistency, both on the field at a premium position and in the clubhouse as a player that is a true veteran leader."

Mercer was one of the Tigers' primary targets along with Adeiny Hechavarria and Freddy Galvis. The 32-year-old was Pittsburgh's primary shortstop for most of the last six seasons, including postseason berths from 2013 through 2015. His Defensive Runs Saved ranged from 9 in 2014 to -9 in 2016 and 2018. He has posted a -0.3 Ultimate Zone Rating in each of the past two seasons.

Offensively, Mercer owns a .256 career average and .699 OPS. He hit .251 (99-for-394) with 29 doubles, six home runs, 39 RBIs and a .696 OPS this past season. He has traditionally hit well off left-handed pitching, with a .294 average and .812 OPS against southpaws.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Jordy Mercer

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

An impressive collection of talent has hit the open market, and players are now eligible to sign with any team. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

An impressive collection of talent has hit the open market, and players are now eligible to sign with any team. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves
Key free agents: RHP Brad Brach, 1B Lucas Duda, 3B Ryan Flaherty, OF Nick Markakis, C Rene Rivera, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Peter Moylan

Markakis was a valuable member of a youthful Braves club in 2018, providing veteran leadership and making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Atlanta has a stellar farm system that is loaded with pitching prospects, which is one of the reasons why Sanchez is unlikely to be back after his impressive rebound campaign. But without an obvious replacement for Markakis in right field, the door remains open for the soon-to-be 35-year-old to return. Suzuki formed a productive catching tandem with Tyler Flowers across 2017-18, but the 35-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Nationals.

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: INF/OF Derek Dietrich

The Marlins' roster is replete with players who are at the early stages of their big league careers, putting them years away from free agency. After trading multiple big-name players last offseason, Miami will likely now look to deal veterans Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, as they are owed nearly $27 million combined in 2019. Meanwhile, Dietrich elected free agency after being designated for assignment and clearing waivers.

New York Mets
Key free agents: LHP Jerry Blevins, INF Wilmer Flores, OF Austin Jackson, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP AJ Ramos, INF Jose Reyes

With Travis d'Arnaud, T.J. Rivera and Juan Lagares returning from injuries, the Mets have obvious replacements for Mesoraco, Reyes and Jackson next year. Blevins is more likely to be back than Ramos, whose recovery from right shoulder surgery is expected to extend into next June and possibly longer. The club also chose to non-tender Flores, its longtime utility player.

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos, LHP Luis Avilan

All four players on Philadelphia's list were acquired late in the 2018 campaign as the Phillies made a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Instead of bringing back Ramos, who is sure to fetch a sizable multi-year deal, the Phils may give 25-year-old Jorge Alfaro another chance to show he can handle starting duties behind the plate. Cabrera could be a fallback option if the Phillies are unable to land Manny Machado in free agency.

Washington Nationals
Key free agents: OF Bryce Harper, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, 1B Mark Reynolds, C Matt Wieters, LHP Tim Collins, RHP Joaquin Benoit

Harper is one of the top free agents on the market, and the Nats will likely make a major push to keep him in Washington. The club might also be interested in bringing back Holland and Hellickson, but the two righties are sure to draw interest from other clubs after boosting their value with the Nats. Washington is expected to try to upgrade at the catcher spot, which could leave Wieters looking for a new home. Left-hander Sean Doolittle will be back, as the Nats exercised his option for 2019.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Key free agents: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, 2B Daniel Murphy, LHP Justin Wilson, LHP Jaime Garcia, C Bobby Wilson, INF Ronald Torreyes

The Cubs exercised their $20 million club option for Hamels, who was acquired from the Rangers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and recorded a terrific 2.36 ERA over 12 starts. Chicago could try to retain Murphy (particularly given Addison Russell's suspension), as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke highly of the second baseman's contributions after his acquisition from the Nationals. Jesse Chavez won't be back, however, as the right-hander signed a two-year deal with the Rangers, returning to the club that traded him to Chicago last July.

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

Cincinnati elected to keep Harvey at the non-waiver Trade Deadline instead of flipping him to a contender, and now face a decision about the right-hander, given that he has expressed openness to returning and the Reds will be seeking starting pitching depth this offseason. Outside of Harvey, the Reds don't have any key departures or options to worry about this winter, though Scooter Gennett is due for free agency following the 2019 season.

Milwaukee Brewers
Key free agents: LHP Xavier Cedeno, LHP Dan Jennings, LHP Gio Gonzalez, OF Curtis Granderson, LHP Wade Miley, 3B Mike Moustakas, RHP Joakim Soria

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Moustakas and Soria became free agents when they turned down mutual options for $15 million and $10 million, respectively. The club picked up Jeremy Jeffress' $3.175 million team option.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: INF/OF Josh Harrison

After making a splash by trading for Chris Archer in 2018, the Pirates appear to be mostly set with their pitching staff but will be looking for a bat in the offseason, likely at shortstop. Even if they don't make a Manny Machado-sized splash at that position, the market is deep this offseason, with Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis and Adeiny Hechavarria among the names in play. The Pirates opened up some payroll flexibility and a roster spot by declining Harrison's $10.5 million option.

St. Louis Cardinals
Key free agents:
1B Matt Adams, RHP Bud Norris

Adam Wainwright agreed to a one-year deal Monday to return for his 15th season with the Cardinals. Improving the bullpen to build around Jordan Hicks will be a priority for St. Louis, especially with the departure of Norris, who provided stability at closer for much of the season. Though Adams likely won't be on the Cardinals' radar again, St. Louis is thought to be looking for an impact left-handed hitter, with needs at outfield and third base.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
Key free agents: RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekman, OF Jon Jay, OF A.J. Pollock, C Chris Stewart, RHP Shelby Miller, RHP Brad Boxberger

The D-backs could lose two key contributors this winter, as Corbin agreed to a six-year deal with the Nationals and Pollock likely will exceed Arizona's price range. Buchholz and Descalso are candidates to return, though. The D-backs unsurprisingly picked up Paul Goldschmidt's $14.5 million club option for '19, while making one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offers to Corbin and Pollock, which they both rejected.

Colorado Rockies
Key free agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B DJ LeMahieu, RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra

The Rockies will have to decide whether they want to compete for LeMahieu this winter or if they're ready to turn the reins at second base over to one of their middle-infield prospects, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. They also face decisions in the outfield and in the bullpen, with a number of key players entering free agency. That includes Parra, whose $12 million option was declined.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key free agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson

Machado is among the headliners in this year's star-studded free agent class, and it's unclear if the Dodgers will try to retain the star infielder, whom they acquired from the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Clayton Kershaw, who had an opt-out clause that would have voided the final two years of his deal, signed a three-year, $93 million contract to stay in L.A. Meanwhile, Los Angeles made qualifying offers to Grandal and the oft-injured Ryu, and the latter accepted.

San Diego Padres
Key free agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis

The Padres' 2018 roster will remain mostly intact with only Galvis and Ellis entering free agency, and both are candidates to return. Ellis is less likely to be re-signed, however, with young catchers Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the mix. San Diego may also let Galvis walk if he wants a multi-year deal, with Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) nearing big league readiness and Luis Urias (San Diego's No. 4 prospect) likely to take over as the club's starting second baseman in 2019.

San Francisco Giants
Key free agents: OF Gregor Blanco, LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, OF Hunter Pence, RHP Hunter Strickland

San Francisco exercised its options on Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval, bringing them back for 2019. The Giants may try bring back Holland, who enjoyed a bounceback campaign and anchored an injury-riddled Giants rotation in 2018, and Hundley, who capably backed up Buster Posey, but they will likely part ways with veterans Pence and Blanco.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Key free agents: OF Adam Jones, SS Tim Beckham, C Caleb Joseph

The O's list has just one man on it, as they traded nearly every player on an expiring contract, including Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, during their 2018 roster purge. Baltimore would have dealt Jones as well, but he was unwilling to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Jones may be interested in returning, but he would likely need to accept a significantly reduced role as the Orioles look to the future.

Boston Red Sox
Key free agents: RHP Craig Kimbrel, 2B Brandon Phillips, LHP Drew Pomeranz

Even with David Price confirming he won't be opting out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract, the Red Sox still have a number of important players hitting free agency. Kimbrel is the biggest name among them, and he unsurprisingly rejected the qualifying offer he received from Boston. After bringing back Steve Pearce on a one-year deal, the Red Sox also reunited with Nathan Eovaldi on a four-year contract following his excellent stint with Boston in the second half and the postseason. Chris Sale will be back after Boston unsurprisingly picked up his $15 million club option for 2019, and Eduardo Nunez is also returning to the defending World Series champions by exercising his $5 million player option. 

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP David Robertson, 2B/OF Neil Walker

The Yankees have a busy offseason ahead of them, especially on the pitching side of the ledger. Even if prospect Justus Sheffield is ready to claim a rotation spot behind Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and the re-signed CC Sabathia that still leaves at least one open starting job. Meanwhile, the Yankees' vaunted bullpen could lose two key pieces in Robertson and Britton. The club declined a $12.5 million club option for 35-year-old outfielder Brett Gardner, New York's longest-tenured player, but the Yankees re-signed him to a one-year deal reportedly worth $7.5 million after the veteran posted a .690 OPS this past season.

Tampa Bay Rays
Key free agents: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Sergio Romo

Romo was an integral member of the Rays' pitching staff for much of the 2018 season, racking up 25 saves and making five appearances as an "opener." However, he recorded a 10.00 ERA in September and will be 36 years old on Opening Day in '19. The cost-conscious Rays may opt to move on and give an opportunity to a younger alternative. As for Gomez, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to be back after posting a .634 OPS over 118 games in 2018.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key free agents: RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Marco Estrada, INF Yangervis Solarte, SS Troy Tulowitzki

Much like Baltimore, Toronto dealt many impending free agents during the 2018 season, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Curtis Granderson and John Axford. The Jays picked up Justin Smoak's reasonable $8 million club option, but they could look to trade the veteran this offseason, with Rowdy Tellez seemingly ready for an expanded role at first base. Estrada is likely gone after recording a 5.27 ERA with a 4.97 FIP in 61 starts over the past two years, as the Blue Jays can likely get similar production from a younger and cheaper pitcher.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Key free agents: 1B/DH Matt Davidson, OF Avisail Garcia, RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, LHP Hector Santiago, RHP James Shields 

The White Sox are close to emerging from their rebuild, and the club could look for more pitching help this offseason, since Michael Kopech is now sidelined for 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Chicago picked up Nate Jones' $4.65 million option, but declined Shields' option for $16 million, opting instead for a $2 million buyout, and decided not to tender contracts to Davidson or Garcia.

Cleveland Indians
Key free agents: RHP Cody Allen, OF Michael Brantley, OF Melky Cabrera, OF Rajai Davis, OF Brandon Guyer, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Oliver Perez, INF Adam Rosales, RHP Josh Tomlin

Miller headlines a productive crop of prospective free agents departing Cleveland this season, with outfield and the bullpen being the two areas that stand to be hit hardest by the departures. The Indians do have some security in the bullpen with midseason acquisitions Brad Hand and Adam Cimber both controllable for several more seasons, but bolstering the relief corps will be an offseason priority for the Tribe, who got subpar seasons from both Allen and Miller in 2018. Outfield is also an area of need, especially with Lonnie Chisenhall signing with the Pirates and even more so if Brantley departs. The Tribe picked up Carlos Carrasco's $9.75 million club option for '19 but opted to buy out Guyer for $250,000 instead of exercising his $3 million option. Third baseman Josh Donaldson's stay in Cleveland was brief, as he inked a one-year, $23 million deal with the Braves.

Detroit Tigers
Key free agents: SS Jose Iglesias, LHP Francisco Liriano, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Iglesias, Liriano and the retiring Victor Martinez are the key departures for the rebuilding Tigers. They likely will be in the market for a shortstop, as they don't have an immediate heir lined up in the event of Iglesias' departure, and will likely look to add to the rotation.

Kansas City Royals
Key free agents: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jason Hammel

After trading Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas this season, the Royals figure to let Escobar walk, as Adalberto Mondesi is now their starting shortstop. The Royals will pay a $2 million buyout to get Hammel off the books instead of exercising his $12 million mutual option for 2019, but they'll bring back Wily Peralta, who emerged as their closer last season, on arestructured contract.

Minnesota Twins
Key free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, 2B Logan Forsythe, C Chris Gimenez, 1B/DH Joe Mauer, 1B/DH Logan Morrison, RHP Ervin Santana, OF Robbie Grossman

The most pressing offseason question for the Twins will be at first base, with the possible departure of Mauer to either free agency or retirement and Morrison's disappointing performance in 2018, after which the Twins declined to pick up his $8 million option for '19. The departures of Forsythe, Brian Dozier (traded to Dodgers) and Eduardo Escobar (traded to D-backs) also leave openings in the middle infield for the Twins. The Twins need lots of help in the bullpen and could always use more starting depth, with Santana's $14 million option also being declined.

AL WEST
Los Angeles Angels
Key free agents: RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Junichi Tazawa, OF Chris Young, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP Blake Wood, RHP Blake Parker, RHP Matt Shoemaker

The Angels will retain much of their core. Johnson will likely draw interest on the open market for clubs in need of dependable bullpen arms. Young suffered a season-ending injury (labral tears in both hips) but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Houston Astros
Key free agents: DH Evan Gattis, UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, LHP Dallas Keuchel, C Martin Maldonado, LHP Tony Sipp

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Brian McCann returned to Atlanta on a one-year deal, but Maldonado remains part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

Oakland A's
Key free agents: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Mike Fiers, RHP Kendall Graveman, RHP Edwin Jackson, OF Matt Joyce, 2B Jed Lowrie, C Jonathan Lucroy, RHP Shawn Kelley

The A's looming free agents are headlined by a pair of veterans in Lucroy and Lowrie. Lucroy is more likely to return with Franklin Barreto ready to take over as Oakland's everyday second baseman. Joyce is likely the odd man out in a crowded A's outfield. It's unclear if the A's will try to retain any of their veteran starting pitchers.

Seattle Mariners
Key free agents: 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Nelson Cruz, LHP Zach Duke, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP David Phelps, UTL Andrew Romine, OF Denard Span, RHP Adam Warren

Cruz represents the biggest free agent choice for the Mariners this winter. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, but Seattle must decide whether it wants to commit to a multi-year deal with the 38-year-old slugger or utilize that money elsewhere, with needs on the pitching staff and in center field. Span's $12 million mutual option was declined by Seattle, making the outfielder a free agent. 

Texas Rangers
Key free agents: 3B Adrian Beltre, RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Doug Fister, RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Martin Perez, Tony Barnette, RHP Matt Bush

The Rangers are awaiting Beltre's decision on his baseball future, and if the third baseman opts to continue playing, they could re-sign him. Texas declined its options on Fister, Moore and Perez, making them free agents. Colon and Gallardo aren't expected to return.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.