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On The Move presented by Penske

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) -- 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 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)
Billy Hamilton (28, 1.3) -- Agreed to 1-year deal with KC (12/10).
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) -- 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) -- 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.

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.

Yankees reportedly unwilling to offer Machado $300 million
Dec. 10: With a need at shortstop, the typically deep-pocketed Yankees have been linked to Manny Machado all offseason. The club may not, however, be willing to spend what it takes to sign him.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees plan to meet with Machado but won't offer him the $300 million contract he's rumored to be seeking. Bryce Harper, whom Heyman says the Yankees will meet with, too, is also reportedly seeking a deal in excess of $300 million. It's not yet clear if any clubs are willing to meet that number for either player.

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.

If it's a choice between Machado and Harper for the Yankees, it appears the club 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.

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 much of next season recovering from Tommy John surgery. 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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

Sources: Royals near deal with Billy Hamilton

MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- The Royals are inching closer to having one of the more dynamic defensive outfields in the Majors.

On the first official day of the Winter Meetings on Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, news quickly leaked that the Royals were nearing an agreement with speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton. Interest in Hamilton was first reported by MLB.com last week.

LAS VEGAS -- The Royals are inching closer to having one of the more dynamic defensive outfields in the Majors.

On the first official day of the Winter Meetings on Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, news quickly leaked that the Royals were nearing an agreement with speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton. Interest in Hamilton was first reported by MLB.com last week.

Hamilton, who was non-tendered by the Reds, made $4.6 million last season. Multiple sources indicate Hamilton likely will sign a one-year deal for $5.25 million, perhaps with a mutual option and performance incentives.

Hot Stove Tracker

Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed late Monday morning that the Royals indeed were nearing completion of the deal, which is believed to become official sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.

Video: Flanagan discusses Hamilton's impact on Royals

"A potential signing of Billy Hamilton makes us better," Moore said. "And it gives us two things that show up every day -- defense and speed. … We want a motion game."

Moore also said Hamilton, 28, if signed, definitely would play center field. The Royals ended the 2018 season with Brett Phillips and Brian Goodwin competing for time in center.

But Moore said Phillips and Goodwin can play all three outfield positions, though six-time Gold Glove Award winner Alex Gordon is a lock in left. The Royals also have Jorge Soler and Jorge Bonifacio, who could compete in right field or at designated hitter.

Phillips and Bonifacio both have one year of options left.

"It's a good problem to have," Moore said of a potentially crowded outfield situation. "You need a lot of good players to compete over 162 games. We'll manage that as it comes.

"Things happen in this game. No one expected Jorge Bonifacio [to get suspended last year] or for Jorge Soler to get hurt."

Hamilton is regarded as one of the top defensive outfielders, ranking fifth in the Majors with 16 Outs Above Average, which measures how many plays an outfielder has saved over his peers.

Video: CLE@CIN: Hamilton robs Lindor and celebrates in style

Hamilton's speed -- he topped 50 steals in four straight seasons from 2014-17 -- and defensive ability fit the Royals' profile of a player they always have coveted under Moore.

"There is a certain type of player we think is important to put together a successful or impactful outfield unit," Moore said. "We have to be able to cover Kauffman Stadium. We had some issues at times [last year]. The departure of Lorenzo Cain [was felt]."

If Hamilton were to hit ninth, which he did in 112 games for the Reds last season, the Royals would have perhaps the fastest 9-1-2 trio in the Majors.

Whit Merrifield, who likely will lead off, led the Major Leagues in stolen bases with 45. Adalberto Mondesi, who likely will hit second, stole 32 bases in just 75 games.

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

Kansas City Royals, Billy Hamilton

O's open Winter Meetings with waiver claim

Ruiz brings defensive versatility; Cards pluck Meisinger from waivers
MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- Though most of their activity this week is expected to come on the business side, the Orioles opened the Winter Meetings with a player transaction Monday, claiming infielder Rio Ruiz on waivers from the Braves.

Right-hander Ryan Meisinger was lost to the Cardinals on a waiver claim in a corresponding move, leaving the O's 40-man roster with two vacant spots prior to Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. A Prince Frederick, Md., native, Meisinger pitched to a 6.43 ERA in 18 appearances as a rookie in 2018. He was originally an 11th-round selection by the O's in 2015.

LAS VEGAS -- Though most of their activity this week is expected to come on the business side, the Orioles opened the Winter Meetings with a player transaction Monday, claiming infielder Rio Ruiz on waivers from the Braves.

Right-hander Ryan Meisinger was lost to the Cardinals on a waiver claim in a corresponding move, leaving the O's 40-man roster with two vacant spots prior to Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. A Prince Frederick, Md., native, Meisinger pitched to a 6.43 ERA in 18 appearances as a rookie in 2018. He was originally an 11th-round selection by the O's in 2015.

Video: NYY@BAL: Meisinger's 3 perfect innings of relief

A 24-year-old who played five positions in Atlanta's system last season, Ruiz gives Baltimore a versatile option on a roster with significant holes. Though he's played almost exclusively third base at the Major League level, Ruiz also saw time at first base and both corner outfield positions last season, when he slashed .269/.322/.390 for Triple-A Gwinnett. He is a career .189 hitter across 195 big league plate appearances, all for the Braves from 2016-18.

The move classifies as a reunion of sorts for Ruiz and new Orioles general manager Mike Elias, who was Houston's director of amateur scouting when the Astros drafted Ruiz in the fourth round in 2012. Ruiz was traded to Atlanta along with Mike Foltynewicz in the '15 deal that brought Evan Gattis to the Astros. Ruiz figures to be in the mix this spring for reps at third base with Renato Nunez, or at the very least will compete against other utility types Breyvic Valera and Steve Wilkerson for a bench role.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.

Baltimore Orioles, Ryan Meisinger, Rio Ruiz

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

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

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

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

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

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

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

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: INF/OF Derek Dietrich

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

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

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

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos, 1B Justin Bour, LHP Luis Avilan

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

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

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

NL CENTRAL

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

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

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

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

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

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Moustakas and Soria became free agents when they turned down mutual options for $15 million and $10 million, respectively. The club picked up Jeremy Jeffress' $3.175 million team option, but turned down Lyles' option for $3.5 million.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: INF/OF Josh Harrison, SS Jordy Mercer

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

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

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

NL WEST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

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

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

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

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

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, LHP J.A. Happ, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Lance Lynn, OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP David Robertson, 2B/OF Neil Walker

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

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

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

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

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

AL CENTRAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Morton also figures to draw considerable interest coming off his first All-Star season at age 34. Brian McCann returned to Atlanta on a one-year deal, but Maldonado remains part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

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

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