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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.

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 candid 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."

Dodgers have outfield depth but could pursue Harper nonetheless
Dec. 9: The outfield market has been stagnant so far this offseason, but the Dodgers could have a hand in getting it moving during the Winter Meetings. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Los Angeles has several outfielders available for trade, including Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Matt Kemp, and may also be engaged on free agents such as Bryce Harper and A.J. Pollock.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: Dodgers appear to be in the middle of the outfield market, both in trades (Kemp? Puig? Pederson) and free agents (Harper? Pollock?)

While this isn't the first time the Dodgers have been linked to Harper, it's still unclear if the club plans to make an aggressive play for the superstar free agent. The contract that Harper is expected to command would be out of character for the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers front office, which has consistently maintained a high payroll but hasn't handed out more than $93 million to any one player.

Two sources initially told Yahoo Sports that Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was part of a group of representatives from the franchise that met with Harper in Las Vegas, the outfielder's hometown and the site of the Winter Meetings, though Johnson later insisted that no such meeting took place.

The Dodgers have notable depth in the outfield, with Puig, Pederson and Kemp joining Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles as potential options for 2019. Signing Harper (or Pollock) would almost certainly lead to one or more trades involving some of those players, as Bill Plunkett pointed out in an article for the Orange County Register on Sunday.

Olney still not ruling out reunion between Harper and Nats
Dec. 8: 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.

But ESPN's Buster Olney still isn't counting out a Harper-Nats reunion.

"Before anyone completely slams the door shut, it's worth remembering: Stuff happens," Olney wrote in his latest column for ESPN+ (subscription required). "Negotiations take many twists and turns, and if there is one lasting tether between any organization and a particular agent right now, it's between Harper's representative, Scott Boras, and the Nationals."

As Olney points out, Boras has a long history of negotiating with Washington, as he has represented past and present Nationals such as Harper, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon, among others.

Olney compares Harper to another Boras client, Bernie Williams, who seemed prepared to leave the Yankees in free agency after the 1998 season, only to re-sign with New York when owner George Steinbrenner agreed to increase his offer from $60 million to $87.5 million. That was enough to get Williams to return, even though he had an offer for slightly more money ($91 million) from the rival Red Sox.

Video: Intentional Talk: Nats moving on from Harper?

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.

Nats owner: Initial offer to Harper was "best we can do"
Dec. 7: After Bryce Harper rejected a reported 10-year, $300 million offer from the Nationals at the end of the regular season and Washington subsequently signed Patrick Corbin for $140 million over six years, there's been much speculation about the club's plans for Harper.

Principal owner Mark Lerner shed some light on the Nationals' thought process Friday in an interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan.

"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 [agent Scott] Boras' MO to leave money on the table."

Lerner indicated that the Nationals are comfortable with their current outfield, which consists of Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, Victor Robles and Michael A. Taylor.

"We feel very strongly we're in good shape," Lerner said. "It'll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat it's going to be special."

Cardinals may still be in on Harper, even after trading for Goldschmidt
Dec. 7: The Cardinals addressed a major need when they traded for All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt this week, and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak made it clear at Goldschmidt's introductory press conference that he believes he has the starting lineup in place for 2019.

But according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports, St. Louis isn't necessarily out on free-agent superstar Bryce Harper. "Three straight years missing the playoffs has made them determined to improve the team," Heyman writes.

True, the Cardinals' outfield is even more crowded with Goldschmidt in the fold, as Jose Martinez can no longer be slotted in at first base.

But St. Louis has money to spend, and it doesn't have many obvious needs remaining for 2019. If the club decides it wants to use its resources on one big-ticket player instead of spreading the wealth around, it doesn't appear as though the presence of Martinez, Dexter Fowler or Tyler O'Neill will stand in the way of a Harper pursuit.

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. 

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 waiting in the wings 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.

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. 

Phils still in on Harper (and more) after Segura trade
Dec. 3: The Phillies' expectedly active offseason took its first significant step on Monday with the acquisition of two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura from the Mariners. And the trade should not affect the club's pursuit of either Harper or Manny Machado, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki writes. In fact, Segura's addition gives the Phils a tremendous amount of flexibility in how they move forward. 

Phils still in for Machado, Harper after Segura deal

Both Machado and Segura played shortstop in 2018, but each has also played a separate infield position and at a high level. Machado played most of his Major League career at third, and Segura had a highly productive season over 142 games at second in 2016 with the D-backs. If Machado refuses to play third and/or asks for too much money, the Phils could shift their sights more exclusively to Harper, per Zolecki. 

Video: Zolecki joins High Heat to discuss Segura trade

"The Phillies like Harper. They recognize he is an iconic player. They know he would be a tremendous presence in the lineup," Zolecki writes.

The Phillies, however, won't wait long into 2019 while Harper's agent, Scott Boras, negotiates what many anticipate will be the richest contract in baseball history. And if the Phils acquire Machado in the coming weeks, they can shift to more affordable outfield pieces, such as free agents Michael Brantley or A.J. Pollock, or seek an upgrade via trade. 

Again, Monday's trade helps the Phillies on the field and in the offseason market. As Zolecki put it: "Segura allows the Phillies to be more picky."

Source: Mariners ink Milone to Minors deal

Veteran southpaw also gets a non-roster invitation to Spring Training
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- With some openings available in their pitching staff following a flurry of early trades this offseason, the Mariners figure to be an attractive landing spot for some veterans looking for an opportunity this spring. One of the first to take advantage is left-hander Tommy Milone.

The 31-year-old free agent agreed to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to camp, according to a source, though the deal has not been confirmed by the Mariners.

SEATTLE -- With some openings available in their pitching staff following a flurry of early trades this offseason, the Mariners figure to be an attractive landing spot for some veterans looking for an opportunity this spring. One of the first to take advantage is left-hander Tommy Milone.

The 31-year-old free agent agreed to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to camp, according to a source, though the deal has not been confirmed by the Mariners.

Milone has a career record of 46-37 with a 4.42 ERA in 151 Major League appearances -- including 130 starts -- over eight seasons. He went 1-1 with a 5.81 ERA in five outings (four starts) in his second stint with the Nationals last season and also previously played for the A's, Twins, Brewers and Mets.

His best season came in 2015, when he was 9-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) for Minnesota.

Milone went 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA in 20 starts for Triple-A Syracuse last season and is 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA in six starts for Licey in the Dominican winter league.

Having traded starter James Paxton as well as relievers Edwin Diaz, Alex Colome, James Pazos and Juan Nicasio in a flurry of deals to add younger prospects over the past month, general manager Jerry Dipoto will be looking to add some experienced depth over the coming weeks to help out in 2019.

Milone could be a candidate either as starting depth or in the bullpen, where Roenis Elias is the only returning left-hander still on the 40-man roster following the trade of Pazos.

Minor League signings

The Mariners also signed four Minor League free agents who have limited MLB experience, but will add depth to the system: catcher Austin Nola, right-hander Zac Grotz, shortstop Orlando Calixte and second baseman Tim Lopes.

Calixte is the only one in that group who has reached the Majors, as the 26-year-old played two games for the Royals in 2015 and 29 for the Giants in '17. He posted a .270/.323/.405 line with 11 homers and 48 RBIs in 125 games for Triple-A Sacramento in the Giants organization last season. Though primarily a shortstop, he's played some outfield as well as second and third base.

Video: PHI@SF: Calixte lays out to make a diving catch

Nola is a 28-year-old who posted a .279/.370/.376 line with two homers and 32 RBIs in 69 games for the Marlins' Triple-A club in New Orleans last season and gives Seattle some needed catching depth in its system. The former infielder converted to catcher in 2016 and was Miami's fifth-round Draft pick in '12 out of LSU.

Grotz, 25, was 3-7 with a 4.61 ERA in 13 starts for the Mets' Class A club in Columbia. He also pitching in the independent Atlantic League last season.

Lopes returns to the Mariners organization after spending the last two campaigns in the Blue Jays system. The 24-year-old was drafted in the sixth round by Seattle in 2012 and enjoyed a strong season for Double-A Jackson in '16 before being traded to Toronto for switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. He posted a .277/.325/.364 line with two homers and 29 RBIs in 104 games for Triple-A Buffalo in '18.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Tommy Milone

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.

At least three teams besides Phils, Yanks and White Sox to meet with Machado
Dec. 8: While the full market for Manny Machado has yet to come into focus, it appears the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox aren't the only teams that are eyeing the 26-year-old infielder.

A rival executive told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that at least three teams besides the aforementioned clubs plan to rendezvous with Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, at the Winter Meetings. What's unclear is who those three teams are, and whether Machado will be present for those meetings.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: It���s not just the #Phillies, #WhiteSox and #Yankees that have interest in Manny Machado. One rival executive hears at least three other teams are in the mix and will meet with Machado���s agent, Dan Lozano, at the winter meetings.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has expressed interest in meeting with Machado "face to face" to ask him about his now-infamous comments on hustling, which drew widespread criticism after they were featured in a story by Rosenthal for The Athletic (subscription required) in October.

"Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am," Machado told Rosenthal.

Presumably, other potential suitors are also interested in a sit-down with Machado to allow him to explain himself in person, even though the four-time All-Star already addressed his comments in an exclusive interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand last month.

"When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn't come across how I meant it," Machado said. "For me, I was trying to talk about how I'm not the guy who is eye wash. There's a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I've always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.

"But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it's something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have."

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. 

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. 

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.

How Corbin signing affects Machado's market with Phils
Dec. 4: The Phillies lost out on free agent Patrick Corbin, who agreed to a six-year, $140 million deal with the division-rival Nationals on Tuesday, according to MLB.com sources. While that throws a wrench in their immediate plans for starting pitching, it could create more financial flexibility to pursue Machado. 

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki writes that Philly has turned its sights for starting pitching on free-agent left-hander J.A. Happ, noting that lefty Dallas Keuchel is also a potential target. 

Signing either would give them far more financial bandwidth than Corbin would have to sign Machado (and/or Bryce Harper) to a potential megadeal. Happ has been seeking a three-year contract, per Zolecki, and Keuchel is believed by most analysts to net a deal in the four- to five-year range, but not for as many dollars as Corbin. Machado and Harper have been touted to potentially sign among the richest contracts in baseball history.

Zolecki writes that Machado could be the Phillies' priority at this point, even after trading for Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. However, the club envisions an infield that both could share and be successful. 

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. 

Phils remain in on Machado after acquiring Segura
Dec. 3: Trading for infielder Jean Segura will not halt the Phils' pursuit of Machado, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. In fact, it may give the club more infield flexibility to sign the superstar. 

Phils still in for Manny, Harper after Segura deal

Both Machado and Segura played shortstop in 2018, but each has also played a separate infield position and at a high level. Machado played most of his Major League career at third, and Segura had a highly productive season over 142 games at second in 2016 with the D-backs. For a Phillies club whose defense posted an MLB-worst minus-146 Defensive Runs Saved, any upgrade on that side of the ball could be a huge plus.

Zolecki, citing sources, spelled out why the Phils are still very much in the market for Machado: "Why? Well, because the Phillies love him, despite his 2018 postseason transgressions and 'Johnny Hustle' comments. They think they can make a Machado-Segura infield work, too. Machado is a brilliant third baseman -- many believe he is much better at third base than shortstop -- so the Phillies could try to convince him to play there. Of course, he prefers shortstop, but perhaps a record-setting contract of $300 million or more can change his mind."

Video: Zolecki joins High Heat to discuss Segura trade

If Machado will only play shortstop, which he has indicated for the better part of a year, then the Phils could move Segura to second and look to trade Cesar Hernandez, which the club might have done anyway because it would allow Scott Kingery to return to the super-utility role the club envisioned before J.P. Crawford -- who was traded with Carlos Santana to the Mariners in the Segura deal -- got hurt last season.

Zolecki even wondered: "Can the Phillies throw enough money at Manny Machado to convince him to play third base? Or is he even interested in it at all?"

CSN Philadelphia's Jim Salsibury reported that Philly would ask Machado to play third base if it acquires both him and Segura, who is signed for roughly $59 million over the next four seasons (with a $17 million club option or $1 million buyout for 2023). Segura has been open to moving to second in the past.  

Monday's trade also might be easier to envision a fit for Bryce Harper in Philly's outfield, especially now that Rhys Hoskins is free to return to first base with Santana in Seattle. MLB Network insider Joel Sherman echoed Zolecki in noting that Segura's acquisition doesn't necessarily rule out Machado. 

Tweet from @Joelsherman1: By moving Santana���s $35M over next 2 yrs the #Phillies can put Hoskins back at 1b his better position, does not preclude from still signing Machado to play 3b next to Segura at SS. Bad defense of 2018 would get a lot better in that scenario.

MLB.com's Richard Justice sees Machado and the Phillies as something of a perfect fit, given the club's need on the left side of the infield. Per FanGraphs, Segura produced 3.8 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in 2018, more than any Phillies position player. Machado had 6.2 WAR, ranking ninth in the Majors. Meanwhile, Philadelphia third baseman Maikel Franco, Kingery and Crawford combined for 1.4 WAR last season.

Segura helps upgrade at shortstop. Could Machado be an even bigger upgrade at the hot corner?

Manny Machado

Moore believes Royals 'will be active' in Rule 5

Kansas City meets one need with Owings signing, ready to explore draft with No. 2 pick
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Perhaps the top offseason goal for the Royals heading into the Winter Meetings starting Monday in Las Vegas already has been achieved.

The Royals were looking for a veteran backup middle-infielder to support shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and second baseman Whit Merrifield, and general manager Dayton Moore filled that hole by signing 27-year-old Chris Owings, who had been non-tendered by Arizona.

KANSAS CITY -- Perhaps the top offseason goal for the Royals heading into the Winter Meetings starting Monday in Las Vegas already has been achieved.

The Royals were looking for a veteran backup middle-infielder to support shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and second baseman Whit Merrifield, and general manager Dayton Moore filled that hole by signing 27-year-old Chris Owings, who had been non-tendered by Arizona.

Video: Royals add versatile Chris Owings with one-year deal

Moore told MLB.com this week that the Owings signing should fulfill that positional need heading into 2019.

"Chris is a very versatile player who started [51] games at shortstop in 2017," Moore said. "He can play third and second and outfield. He will be a valuable addition."

Moore said he would not comment on the Royals' potential interest in other free agents, including speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton, who was non-tendered by the Reds. Hamilton, a dynamic defender, could be a fit for the Royals at the right price (he made $4.6 million last season).

Video: Reds non-tender speedster outfielder Billy Hamilton

"We're not going to necessarily back off [from more acquisitions]," Moore said. "We'll look at players who make economic sense for us. But we're very happy with our depth right now."

While the Royals' bullpen was a major issue in 2018, Moore said the solutions moving forward likely will be internal.

"We have depth on our 40-man roster in terms of potential bullpen arms," Moore said. "We have several rotation candidates, and I would suspect those who don't make the rotation will be bullpen candidates.

"We'll look at the free-agent market and at potential trades, but if we identify someone, it will have to be an upgrade from what we have. Any tie will go to one of our existing players on the roster."

Moore also said the Royals likely will be active participants in the Rule 5 Draft, as they were last year when they selected right-handers Brad Keller and Burch Smith.

Smith struggled in 2018 (6.92 ERA in 38 games) and opted for free agency recently rather than being outrighted to Triple-A. Keller, though, emerged as the Royals' best starter.

"Our scouting staff does a terrific job identifying potential fits," Moore said. "The acquisition cost for a Rule 5 player is low. So yes, I believe we will be active in the Rule 5 Draft with the No. 2 pick."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Chris Owings

2018-19 free agents, position by position

MLB.com

By now, you probably know this year's big-name free agents.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the headliners. There's also Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel and A.J. Pollock. But what about the rest?

By now, you probably know this year's big-name free agents.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the headliners. There's also Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel and A.J. Pollock. But what about the rest?

Below is a list of notable free agents and players who can opt out of their contracts, grouped by position -- using a player's most-played position in 2018 -- and ranked by '18 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Each player's 2019 seasonal age and '18 regular-season WAR total are included in parentheses next to his name. (WAR totals are from FanGraphs.)

Catchers
Yasmani Grandal (30 years old, 3.6 WAR)
Wilson Ramos (31, 2.4)
Kurt Suzuki (35, 2.0) -- Signed 2-year deal with WSH (11/20).
Robinson Chirinos (35, 1.6) -- Signed 1-year deal with HOU (12/6).
Martin Maldonado (32, 0.9)
Nick Hundley (35, 0.9)
Matt Wieters (33, 0.9)
A.J. Ellis (38, 0.8)
Devin Mesoraco (31, 0.7)
Jonathan Lucroy (33, 0.6)
Chris Herrmann (31, 0.6) -- non-tendered
Brian McCann (35, 0.5) -- Signed 1-year deal with ATL (11/26).
Rene Rivera (35, 0.3)
Juan Graterol, C (29, 0.1) -- non-tendered
Caleb Joseph (32, 0.0) -- non-tendered
James McCann (28, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Chris Stewart (37, -0.1)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (34, -0.2)
Jose Lobaton (34, -0.3)
Drew Butera (35, -0.3)
Jeff Mathis (36, -0.5) -- Signed 2-year deal with TEX (11/19).
Bobby Wilson (36, -0.5) -- Signed MiLB deal with DET (12/5).
Stephen Vogt (34, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

First basemen
Steve Pearce (36 years old, 1.6 WAR) -- Signed 1-year deal with BOS (11/16).
Matt Adams (30, 0.8)
Wilmer Flores (27, 0.5) -- non-tendered
Justin Bour (30, 0.5) -- non-tendered
Mark Reynolds (35, 0.1)
Lucas Duda (32, 0.0)
Adam Rosales (36, -0.1)
Hanley Ramirez (35, -0.2)
Logan Morrison (31, -0.7)

Second basemen
Jed Lowrie (35 years old, 4.9 WAR)
Asdrubal Cabrera (33, 2.7)
Ian Kinsler (37, 2.3)
DJ LeMahieu (30, 2.0)
Daniel Descalso (32, 1.6)
Brian Dozier (32, 0.8)
Daniel Murphy (34, 0.8)
Jonathan Schoop (27, 0.5) -- Signed 1-year deal with MIN (12/6).
Ronald Torreyes (26, 0.4) -- Signed 1-year deal with MIN (12/6).
Josh Harrison (31, 0.3)
Andrew Romine (33, 0.1)
Neil Walker (33, 0.1)
Sean Rodriguez (34, 0.0)
Gordon Beckham (32, -0.1)
Logan Forsythe (32, -0.2)
Brandon Phillips (38, -0.3)

Third basemen
Eduardo Escobar (30 years old, 3.5 WAR) -- Signed 3-year deal with ARI (10/22).
Mike Moustakas (30, 2.4)
Josh Donaldson (33, 1.3) -- Signed 1-year deal with ATL (11/26).
Jung Ho Kang (32, 0.0) -- Signed 1-year deal with PIT (11/8).
Chase Headley (35, -0.4)
Ryan Flaherty (32, -0.4)
Danny Valencia (34, -0.4)
Jose Reyes (36, -0.9)
Yangervis Solarte (31, -1.3) -- non-tendered

Shortstops
Manny Machado (26 years old, 6.2 WAR)
Jose Iglesias (29, 2.5)
Freddy Galvis (29, 1.2)
Jordy Mercer (32, 1.0)
Adeiny Hechavarria (30, 0.4)
Alcides Escobar (32, -0.3)
Tim Beckham (28, -0.5) -- non-tendered
Eric Sogard (33, -0.8)

Left fielders
Michael Brantley (32 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Marwin Gonzalez (30, 1.6)
Denard Span (35, 1.5)
Curtis Granderson (38, 0.9)
Derek Dietrich (29, 0.8)
Craig Gentry (35, 0.6)
Cameron Maybin (32, 0.5)
Matt Joyce (34, 0.2)
Matt Holliday (39, 0.1)
Gerardo Parra (32, 0.0)
Gregor Blanco (35, -0.7)
Hunter Pence (36, -0.9)

Center fielders
A.J. Pollock (31 years old, 2.5 WAR)
Adam Jones (33, 0.5)
Gorkys Hernandez (31, 0.1) -- non-tendered
Eric Young Jr. (34, -0.3)
Rajai Davis (38, -0.2)
Austin Jackson (32, -1.0)

Right fielders
Bryce Harper (26 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Andrew McCutchen (32, 2.6)
Nick Markakis (35, 2.6)
Carlos Gonzalez (33, 1.7)
Jose Bautista (38, 1.0)
Jon Jay (33, 0.8)
Lonnie Chisenhall (30, 0.8) -- Signed 1-year deal with PIT (11/27).
Robbie Grossman (29, 0.7) -- non-tendered
Melky Cabrera (34, 0.4)
Brandon Guyer (33, 0.1)
Avisail Garcia (28, 0.0) -- non-tendered
Aristides Aquino (24, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Carlos Gomez (33, -0.5)
Chris Young (35, -0.5)
Chris Owings (27, -0.8) -- Signed 1-year deal with KC (12/5).

Designated hitters
Nelson Cruz (38 years old, 2.5 WAR)
Matt Davidson (28, 0.8) -- non-tendered
Evan Gattis (32, 0.0)
Pedro Alvarez (32, -0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with MIA (12/3).

Starting pitchers
Patrick Corbin (29 years old, 6.3 WAR) -- Signed 6-year deal with WSH (12/7).
Dallas Keuchel (31, 3.6)
J.A. Happ (36, 3.2)
Charlie Morton (35, 3.1)
Lance Lynn (32, 2.9)
CC Sabathia (38, 2.5) -- Signed 1-year deal with NYY (11/7).
Anibal Sanchez (35, 2.4)
Nathan Eovaldi (29, 2.2) -- Signed 4-year deal with BOS (12/6).
Gio Gonzalez (33, 2.0)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (32, 2.0) -- Accepted qualifying offer from LAD (11/12).
Trevor Cahill (31, 2.0)
Derek Holland (32, 2.0)
Clay Buchholz (34, 1.9)
Wade Miley (32, 1.5)
Matt Harvey (30, 1.4)
Mike Fiers (33, 1.4) -- non-tendered
Jeremy Hellickson (32, 1.2)
Garrett Richards (32, 1.0) -- Signed 2-year deal with SD (12/7).
Tyson Ross (32, 1.0)
Brett Anderson (31, 0.9)
James Shields (37, 0.8)
Jason Hammel (36, 0.8)
Edwin Jackson (35, 0.7)
Matt Shoemaker (32, 0.6) -- non-tendered
Adam Wainwright (37, 0.5) -- Signed 1-year deal with STL (10/11).
Marco Estrada (35, 0.5)
Francisco Liriano (35, 0.3)
Doug Fister (35, 0.3)
Bartolo Colon (46, 0.2)
Yovani Gallardo (33, 0.1)
Jaime Garcia (32, 0.0)
Matt Moore (30, 0.0) -- Signed 1-year deal with DET (12/4).
Sam Howard (25, 0.0) -- non-tendered
Martin Perez (28, -0.2)
Shelby Miller (28, -0.2) -- non-tendered
Drew Pomeranz (30, -0.3)
Miguel Gonzalez (35, -0.3)
Kendall Graveman (27, -0.4) -- non-tendered
Chris Tillman (31, -0.4)
Ervin Santana (36, -0.5)
Yusei Kikuchi (28, N/A) -- Played in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball in 2018; posted by Seibu Lions (12/3).
Nate Karns (31, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

Relief pitchers
Adam Ottavino (33 years old, 2.0 WAR)
Jeurys Familia (29, 1.8)
Joakim Soria (35, 1.8)
David Robertson (34, 1.5)
Craig Kimbrel (31, 1.5)
Jesse Chavez (35, 1.2) -- Signed 2-year deal with TEX (11/30).
Oliver Perez (37, 1.1)
Luis Avilan (29, 0.9) -- non-tendered
Tony Sipp (35, 0.9)
Zach Duke (36, 0.9)
Brad Brach (33, 0.7)
Joe Kelly (31, 0.7)
Jordan Lyles (28, 0.6)
Sergio Romo (36, 0.5)
Jake Diekman (32, 0.5)
Justin Wilson (31, 0.5)
Tyler Clippard (34, 0.5)
Shawn Kelley (35, 0.5)
Xavier Cedeno (32, 0.5) -- non-tendered
Andrew Miller (34, 0.4)
Kelvin Herrera (29, 0.4)
Greg Holland (33, 0.3)
Tony Barnette (35, 0.3)
Aaron Loup (31, 0.3)
Adam Warren (31, 0.3)
John Axford (36, 0.2)
Bud Norris (34, 0.2)
Ryan Madson (38, 0.2)
Dan Jennings (31, 0.2) -- non-tendered
Jeanmar Gomez (31, 0.2)
Alex Wilson (32, 0.2) -- non-tendered
Zach Britton (31, 0.1)
Santiago Casilla (38, 0.1)
Carson Smith (29, 0.1)
Cory Gearrin (32, 0.1) -- non-tendered
Ricardo Rodriguez (26, 0.1) -- non-tendered
Cody Allen (30, 0.0)
Jorge De La Rosa (38, 0.0)
Justin Hancock (28, 0.0) -- non-tendered
Fernando Salas (34, 0.0)
Zach McAllister (31, 0.0)
Blake Parker (31, 0.0) -- non-tendered
Blake Wood (33, 0.0)
Daniel Hudson (32, -0.1)
Jerry Blevins (35, -0.1)
Brad Boxberger (30, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Matt Bush (32, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Adrian Sampson (27, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Allen Webster (28, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Zac Curtis (26, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Hunter Strickland (30, -0.2) -- non-tendered
Matt Belisle (39, -0.2)
AJ Ramos (32, -0.2)
Hector Santiago (31, -0.2)
Jim Johnson (36, -0.3)
Randall Delgado (29, -0.3)
Boone Logan (34, -0.3)
Peter Moylan (40, -0.4)
Tim Collins (29, -0.4)
Junichi Tazawa (33, -0.5)
Brandon Maurer (28, -0.8)
Blaine Boyer (37, -0.9)
Josh Tomlin (34, -1.3)
David Phelps (32, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Joaquin Benoit (41, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Jandel Gustave (26, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Jason Adam (27, -0.4) -- Non-tendered, didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Andres Machado (25, N/A) -- Non-tendered, didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Samir Duenez (22, N/A) -- Non-tendered, didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Crew signs catcher Gosewisch to Minors deal

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- After losing Triple-A catchers Jett Bandy and Christian Bethancourt to free agency in the wake of productive seasons, the Brewers moved to restore some depth to the position Friday by striking a Minor League deal with veteran backstop Tuffy Gosewisch that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training camp.

Gosewisch, 35, last appeared in the Majors with Seattle in 2017, when he played in 11 games. He's a .190/.228/.271 hitter in 447 big league plate appearances as a backup for Arizona and Seattle but has turned in solid defensive work in the Minors over parts of 12 seasons.

MILWAUKEE -- After losing Triple-A catchers Jett Bandy and Christian Bethancourt to free agency in the wake of productive seasons, the Brewers moved to restore some depth to the position Friday by striking a Minor League deal with veteran backstop Tuffy Gosewisch that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training camp.

Gosewisch, 35, last appeared in the Majors with Seattle in 2017, when he played in 11 games. He's a .190/.228/.271 hitter in 447 big league plate appearances as a backup for Arizona and Seattle but has turned in solid defensive work in the Minors over parts of 12 seasons.

The Brewers finished last season with three catchers on the Major League roster, all of whom are back for 2019: Manny Pina, Erik Kratz and prospect Jacob Nottingham.

Gosewisch is only the second outside acquisition by the Brewers since their season ended in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. On Nov. 13, the team signed left-hander Angel Perdomo to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invitation.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Tuffy Gosewisch

Angels get RHP Garcia from Phils for Alvarez

MLB.com

The Angels executed a swap of relievers on Thursday, sending left-hander Jose Alvarez to the Phillies in exchange for right-hander Luis Garcia.

Garcia, 31, logged a 6.07 ERA over 46 innings in 59 relief appearances for the Phillies in 2018. Some of his peripheral numbers were far more encouraging, as he averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings and recorded a 3.51 FIP.

The Angels executed a swap of relievers on Thursday, sending left-hander Jose Alvarez to the Phillies in exchange for right-hander Luis Garcia.

Garcia, 31, logged a 6.07 ERA over 46 innings in 59 relief appearances for the Phillies in 2018. Some of his peripheral numbers were far more encouraging, as he averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings and recorded a 3.51 FIP.

Hot Stove Tracker

Garcia, who averaged 98 mph on his fastball this past season, profiles as a potential back-end arm for the Angels, who non-tendered erstwhile closer Blake Parker last week. Garcia has enjoyed success in the Majors in the past, as he posted a 2.65 ERA over 71 1/3 innings for the Phillies in 2017. In parts of six seasons in Philadelphia, Garcia pitched to a 4.12 ERA in 251 games.

To land Garcia, the Angels had to part with Alvarez, who had emerged as their most effective left-handed reliever in recent years. The 29-year-old was coming off his best season to date, logging a 2.71 ERA over 63 innings for the Angels in 2018. In his four seasons in Anaheim, Alvarez registered a 3.35 ERA in 270 relief appearances.

Alvarez's departure leaves rookie Williams Jerez as the only left-handed reliever on the Angels' 40-man roster. Jerez, who was acquired from the Red Sox as part of the Ian Kinsler trade, recorded a 6.00 ERA over 15 innings after debuting with the Angels in August.

Garcia and Alvarez are both entering their second year of arbitration and are projected to earn $1.7 million next year, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Both will be under team control for two more years.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter.

Los Angeles Angels, Jose Alvarez, Luis Garcia

Phils add lefty Alvarez in trade with Angels

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies found another left-hander for their bullpen.

No, not free agents Zach Britton or Andrew Miller. The Phillies announced Thursday night that they traded right-hander Luis Garcia to the Angels for left-hander Jose Alvarez. Alvarez, 29, went 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 76 appearances last season. He struck out 59 and walked 22 in 63 innings.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies found another left-hander for their bullpen.

No, not free agents Zach Britton or Andrew Miller. The Phillies announced Thursday night that they traded right-hander Luis Garcia to the Angels for left-hander Jose Alvarez. Alvarez, 29, went 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 76 appearances last season. He struck out 59 and walked 22 in 63 innings.

Last season, Alvarez held left-handed hitters to a .206/.265/.338 slash line and right-handers to a .232/.321/.303. He also posted a career-best 1.4 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, 10th best among left-handed relievers. Alvarez has a 3.69 ERA in 284 career appearances over six seasons in the big leagues, including five with the Angels.

Like Garcia, Alvarez is in his second season of salary arbitration.

The Phillies, who also acquired left-hander James Pazos from the Mariners as part of the Jean Segura trade on Tuesday, have been in the market for left-handed relievers this offseason.

Garcia, 31, went 3-1 with a 6.07 ERA in 59 appearances last season. He has a 4.12 ERA in 251 career appearances over six seasons with the Phillies.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jose Alvarez, Luis Garcia

Phillies, Angels swap relievers in 1-for-1 deal

Phils acquire LHP Alvarez; Halos receive RHP Garcia
MLB.com

The Angels and Phillies swapped veteran relievers Thursday in a deal that sent southpaw Jose Alvarez to Philadelphia and right-hander Luis Garcia to Anaheim.

Alvarez, 29, is coming off a stellar season in which he posted a 2.71 ERA, which ranked fourth among left-handed AL relievers, and struck out 59 batters through 76 appearances (63 innings). He allowed just three home runs all season and held left-handed hitters to a .206 average.

The Angels and Phillies swapped veteran relievers Thursday in a deal that sent southpaw Jose Alvarez to Philadelphia and right-hander Luis Garcia to Anaheim.

Alvarez, 29, is coming off a stellar season in which he posted a 2.71 ERA, which ranked fourth among left-handed AL relievers, and struck out 59 batters through 76 appearances (63 innings). He allowed just three home runs all season and held left-handed hitters to a .206 average.

Video: LAA@LAD: Alvarez fans Grandal to earn the win in 10th

The six-year veteran owns a 3.69 career ERA through 284 games with the Tigers (2013) and Angels (2014-18). The Angels acquired him from Detroit in March 2014 in exchange for infielder Andrew Romine.

Garcia, 31, has spent his entire six-year Major League career with the Phillies after joining the club as a Minor League free agent in 2013. After a strong 2017 campaign, Garcia struggled this season, compiling a 6.07 ERA in 59 relief appearances. He has a 4.12 ERA for his career.

Video: WSH@PHI: Garcia fans Harper with bases full in 9th

Both players are eligible for arbitration this offseason, and each is under team control until 2021.

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

Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels, Jose Alvarez, Luis Garcia

Twins sign middle infielders Schoop, Torreyes

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins shored up their middle infield with a pair of moves on Thursday, as they signed second baseman Jonathan Schoop and utility infielder Ronald Torreyes to one-year deals.

Schoop's deal is for $7.5 million.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins shored up their middle infield with a pair of moves on Thursday, as they signed second baseman Jonathan Schoop and utility infielder Ronald Torreyes to one-year deals.

Schoop's deal is for $7.5 million.

Schoop and Torreyes figure to try to fill the holes left by Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, who were traded at this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Schoop profiles similar to Dozier as a power-hitting second baseman with solid defense, while Torreyes is a better defender than Escobar but doesn't have his extra-base power.

Schoop, 27, was non-tendered by the Brewers on Friday, but has power, especially for a second baseman. Schoop had a career year in 2017, slashing .293/.338/.503 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs in 160 games with the Orioles. But he had a bit of a down year in '18, slashing a combined .233/.266/.416 with 21 homers and 61 RBIs in 131 games with Baltimore and Milwaukee. He also went hitless in eight postseason at-bats.

Advanced metrics paint Schoop as an above-average defender at second where he can pair with shortstop Jorge Polanco as a double-play combo. He's a career .258/.294/.444 hitter with 110 homers, 130 doubles and 333 RBIs in 681 games over parts of six seasons.

Torreyes, meanwhile, was also non-tendered on Friday, as he was traded from the Yankees to the Cubs last week but was still ultimately not tendered a contract by Chicago. The Twins have been busy signing non-tendered players, as they also claimed C.J. Cron, who wasn't tendered a contract with the Rays despite hitting 30 homers last season.

Video: CWS@NYY: Torreyes hustles for a triple in the 3rd

Torreyes, 26, slashed .280/.294/.370 with seven doubles and seven RBIs in 41 games with New York last season. He's hit .281/.310/.375 with four homers, 30 doubles and 56 RBIs in 229 games with the Dodgers and Yankees over parts of four seasons in the Majors. He has experience at second base, shortstop and third base. He's expected to back up fellow utility infielder Ehire Adrianza.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jonathan Schoop, Ronald Torreyes