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Rangers sign right-hander Lynn to 3-year deal

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Lance Lynn needs a full offseason and Spring Training. The Rangers need a proven pitcher with a track record who can provide a much-needed boost to their rotation.

The two sides appear to be a fortuitous match and the Rangers formally announced on Tuesday afternoon they have reached an agreement with Lynn on a three-year, $30 million contract.

ARLINGTON -- Lance Lynn needs a full offseason and Spring Training. The Rangers need a proven pitcher with a track record who can provide a much-needed boost to their rotation.

The two sides appear to be a fortuitous match and the Rangers formally announced on Tuesday afternoon they have reached an agreement with Lynn on a three-year, $30 million contract.

Lynn joins left-hander Mike Minor to give Texas two proven Major League starters at the top of its rotation. The Rangers also have veteran right-hander Edinson Volquez and left-hander Drew Smyly ready to return from Tommy John surgery. Those two did not pitch in the big leagues in 2018, but they are expected to be at full strength come Spring Training.

There is still have much work to do this offseason, but those four veterans give Texas some semblance of a rotation.

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"[Signing Lynn] is a tremendous boost to our group," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "Obviously they want to go out and win games, and this move kind of solidifies that at the top of the rotation. We've got some pretty good arms at the top, and from an offensive standpoint, we just look at it as these guys are going to get outs for us, and we're going to go score some runs. It's a huge boost for all of us, just knowing that we're going to push this thing forward, and Lance is going to be a big part of it."

Lynn was a free agent last winter who didn't get a job until signing a one-year deal with the Twins on March 12. He finished 10-10 in 2018 with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in 29 starts and two relief appearances. But the Rangers saw a much-improved pitcher after a July 31 trade to the Yankees. Lynn went 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over his final 11 outings.

"We look at his track record … extremely consistent, durable, winning performer on a Major League staff," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "Look at it last year, he really didn't have a traditional offseason or Spring Training. Once he settled in, made a small adjustment in midseason, he was very effective in the American League."

Lynn said the adjustment was suggested by Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston one start before he was traded to the Yankees. Lynn was standing too far toward first base on the pitching rubber and didn't have his feet firmly planted so he could drive off the mound. Once he fixed his footwork, it made a big difference in his pitching.

"Kind of kept me on line toward home plate," Lynn said. "I felt strong with my lower half and was able to throw the ball where I wanted to."

Video: Lance Lynn talks about shift he made on rubber

Lynn was the 39th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2008 Draft out of the University of Mississippi, and he made his Major League debut in 2011. He was part of the Cardinals' bullpen when they beat the Rangers in the '11 World Series before moving into their rotation the following season.

Lynn, an All-Star and 18-game winner in 2012, was 60-38 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP over 126 starts and six relief appearances for the Cardinals from 2012-15. He missed all of 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery but came back strong in '17. Lynn was 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 33 starts that season before becoming a free agent.

Considered one of the top starting pitchers in last year's free-agent market, Lynn had to wait longer than expected to get a job. The Rangers moved quicker on him this winter after J.A. Happ signed with the Yankees and Charlie Morton went to the Rays.

"Just knowing where you are going to be gives you a peace of mind," Lynn said. "I am looking forward to that, getting things situated so I don't have to show up on the fly and get ready for the season. I had two weeks before the season started when I showed up for Spring Training [in 2018]. To have all that, know where I am going to be, and get a place all set up, have a comfort zone and get to know the guys, I'm really looking forward to that and being a part of something here."

The Rangers are still working on their rotation. They have the financial flexibility to continue to pursue free-agent starters, and right-hander Mike Fiers has attracted their attention among the many pitchers still available.

Video: Fiers non-tendered by A's, becomes a free agent

Texas is also exploring which clubs are willing to trade young starting pitching. The Phillies, Mets and Braves are among the teams with depth in that area. The Phillies have interest in Minor, the Mets could use reliever Jose Leclerc in their bullpen and the Braves need outfield help.

The Rangers have multiple options they are still working through as the offseason reaches the halfway point.

"We go into the offseason with an overall plan," Daniels said. "You want everything to fit together as a puzzle, but the reality is you can't control the whole choreography of everything coming together at once. Every move has to make sense on its own, so that's how we view this with Lance.

"Regardless of what happens the rest of the winter, he fits. He fits for us short-term, and he fits going forward. The track record, the consistency, he has been a strong performer and quite frankly, we needed that."

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, Lance Lynn

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.

Could Hoskins help bring Harper to Philly?
Dec. 18: Rhys Hoskins already is beloved in Philadelphia for being a young face of the Phillies franchise as the promising and productive slugger who burst onto the scene in 2017 then followed that up with a strong sophomore season this past year.

If fans in the City of Brotherly Love didn't have enough love for Hoskins already, well, they should be excited to hear he's doing his part to help bring talent to Philly -- perhaps including superstar free agent Bryce Harper, with whom Hoskins has spoken about the team, the city and more, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports.

"Hoskins' agent is Scott Boras," Zolecki writes. "Harper's agent is Boras. Yes, Hoskins has spoken with Harper."

"Again, it's just more of me offering any look as to what this city is like, what the organization is like, what the clubhouse is like, what [manager Gabe Kapler] is like," Hoskins said. "It's not me offering information to him. If he wants it, and I've expressed this to him, that I am here for a chat if he wants it and it'd help."

Having a young star like Hoskins serve as something of a pitch person for the Phillies potentially could be quite helpful, whether he's possibly persuading superstars like Harper or Manny Machado -- who is due to visit Philly on Thursday -- or other players on the open market who could help improve the club.

The Phillies already have added shortstop Jean Segura via trade and signed veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen. What's next for Hoskins and Co.?

Phils reportedly met with Boras about Bryce last week
Dec. 18: While Manny Machado is making headlines for his visits with the White Sox (Monday), Yankees (Wednesday) and Phillies (Thursday) -- plus a potential mystery team or two -- it's been curiously quiet on the Bryce Harper front.

The hope was that some headway would be made last week at the Winter Meetings, especially since they were held in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas. Alas, not much Harper news happened in the wake of the baseball world's mass exodus -- but contrary to the slogan, apparently not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports Tuesday that Harper's agent, Scott Boras, indeed did meet with the Phillies at both the General Manager and the Winter Meetings, specifically to discuss the star slugger.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Phillies met with agent scott boras regarding bryce harper at gm and winter meetings, and manny machado will travel to meet with Phillies Thursday. they and chisox are the 2 teams known to be interested in both mega stars. though the chances of 1 team signing both seems remote.

The Phillies have been linked to Harper, as well as Machado, all offseason long, so this shouldn't be a surprise. The timing of this news, however, is intriguing with the club set to host Machado on Thursday. That means by the end of this week, the Phillies will have met with both Machado himself and Harper's agent, perhaps putting them in position to make a determination of which star free agent they prefer.

Dodgers are in on Harper, but at what price?
Dec. 17: Despite having a deep, fully loaded outfield, the Dodgers have been lurking around the edges of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, according to multiple reports. But how serious are they about snagging the superstar slugger, really?

"The Dodgers are widely rumored to be in on Harper, but the reality, according to Major League sources, is that they do not want him on a long-term, record-setting contract," MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal writes (subscription required) in a story for The Athletic. "A short-term deal with a high average salary and opt-outs might hold more appeal, but such an agreement likely would create luxury-tax issues for the Dodgers in 2019, and the team already has too many outfielders."

Translation: The Dodgers would like to land Harper, but more on their terms than on his (and those of agent Scott Boras). And even still, there have been reports that the front office is trying to stay under the luxury-tax threshold for the foreseeable future, meaning going after Harper might require a trade to unload some higher-salaried players. That's likely part of why Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood, among others, have been mentioned as chips.

What, exactly, a "short-term deal with a high average salary and opt-outs" for Harper could look like is difficult to say, but one imagines Harper and Boras would only even consider such a proposition if the AAV were at least $35 million to $40 million -- allowing Harper to hold the record for largest per-season salary.

A contract that calls for opt-outs on Harper's end makes sense -- and might even be likely -- given that trend for big-money pacts over the past few years (think: Clayton Kershaw, Jason Heyward, David Price), as well as the fact that Harper would be young enough to re-enter the open market in his late 20s, thus giving him a second shot at securing a massive payday if he so chooses.

Phillies: Harper or Machado not necessary for success
Dec. 17: The Phillies have long been connected with both of the premier free agents on this offseason's market, 26-year-old superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said Monday that while managing partner John Middleton said last month that the club might be "a little bit stupid" in how it spends money this winter, an acquisition of either isn't a prerequisite for success in 2019.

"You can have a very successful offseason and not include either one of those [players]," said MacPhail. "That may or may not be the case. But the way that it was portrayed put John in an awkward spot."

After competing for a National East division title for most of last season, only to fade fast down the stretch, Philadelphia has been rumored to be ready to make a big splash or two this offseason. It's even been suggested that the Phillies could land both Harper and Machado. Machado has ties to the Phillies through the front office, as MacPhail was the Orioles' general manager while Machado was in Baltimore. 

Former MLB general manager Jim Duquette, an analyst for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, said he thinks the Phillies are still by far the frontrunners to land Machado.

"I would be surprised if he ends up with the White Sox. I think the Phillies will be the team," Duquette said. "The owners continue to talk about how much they're going to spend money. And they love him in the front office. I think they're the most motivated, they need him at third base, all of those things combined. ... I feel stronger today than I did before the offseason even started, that he's going to be a Phillie."

Machado is scheduled to meet with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, a day after he visits the Yankees in New York. He met with the White Sox in Chicago on Monday.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@Jim_Duquette: More than ever, the #Phillies look like the frontrunner for Manny Machado. pic.twitter.com/r6pL7KiykK

Could a club coming off a losing season be the one to land Harper?
Dec. 16: The White Sox have been just about as actively linked to Harper as any club this offseason; a sign that they are looking to emerge from their multi-year rebuild and return to relevancy. But do they have the resources and marketability to land Harper, particularly given that they're coming off six straight losing seasons?

It's believed that Harper wants to sign among the richest contracts in history and play for a contender. That limits the free-agent pool to just a small handful of clubs. In an interesting piece for MLB.com, analyst Mike Petriello points out that, while winning is probably important to Harper (and Manny Machado, for that matter), the underlying factor in Harper's decision making will be dollars. 

What type of team typically gives out a mega-deal?

"The thinking goes, Harper and Machado want to win," Petriello writes. "Harper has never won a playoff series. Machado hadn't before joining the Dodgers late in 2018. They won't go to a team that didn't win.

"Perhaps. But is that really true? Think about all the variables that go into a decision this momentous. Sure, winning is important. So are location, fit with the organization, ballpark, teammates, coaches and so on. But in the end, we all know the most important factor here is money. They're going to go where they can get the largest contract, and they've earned the right to do so."

Video: Verducci on offseason changes, Machado and Harper

Petriello adds that nearly 40 percent of all contracts in excess of $100 million have been given out by clubs that were coming off a sub-.500 season. It's logic backed by the hope that a prized talent can help springboard a club by making an immediate impact. 

It's worth noting that the Phillies, despite sitting in first place as late as Aug. 9, finished 80-82 last year and would fit into this criteria. Their big-market budget and ambitious front office has led many to speculate that they will land Harper or Machado this winter.

Would Harper take less money to play for the Yankees?
Dec. 15: Bryce Harper grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle, and in fact has said he wears No. 34 because the digits add up to Mantle's No. 7. Now that he's one of the top two free agents on the market, expected to command a long-term deal in the neighborhood of $300 million to $400 million, would he take less over a shorter period of time to join the Yankees?

MLB Network Radio's Jeff Joyce and Jim Memolo discussed the notion Saturday, with Joyce suggesting Harper could sign a short deal and then "prove himself" in New York before inking a longer-term deal to stay in the Bronx. 

Though he's coming off a down year at the plate by his lofty standards, Harper still drew an MLB-high 130 walks and launched 34 home runs. He's a six-time All-Star, the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year and '15 Most Valuable Player. And he's only 26 years old.

"How bad does he really want to be a Yankee?" Joyce asked. "Does that overweigh getting the biggest contract of all-time? Does he go to his agent and say, 'Just get me there. Just get me to the Yankees. Doesn't have to be $300 million. I'll take a shorter deal ... If he really wants to be a Yankee that bad, can't you see them trying to find a way to get that done?"

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: Will Bryce Harper join the Imperial March? @JeffJoyce19 and @jimmemolo lay out the path. #Yankees pic.twitter.com/oFJvAZZ927

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.

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.

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. 

Gore returns to Royals on 1-year contract

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals weren't kidding when they said they wanted to return to their identity of speed and athleticism.

On Tuesday, about a week after signing Billy Hamilton, the Royals brought back speedy outfielder Terrance Gore on a one-year deal. A source told MLB.com that the deal is a split contract: $650,000 on the Major League side and $350,000 on the Minor League side, with $100,000 worth of performance bonuses.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals weren't kidding when they said they wanted to return to their identity of speed and athleticism.

On Tuesday, about a week after signing Billy Hamilton, the Royals brought back speedy outfielder Terrance Gore on a one-year deal. A source told MLB.com that the deal is a split contract: $650,000 on the Major League side and $350,000 on the Minor League side, with $100,000 worth of performance bonuses.

To make room for Gore on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated Rosell Herrera for assignment.

"As I have stated several times, we need to get more action-type players to our team and our offense," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com. "We need the type of speed that is hard to defend. Adding someone like Terrance Gore gives [manager Ned Yost] a terrific option late in games.

"We need to be a team that is exceptional in areas, and the areas that we can do that in right now are defense and the speed element."

Tweet from @Royals: Did someone say speed? pic.twitter.com/EcFgzModuT

Gore, a fan favorite, was dealt to the Cubs in August after spending almost eight years in the Royals' organization. Kansas City selected him in the 20th round of the 2011 Draft.

The 27-year-old Gore is famously known for his basestealing aptitude. He has just one big league hit in parts of five seasons -- that came in 2018 with the Cubs.

But Gore is 27-for-31 on stolen-base attempts in the regular season. He also is 5-for-6 in steals in the postseason, four of those coming with the Royals from 2014-15.

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

Kansas City Royals, Terrance Gore, Rosell Herrera

Cubs agree to two-year deal with Descalso

Infielder's contract includes club option for 2021
MLB.com

The Cubs' search for depth up the middle has led them to veteran utility man Daniel Descalso.

On Tuesday, the Cubs announced that they signed Descalso to a two-year contract that includes a team option for the 2021 season. Descalso checks off a number of boxes for Chicago -- including offering additional depth at second base while the team navigates through an April without shortstop Addison Russell.

The Cubs' search for depth up the middle has led them to veteran utility man Daniel Descalso.

On Tuesday, the Cubs announced that they signed Descalso to a two-year contract that includes a team option for the 2021 season. Descalso checks off a number of boxes for Chicago -- including offering additional depth at second base while the team navigates through an April without shortstop Addison Russell.

Descalso will earn $1.5 million in 2019, followed by a $2.5 million salary in '20. The third-year option is valued at $3.5 million, but the Cubs also have a $1 million buyout, making the contract worth $5 million guaranteed.

Russell will be ineligible for activation from the restricted list until May 3 due to finishing a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. While Russell is out of the picture, the Cubs plan on having Javier Baez handle shortstop duties, leaving a vacancy at second base for the first month of next season.

Descalso adds to an internal group of alternatives that includes Ben Zobrist, David Bote and Ian Happ. The left-handed-hitting veteran has spent parts of nine years in the Majors with the Cardinals, Rockies and D-backs. Last year, Descalso split his time in Arizona between second base (52 games), third base (37), first (11) and the outfield (five).

Video: Bastian discusses Descalso signing with the Cubs

Over his career, Descalso has appeared in 179 games at shortstop, but he has only logged one game at the position in the past two years.

Descalso has hit .240 with a .694 OPS in his career with relatively even splits against righties (.694 OPS) and lefties (.696 OPS), but he fared better against left-handers (.889 OPS and 134 wRC+ in 74 plate appearances) than right-handers (.767 OPS and 107 wRC+ in 349 PAs) last season. Overall in 2018, Descalso hit .238 with a career-high 13 homers to go along with 57 RBIs, a .789 OPS and a 111 wRC+ in 138 games.

The big change last year with Descalso was his improvement in getting pitches into the air. The 32-year-old produced a 46.3 percent flyball rate, which was up from 36.9 percent for his career. Along the same lines, his homer-to-fly ball ratio was 11.4 percent, compared to 6.9 for his career. Descalso also saw a rise in walk rate (15.1 percent in '18 vs. 10.4 in his career) and hard-hit rate (43.1 percent in 2018 vs. 29.7 percent in his career) last season.

After the Cubs traded Tommy La Stella to the Angels last month, the club was in the market for a lefty-hitting complement to the current crop of infielders. Descalso fits that mold, as well as giving Chicago a hitter with a more advanced style of offense. Descalso's improved air-ball approach could aid a lineup that had the highest ground-ball rate (47.8 percent) over the final two months last season.

Per Statcast™, Descalso also saw his launch angle jump to 19.1 degrees in 2018 -- up from 12.8 degrees in '17. That contributed to an increased average exit velocity (89 mph in '18 vs. 87 mph in '17) and a dramatic spike in Barrel rate (10.2 percent in '18 vs. 5.1 percent in '17).

Beyond infield depth, the Cubs have made it known that they are also hoping to inject some more veteran leadership into the clubhouse for 2019. It is worth noting then that Descalso has won a World Series (in 2011 with the Cardinals) and has 48 career postseason games in the big leagues under his belt.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Chicago Cubs, Daniel Descalso

Ramos declares clean bill of health for 2019

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Mets acquired their starting catcher when they signed Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $19 million contract, with a club option for a third year, this week.

Ramos was introduced to the New York media late Tuesday morning, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is convinced that the 31-year-old can stay healthy for a full season even though the backstop has spent a lot of time on the disabled list since 2012.

NEW YORK -- The Mets acquired their starting catcher when they signed Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $19 million contract, with a club option for a third year, this week.

Ramos was introduced to the New York media late Tuesday morning, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is convinced that the 31-year-old can stay healthy for a full season even though the backstop has spent a lot of time on the disabled list since 2012.

Ramos underwent two major surgeries on his right knee in 2012 and '16. He missed time due to a left hamstring injury in 2013 and a left hamate bone injury in 2014. Last year, Ramos, who spent time with the Rays and Phillies, missed the All-Star Game and landed on the DL because of a left hamstring strain. The last time Ramos went a full season without injury was 2015.

Mets call Ramos a perfect fit

But everything is different this offseason. For the first time in a long time, Ramos said he is not in rehab mode and is able to perform normal workouts.

"I'm very happy to be doing everything. Rehab is bad. It's not fun. Right now, I'm 100 percent. I can do everything that I want," Ramos said. "I'm doing a lot of things -- running, agility stuff, lifting. I couldn't do that before because I was trying to get my knee stronger. Right now, it's totally different."

Ramos and Van Wagenen met during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, where they talked about Ramos' defense and his knee. After conducting extensive research on Ramos' medical files, Van Wagenen is convinced that Ramos can catch at least 120 games.

"Obviously, we did a physical examination on him," Van Wagenen said. "And we were able to get a really good detailed video of some of his workouts that he was doing this offseason. As he said, this is the first offseason in a long time he hasn't had to rehab an injury. … We were very comfortable with that, and he is extremely confident that he will be able to be the primary guy and be on the field for us next year."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

New York Mets, Wilson Ramos

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, 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) -- Signed 2-year deal with NYM (12/17).
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) -- Signed 1-year deal with OAK (12/11).
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) -- Agreed to 1-year deal with CWS (12/14).
Chris Stewart (37, -0.1)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (34, -0.2)
Jose Lobaton (34, -0.3) -- Agreed to MiLB deal with SEA (12/10)
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 MLB 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) -- Signed 1-year deal with WSH (12/18).
Wilmer Flores (27, 0.5) -- non-tendered
Justin Bour (30, 0.5) -- Signed 1-year deal with LAA (12/15).
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) -- Agreed to 2-year deal with SD (12/14).
DJ LeMahieu (30, 2.0)
Daniel Descalso (32, 1.6) -- Signed 2-year deal with CHC (12/18).
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) -- Signed 1-year deal with DET (12/14).
Adeiny Hechavarria (30, 0.4)
Alcides Escobar (32, -0.3)
Tim Beckham (28, -0.5) -- non-tendered
Eric Sogard (33, -0.8)
Troy Tulowitzki (34, N/A) -- Didn't appear in MLB in 2018.

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)
Billy Hamilton (28, 1.3) -- Signed 1-year deal with mutual option for 2020 with KC (12/10).
Gorkys Hernandez (31, 0.1) -- Agreed to MiLB deal with BOS (12/11).
Eric Young Jr. (34, -0.3)
Rajai Davis (38, -0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with NYM (12/17).
Austin Jackson (32, -1.0)

Right fielders
Bryce Harper (26 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Andrew McCutchen (32, 2.6) -- Signed 3-year deal with PHI (12/12).
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) -- Signed 2-year deal with NYY (12/12).
Charlie Morton (35, 3.1) -- Agreed to 2-year deal with TB (12/12).
Lance Lynn (32, 2.9) -- Signed 3-year deal with TEX (12/18).
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) -- Signed 1-year deal with DET (12/10).
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) -- Posted by Japan's Seibu Lions (12/3).
Nate Karns (31, N/A) -- Didn't appear in MLB in 2018.

Relief pitchers
Adam Ottavino (33 years old, 2.0 WAR)
Jeurys Familia (29, 1.8) -- Signed 3-year deal with NYM (12/14).
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)
Nick Vincent (32, 0.7)
Joe Kelly (31, 0.7) -- Agreed to 3-year deal with LAD (12/13).
Jordan Lyles (28, 0.6) -- Signed 1-year deal with PIT (12/17).
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) -- Signed MiLB deal with TEX (12/17).
Adrian Sampson (27, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Allen Webster (28, -0.1) -- non-tendered
Zac Curtis (26, -0.1) -- Signed MiLB deal with TEX (12/17).
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 MLB in 2018.
Joaquin Benoit (41, N/A) -- Didn't appear in MLB in 2018.
Jandel Gustave (26, N/A) -- Didn't appear in MLB in 2018.
Jason Adam (27, -0.4) -- Signed MiLB deal with KC (12/17).
Andres Machado (25, N/A) -- Non-tendered, didn't appear in MLB in 2018.
Samir Duenez (22, N/A) -- Signed MiLB deal with KC (12/17).

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

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.

Could Beltran help Yanks recruit Machado?
Dec. 18: With the Manny Machado recruitment tour scheduled for New York on Wednesday, are the Yankees preparing to pull out all the stops to entice the superstar infielder toward a future in pinstripes?

The latest news is that former Yankees player Carlos Beltran -- whose agent during his playing days was Dan Lozano, currenly Machado's rep -- is expected to join the team as a special advisor to general manager Brian Cashman, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reports, citing a source.

Tweet from @Feinsand: According to a source, Carlos Beltran is expected to join the Yankees as a special advisor to GM Brian Cashman. Beltran was repped by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, who also reps Manny Machado. Will be interesting to see if Beltran is part of the Machado recruiting process.

Whether Beltran -- who was in the running last year to be Yankees manager before Aaron Boone was hired -- would be part of the recruiting process for the Yankees as they pitch Machado on coming to the Bronx remains to be seen. But hey, if nothing else, it's fun to speculate as the Machado buzz ratchets up this week.

Tweet from @Joelsherman1: For those who love a good conspiracy theory, #Yankees hired Beltran, who had the same agent (Dan Lozano) as Machado, day b4 they are to meet with Machado. Does that top #Whitesox acquiring his brother-in-law (Alonso) 2 days b4 their meeting? #Intrigue

Machado tour swings through South Side
Dec. 17: The Machado sweepstakes could heat up this week as he tours the country to meet with potential suitors. Reports are that Machado will meet with the Yankees on Wednesday in New York and with the Phillies on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, but first came a visit to the South Side of Chicago on Monday, when he met with the White Sox.

Want a peek at Machado arriving at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday? NBC Sports Chicago has footage.

The White Sox were not as close to a World Series title as the Yankees and Phillies in 2018, but they have been viewed at various times this offseason as a club willing to extend a considerable financial offer toward either Machado or Bryce Harper. Those expectations were tempered slightly, however, when ESPN's Buster Olney reported Saturday (subscription required) that Chicago is unlikely to offer a contract that would surpass Giancarlo Stanton's record $325 million deal from 2014. Both Machado and Harper are expected to ask for more than that total, and so the White Sox might need to wait and see if their asking prices go down at all in the coming weeks or months.

Chicago traded for Machado's brother-in-law, first baseman Yonder Alonso, last week in a move that fueled speculation toward its pursuit of Machado, but White Sox general manager Rick Hahn downplayed the transaction as strictly a "baseball deal."

Alonso spoke with Chicago media via conference call from his Miami home. He was excited about the prospect of playing on the same club as his brother-in-law.

"We are definitely very close," Alonso said of Machado. "We live two blocks away from each other in Miami. It will be very, very nice to also be neighbors on the South Side.

"I know he's very excited for me, his whole family is very excited for me, and we feel like it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I definitely want him to be my neighbor, I'll tell you that. I want him to be by my side. But again, I know he is going to do his thing and make his own decision."

The White Sox lost 100 games in 2018, but their opportunity could be coming soon in the American League Central with the Indians' window for contention perhaps starting to close.

Video: Alonso talks about his desire to play with Machado

Phillies: Harper or Machado not necessary for success
Dec. 17: The Phillies have long been connected with both of the premier free agents on this offseason's market, 26-year-old superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said Monday that while managing partner John Middleton said last month that the club might be "a little bit stupid" in how it spends money this winter, an acquisition of either isn't a prerequisite for success in 2019.

"You can have a very successful offseason and not include either one of those [players]," said MacPhail. "That may or may not be the case. But the way that it was portrayed put John in an awkward spot."

After competing for a National East division title for most of last season, only to fade fast down the stretch, Philadelphia has been rumored to be ready to make a big splash or two this offseason. It's even been suggested that the Phillies could land both Harper and Machado. Machado has ties to the Phillies through the front office, as MacPhail was the Orioles' general manager while Machado was in Baltimore. 

Former MLB general manager Jim Duquette, an analyst for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, said he thinks the Phillies are still by far the frontrunners to land Machado.

"I would be surprised if he ends up with the White Sox. I think the Phillies will be the team," Duquette said. "The owners continue to talk about how much they're going to spend money. And they love him in the front office. I think they're the most motivated, they need him at third base, all of those things combined. ... I feel stronger today than I did before the offseason even started, that he's going to be a Phillie."

Machado is scheduled to meet with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, a day after he visits the Yankees in New York. He met with the White Sox in Chicago on Monday.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@Jim_Duquette: More than ever, the #Phillies look like the frontrunner for Manny Machado. pic.twitter.com/r6pL7KiykK

Do the Yankees 'have to get a deal done' with Machado?
Dec. 16: The Yankees will be without shortstop Didi Gregorius for the first half of the 2019 season. As New York has worked to upgrade its starting rotation this offseason, Jim Memolo of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM asks whether the Bronx Bombers need to be more urgent about signing Manny Machado.

"If you're the Yankees, and you don't sign Machado, and even if you sign someone like [Troy Tulowitzki] as a stopgap, you are not as good a lineup as you were last year," Memolo argues. "Troy Tulowitzki and some of the other names mentioned are not as good offensively or defensively as Didi Gregorius. So you tell me about that 'fully operational Death Star,' and I tell you that your lineup today, December 16, is not as good as it was last year."

Machado is expected to land a long-term contract in the neighborhood of $300 million this offseason. Along with Bryce Harper, the 26-year-old Machado is the most coveted free agent on the market. A four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner, he hit .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs and 14 steals between the Orioles and Dodgers last season.

As the Yankees work to put together a roster that can match the defending World Series champion Red Sox in the American League East, New York will be looking for any edge possible heading into the '19 season.

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@jimmemolo thinks the #Yankees have to get a deal done with Manny Machado.#DeathStar pic.twitter.com/UYiyqPkYLa

Machado to meet with Yanks on Wednesday, Phils on Thursday
Dec. 16: Manny Machado will formally meet with the Yankees on Wednesday in New York, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. And he'll meet with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, reports NBC Sports' Jim Salisbury

Tweet from @GeorgeAKingIII: Manny Machado and Yankees have meeting scheduled for Wednesday in New York

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 non-waiver Trade Deadline in July and now have a need at the position with Didi Gregorius slated to miss a chunk of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  
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 on his remarks. Andy Martino of SNY.tv reported after the postseason that the club was "lukewarm" on Machado given his postseason antics, though that approach appears to have altered.

The Phillies have also been long rumored to be interested in signing not only Machado, but perhaps also the other marquee free agent this offseason, Bryce Harper. With young talent on the roster and enough payroll room to spend big this winter, Philadelphia is looking to shake up what is shaping up to be a very competitive NL East in 2019.
 
The Machado market, like most players' this offseason, has been slow to develop. 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. The Yankees and Phillies 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. 

Video: Would the Yankees prefer Harper or Machado?

While teams continue to woo Machado, it's also 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 Harper's this offseason. The question, then, might be how badly Cashman and the rest of the club's front office and ownership want Machado.

Could a club coming off a losing season be the one to land Machado?
Dec. 16: The White Sox have been in the Machado sweepstakes since last offseason, when they intriguingly attempted to trade for him when most of their other moves indicated they were still attempting to stock up their farm system. They again tried to acquire him ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July. And now they're among a handful of teams trying to sign him in free agency, where it will cost the club only dollars and not prospects. 

But it will take a lot of dollars to land Machado. 

Machado has been rumored to be in the market for among the richest contracts in baseball history, perhaps in excess of $200 million (if not more). It's also believed that he wants to sign with a contender, which further limits the pool of potential suitors. However, in an interesting piece for MLB.com, analyst Mike Petriello points out that, while winning is probably important to Machado (and Bryce Harper, for that matter), the underlying factor will be dollars. 

What type of team typically gives out a mega-deal?

"The thinking goes, Harper and Machado want to win," Petriello writes. "Harper has never won a playoff series. Machado hadn't before joining the Dodgers late in 2018. They won't go to a team that didn't win.

"Perhaps. But is that really true? Think about all the variables that go into a decision this momentous. Sure, winning is important. So are location, fit with the organization, ballpark, teammates, coaches and so on. But in the end, we all know the most important factor here is money. They're going to go where they can get the largest contract, and they've earned the right to do so."

Petriello adds that nearly 40 percent of all contracts in excess of $100 million have been given out by clubs that were coming off a sub-.500 season. It's logic backed by the hope that a prized talent can help springboard a club by making an immediate impact. 

The Phillies, who are also as in on Machado as any club, finished 80-82 last year and would fit into Petriello's criteria.

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."

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. 

Manny Machado