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Yanks deal Gray to Reds, land OF from Mariners

NY reels in Stowers from Seattle in 2nd trade; Sanmartin also acquired
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Sonny Gray is receiving the change of scenery he coveted, shipped to the Reds on Monday afternoon as part of a three-way trade that resulted in the Yankees' acquisition of outfield prospect Josh Stowers from the Mariners.

Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman candidly said he was "open-minded" to trading Gray, Cincinnati sent infield prospect Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Yankees in exchange for Gray and Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin.

NEW YORK -- Sonny Gray is receiving the change of scenery he coveted, shipped to the Reds on Monday afternoon as part of a three-way trade that resulted in the Yankees' acquisition of outfield prospect Josh Stowers from the Mariners.

Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman candidly said he was "open-minded" to trading Gray, Cincinnati sent infield prospect Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Yankees in exchange for Gray and Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin.

The Bombers then flipped Long for Stowers, who was Seattle's second-round selection (54th overall) in last year's MLB Draft and was rated as the Mariners' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

With Gray granted a 72-hour window to negotiate with the Reds, all pieces of the trade were contingent upon the hurler reaching an extension by Monday. Gray agreed to a three-year, $30.5 million pact with Cincinnati that will cover 2020-22, with a club option for '23 at $12 million.

The 23-year-old Long was rated as the Reds' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, having starred this past season at Double-A Pensacola. The Yankees are more intrigued by Stowers, a right-handed product out of the University of ,Louisville who made his professional debut with Class A Short-Season Everett last summer.

Video: Top Prospects: Josh Stowers, OF, Mariners

In 58 games, Stowers batted .260/.380/.410 with 15 doubles, five homers, 28 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, while being named a Northwest League Midseason All-Star. The Chicago product will turn 22 next month and, unlike Long, does not have to be carried on the Yankees' 40-man roster.

Gray, 29, was a celebrated acquisition from the Athletics in July 2017, when he was obtained with international bonus slot money in exchange for prospects James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler, but Gray endured a bumpy tenure in pinstripes.

In 41 games (34 starts) over his 1 1/2 seasons in New York, Gray compiled a record of 15-16 with a 4.51 ERA and did not appear on the roster for last year's American League Division Series against the Red Sox. Gray struggled in particular at Yankee Stadium, where he owns a 6.35 ERA in 95 career innings.

The Yanks halted trade discussions when CC Sabathia underwent an angioplasty in December. Sabathia was subsequently cleared to resume baseball activities and is expected to serve as the fifth starter behind Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.

Gray appeared at an awards banquet last week in Nashville, Tenn., telling The Tennessean that while he had not spoken to Yankees brass since the end of the season, he was aware of the ongoing trade rumors.

"Ultimately, you want to play somewhere where you're wanted," Gray told the newspaper.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Sonny Gray

Yadi says beef with Bryant will carry into season

Cardinals catcher 'can't wait to get onto the field' vs. Cubs
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- The social media chatter has died down, but Yadier Molina assured that Kris Bryant's characterization of St. Louis as "boring" won't soon be forgotten.

"Oh, it will. It will carry [into the season]," Molina insisted on Monday. "I can't wait to get on the field."

ST. LOUIS -- The social media chatter has died down, but Yadier Molina assured that Kris Bryant's characterization of St. Louis as "boring" won't soon be forgotten.

"Oh, it will. It will carry [into the season]," Molina insisted on Monday. "I can't wait to get on the field."

Molina took to Instagram on Saturday with a defense of St. Louis that included referring to Bryant and former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who echoed Bryant's sentiments, as "losers." After signing autographs for fans over the final two hours of Winter Warm-Up on Monday, Molina explained why he offered such a passionate response to Bryant's seemingly playful comments.

Bryant tweaks St. Louis; Yadi snaps back

"St. Louis is home," Molina said. "If anybody says anything bad about my home, I'm going to be there for us. I said to the guys, 'We are like a family. We have to stick together. We have to defend ourselves, and we have to defend our ground.' Whoever says something about us, we are going to be there to defend us."

The first matchup between the Cubs and Cardinals this season will be May 3 at Wrigley Field.

Tweet from @Cubs_Live: Kris Bryant explaining how playing in St. Louis is terrible. 😂 pic.twitter.com/qYM1mZJfZZ

Flaherty benefiting from Hall of Fame mentor
Since rushing out to the dugout after learning that Bob Gibson wanted to meet him in mid-August, right-hander Jack Flaherty has remained in touch with the greatest pitcher in franchise history via phone call and text messages this offseason.

"When you hear that a guy like that wants to meet you and you know that is not something he does, ever, I jumped at that opportunity, and I try to reach out whenever I can if I ever have any questions," said Flaherty, who is coming off a rookie season in which he finished with 182 strikeouts and a 3.34 ERA. "He's pretty good about getting back to me. That's just special, really special."

Flaherty said he had made it a point during his climb through the system to study more about Gibson's place in the game. He admitted that he "didn't really understand how good he was" until doing a deeper dive into the numbers and hearing so many stories.

As for his choice on Gibson's best piece of advice so far? Don't let being tired slow you down.

"You're going to reach a point of being tired," Flaherty explained, "and you just have to take whatever percentage you're at and give 100 percent of that."

Video: Cardinals Insider: Hats Off to Bob Gibson

Pitchers vs. position players
Cardinals teammates have been trading playful barbs over social media recently after Flaherty insisted during a radio interview that pitchers would beat position players in any athletic competition.

"We win, and it's not even close," he said.

But Dexter Fowler wasn't ready to concede, and that has prompted a text chain in which Fowler and Flaherty have been drafting teams for a pickup basketball game that isn't going to actually happen.

Fowler took Kolten Wong, Drew Robinson, Jedd Gyorko and Paul DeJong to round out his starting five. Flaherty countered with John Gant, Mike Mayers, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Miles Mikolas. Flaherty noted the depth he'd have off the bench, too, with Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in waiting.

"I know Jedd can shoot. I know Dex is a good athlete," Flaherty said. "I don't know that we're going to be super worried about that. I'll give our guys the easy buckets. We'll take the height advantage every day."

Tweet from @Jack9Flaherty: Who you got

Edmonds coming to camp
Cardinals Hall of Famer Jim Edmonds has accepted an invitation to serve as a guest instructor at Spring Training, meaning that players in camp will have the chance to be mentored by two of the franchise's all-time best defensive center fielders. The other, Willie McGee, is returning to manager Mike Shildt's staff as an extra coach.

Among those most looking forward to the added instruction is Harrison Bader, a potential future Gold Glove center fielder who has been earmarked as the starter for the position.

"Spring Training is a time to obviously get ready, but, to an extent, experiment. So I'm looking forward to working with Jim," Bader said. "Obviously, he's somebody I've looked up to my entire life, just as a young baseball player. So the information he is going to give me is going to be invaluable, and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of it."

Cheers!
All weekend, Cardinals players shared stories about where they were and how they heard news of the organization acquiring Paul Goldschmidt via trade last month. Molina was especially gleeful to recount his.

"I think I was in the boat [near Jupiter, Fla.]," he said. "When I got the news, I was like, 'Oh, give me a beer! Give me a beer, please, because this is great news.'"

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kris Bryant, Yadier Molina

Bucs? Miami? Latest on Machado mystery teams

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.

Pirates? Marlins? The latest on the Machado mystery teams
Jan. 21: Where will Manny Machado land? With Spring Training less than a month away, we're no closer to finding out the answer to that question, especially with the reports of multiple undisclosed teams being involved only creating more speculation.

Some of the mystery team suggestions are more surprising than others.

Hector Gomez of Z101, a Dominican Republic radio station, has heard the Pirates could be in the mix. (Tweet translated from Spanish to English.)

Tweet from @hgomez27: Several reports suggest that the @Pirates could be the mystery team that would be interested in Manny Machado.#ZDigital #ZDeportes @z101digital @ZDeportes https://t.co/d029rQh14B

Pittsburgh certainly has a need for the infielder, but the club doesn't have a reputation for spending big on the free-agent market, and Machado is reportedly looking for a record-setting contract. It would be a stunning development, to say the least, if the Pirates sign Machado.

Meanwhile, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio shared his belief Monday that the Marlins, Machado's hometown club, are eyeing the superstar.

"You've got a guy who will bring fans to the seats because he's from the area," Stern said. "He will bring some fans into the seats, even with bad play [by the team] ... probably, in my opinion, even more than [Giancarlo] Stanton did."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: #Marlins-Manny Machado-Mystery Team? -@CaseyStern pic.twitter.com/wyXvHsr8EL

The mystery team chatter really picked up steam last week when Gomez tweeted comments from Machado's father, who said he believed the team people were overlooking would be the one to sign his son.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman subsequently confirmed the presence of an unknown team in the race for Machado and SNY's Andy Martino followed up with a report that at least two mystery teams are involved.

No current free agent hit the ball hard more often than Machado in '18
Jan. 20: Manny Machado is, along with Bryce Harper, the most talented free agent on the market. One particular area in which the 26-year-old superstar excels is consistently making hard contact. MLB.com's Andrew Simon took a look at the best skills among remaining free agents, and Machado had the highest hard-hit rate (percentage of batted balls with exit velocity of 95 mph or greater) in 2018, at 48.2 percent. That was good for 15th among 228 MLB hitters with a minimum of 250 batted balls.

The Phillies, White Sox and a pair of mystery teams reportedly lead the pack for Machado, who is reportedly looking for a record contract that would exceed the 13-year, $325 million deal Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in '14. More >

At least two mystery teams in Machado race
Jan. 19: Just when it seemed like the Phillies and White Sox were the only two teams left in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, at least two more undisclosed clubs have emerged, Major League sources told Andy Martino of SNY.tv.

Machado has personally met with one of the unidentified teams in recent days, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman has heard that said team has the high bid for the 26-year-old.

Additionally, Martino reports that the Yankees are maintaining contact with Machado's camp, though he notes that New York remains unlikely to sign him.

The Braves have checked in as well, but Martino writes that they "are not believed to be serious suitors."

In comments made to Hector Gomez of Z101, a Dominican Republic radio station, Machado's father, Manuel, alluded to a potential mystery suitor for his son, saying the team people are overlooking would be the one to sign the superstar free agent. The elder Machado also said that the Dodgers were one of the teams that have made his son an offer, but that was quickly disputed by Heyman.

Here are the tweets from Gomez, translated from Spanish to English.

Tweet from @hgomez27: Manuel Machado, Manny���s Father:���Manny has received offers from different teams: Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, now there���s a lot of interest from the White Sox.���#ZDigital #ZDeportes @z101digital @ZDeportes pic.twitter.com/2QoiZEy5zl

Tweet from @hgomez27: Manuel Machado, Manny���s Father:"I believe that the team you will probably less think about is the one that���s gonna sign Manny Machado."#ZDigital #ZDeportes @z101digital @ZDeportes

Manny seen wearing a Sox cap; does it mean anything?
Jan. 18: Is Manny Machado leaning toward signing with the White Sox? With the Phillies reportedly turning their focus to fellow 26-year-old superstar Bryce Harper after meeting with him in Las Vegas last week, and the Yankees signing yet another infielder in DJ LeMahieu, it appears Chicago may be the favorite to land Machado. The White Sox have reportedly made a seven-year, $175 million offer, though that has been disputed by Machado's agent, Dan Lozano.

While it may be a clue, or may be nothing at all, Machado was seen wearing a White Sox cap while taking batting practice with brother-in-law and White Sox first baseman Yonder Alonso on Friday. The website 12up reports that this took place in Miami.

Tweet from @12upSport: Yeah this definitely looks like Manny Machado wearing a White Sox hat and trying to hide it pic.twitter.com/nvtQUyAqIt

Machado and Harper are the two premier free agents this offseason, a pair of superstar sluggers under 27 years old on the open market, which can be a rarity. Both are reportedly looking to break the record for largest contract in MLB history, currently held by Giancarlo Stanton, who inked a 13-year, $325 million pact with the Marlins in 2014.

Yankees dip into free-agent market again -- but not for Machado
Jan. 17: While the Yankees are believed to be out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, a report that the White Sox had offered the infielder $175 million over seven years -- which was later disputed by Machado's agent, Dan Lozano -- led to renewed speculation that New York could re-enter the mix for the right price.

However, the Yankees' latest move makes it even more unlikely that they'll circle back to sign Machado, as they have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract with right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino.

With Ottavino's $9 million average annual value tacked on, the Yankees project to be nearly $15 million over the luxury-tax threshold in 2019, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. New York can bump that down a bit by trading Sonny Gray and his $7.5 million salary, but signing Machado for $25 million or more annually could put New York more than $30 million over the threshold.

In that case, the Yankees would need to pay a 20 percent tax on all overages plus a 12 percent surtax for exceeding the threshold by $20 million to $40 million, per the Competitive Balance Tax rules.

Due to the steeper penalties levied against teams that exceed the threshold by more than $40 million, signing Machado may also inhibit the Yankees' ability to make major in-season additions to the roster. Teams that finish more than $40 million over the luxury-tax line are subject to a 42.5 percent surtax and will have their highest selection in the next MLB Draft moved back 10 spots, unless it falls in the top six -- in which case the second-highest selection is moved back 10 spots.

Assessing which 'mystery teams' may actually be in on Harper and/or Machado
Jan. 17: As the offseason drags on and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned, the door will stay open for more teams to jump into the race, especially if there's a sense that the price to sign them may not be as high as many initially expected.

In an article for ESPN+ (subscription required) on Thursday, Buster Olney listed some of the so-called "mystery teams" that are drawing speculation from industry insiders and broke down each club's chances of signing one of this offseason's superstar free agents.

Olney is hearing the Astros, Giants and Braves being mentioned as potential suitors for Harper; the Yankees and Padres as possible contenders for Machado; and the Rangers, Twins and Cubs as three teams that could sign either player.

Olney thinks most of these clubs will continue to sit out of the proceedings, but he could see Houston entering the mix for Harper if the slugger is willing to accept a shorter-term deal with opt-outs. The Astros nearly acquired Harper before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline this past season, but the Nationals backed out. As Olney points out, the team is in win-now mode, especially with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole set to enter free agency next offseason.

"They've got the money, for sure," said one rival official.

The Astros seemingly have their starting outfield set after signing Michael Brantley, but Harper would represent a massive upgrade in right field over Josh Reddick, who recorded a .718 OPS in 2018.

Olney concedes that it might seem odd to have the Yankees as a potential mystery team for Machado, as they were one of three clubs -- along with the Phillies and White Sox -- to meet with him in December. But with Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu in the fold, New York is not aggressively pursuing Machado at this time. That could change, though, if Machado's asking price falls into a range that the Yankees are more comfortable with.

Phillies could eye Machado now, Trout later
Jan. 17: Imagine Mike Trout anchoring the outfield and Machado anchoring the infield. The Phillies are.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci -- citing a source with knowledge of Philadelphia's offseason plans -- while the Phillies have enough money to sign both Machado and Bryce Harper, they'd actually like to sign just one. Why? So they can make a run at Trout, too, if he hits free agency after the 2020 season.

Either Machado or Harper, Verducci writes, "would invigorate what for years has been a sleeping giant among Major League franchises." And a pairing with Trout would be a once-in-a-generation combo.

And Verducci writes that while Trout, Harper and Andrew McCutchen would indeed be a dream outfield, "Philadelphia seems to carry a slight preference for Machado over Harper, if only because club officials met much earlier with Machado than they did with Harper."

Lozano releases statement on Machado reports
Jan. 16: Speculation about whether Manny Machado has been presented with a formal offer and for how much has become so rampant that it led to his agent, Dan Lozano, releasing a statement questioning some of the reports Wednesday afternoon.

Tweet from @Feinsand: Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, the agent for Manny Machado, released the following statement regarding recent reports: pic.twitter.com/MmKy9doaFz

Lozano's statement specifically mentioned multiple reports that emerged earlier Wednesday indicating the White Sox had offered Machado a seven-year deal for $175 million, well below the expected market price for the superstar infielder.

Video: After agent's statement, what is market on Machado?

Machado's early targets were topping either Alex Rodriguez's record 10-year, $275 million free-agent deal from 2007 or even Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million extension with the Marlins in '14. But the dwindling number of interested teams (Machado's current market may be down to just the Phillies and White Sox) means the demand from the club side might not be there to satisfy Machado's desire for a record deal. That said, Machado should still be able to net a larger deal than Chicago's reported offer when all is said and done.

Phils don't plan on signing both Machado and Harper
Jan. 15: Verducci's report echoes an earlier one from Matt Gelb of The Athletic, which suggests that while the Phillies won't sign both Machado and Harper, they're seen as a favorite to get one of the two -- it's just a matter of which one.

In a story detailing why the Phils feel confident in their slow-play approach with regard to Machado and Harper so far this winter, Gelb writes (subscription required): "League sources insisted the Phillies have made this much clear during negotiations: They will not sign both players."

That jives with what MLB Network insider Jon Heyman is hearing, and Heyman also notes that Philly might have more in mind than landing Machado or Harper -- like some other high-end free agents, including lefty Dallas Keuchel, closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder A.J. Pollock.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Philly is in excellent position to sign one or the other of the free agent mega stars ��� Harper or Machado. Signing both though is said to remain pretty unlikely. But after they secure 1, Phils may take a closer look at other top free agents (ie Keuchel, Kimbrel, Pollock)

Back in late December, the Phillies hosted Machado at Citizens Bank Park, too, making them one of two teams -- the White Sox are the other -- known to have had face-to-face sit-downs with both stars this offseason. That could give them an advantage over some of the other suitors who have been linked to one player or the other, a list that potentially includes the Nationals, Yankees and Dodgers.

The Phils last week conducted a five-hour interview with Harper in his hometown of Las Vegas, sending a contingent that included owner John Middleton, general manager Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler. The meeting went so well that the club turned its sights more centrally on Harper, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, after spending most of the offseason with Machado as their top priority. That makes things interesting, if Gelb's report is indeed true that the club will only attempt to sign one or the other. 

And yet, the waiting game continues for the Phillies, who don't seem to mind seeing how this plays out, because of the fact that either Harper or Machado could be a great fit for them -- and their financial fortitude to perhaps present the largest offers to either player.

"There is risk in dragging out this dance," Gelb writes, "but multiple league sources indicated the Phillies' risk of losing out on both stars is mitigated by the apparent lack of interested teams throughout Major League Baseball and the club's financial wherewithal."

Manny Machado

What to watch for in Tuesday's HOF vote

Mo, Edgar, Doc right on track for election; Moose sits on the bubble
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

The Hot Stove has dominated conversation this winter, but believe it or not, it's almost Hall of Fame time.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the results of the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot on Tuesday, live on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com (coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET, with the announcement shortly after 6 p.m.), and the baseball world will find out who will join Veterans Committee selections Harold Baines and Lee Smith in the Class of 2019. This year's class figures to follow suit with the last five elections that featured at least two BBWAA inductees, further clearing the ballot "logjam" that has characterized the most recent voting cycles.

The Hot Stove has dominated conversation this winter, but believe it or not, it's almost Hall of Fame time.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the results of the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot on Tuesday, live on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com (coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET, with the announcement shortly after 6 p.m.), and the baseball world will find out who will join Veterans Committee selections Harold Baines and Lee Smith in the Class of 2019. This year's class figures to follow suit with the last five elections that featured at least two BBWAA inductees, further clearing the ballot "logjam" that has characterized the most recent voting cycles.

It seems that more and more BBWAA voters are making their ballots public with each passing year, and so while we don't know this year's results for certain, the 200-plus ballots aggregated by tracker Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) can help us make educated guesses (as a reminder, players need to be named on at least 75 percent of ballots to gain election). Scanning those public ballots, here are the storylines emerging from this year's Hall vote.

Video: Will Mariano Rivera be a unanimous Hall of Famer?

Mo still has a chance at perfection
Ken Griffey Jr. came oh-so-close to being the first unanimous Hall of Fame electee when he garnered a record 99.3 percent of the BBWAA vote in 2016, but longtime Yankees closer Mariano Rivera could claim that honor -- or at least break Griffey's record. Rivera's name had appeared on all public ballots compiled by Thibodaux as of Monday afternoon, for some obvious reasons: He was an essential part of five World Series championship teams in the Bronx, owns the all-time saves record and also the best league-adjusted ERA+ (205, where 100 represents the league average) in history by a wide margin.

But there's a reason why legends like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays (and countless others) were not voted in unanimously; getting roughly 400 people to agree on anything is nearly impossible. At least one voter will likely omit Rivera for a variety of factors, including his role as a reliever, a strategic decision to give his vote to another candidate more in need or to simply hold the line that no player should go in with a perfect vote. That won't take anything away from Rivera, who was destined for Cooperstown the moment he stepped off the mound for the last time in 2013.

There was some uncertainty whether the late Roy Halladay would also be a first-ballot choice, but the longtime ace now seems like a lock with his current percentage hovering around 94 percent.

This could be the year for Edgar and Moose
The past 10 players who have received between 70-74 percent of a BBWAA vote gained election the very next year, and Edgar Martinez looks like he'll be No. 11. The Mariners legend, who earned 70.4 percent of last year's vote, has already gained a net 17 ballots from returning voters. He now looks like a sure bet with more than 90 percent of the public ballots going his way.

Video: Roundtable breaks down Mussina's HOF candidacy

Mike Mussina has also gained a net 17 votes from 2018, when he improved his chances significantly by earning 63.5 percent. The former Orioles and Yankees stalwart needs to maintain that pace, as Thibodaux estimates Mussina will need to land on roughly 70 percent of the unknown ballots. That would give the Hall a four-player BBWAA class for just the fifth time ever, but it would be the third such class within the last five years.

Two ballot mainstays are changing the conversation
Larry Walker entered the BBWAA ballot in 2011 as Coors Field's first major test case in Hall of Fame voting, and now the conversation around Walker seems to be changing in his penultimate year of consideration. Many voters are recognizing Walker's excellent numbers away from Denver's mile-high altitude (along with his performances in Montreal and St. Louis), and that's helped him surge in the polls. The popular right fielder has already gained 37 net votes -- more than any other returning candidate -- from 2018, when he finished at just 34.1 percent. Walker stands to enjoy the same final-year push as Martinez and Mussina in 2020 if he can remain somewhere near his current 67-percent pace on public ballots. His case will likely have a lot of bearing on fellow Rockies great Todd Helton, who's currently hovering around 20 percent in his ballot debut.

Video: A look back at Walker's first and last MLB home runs

Slugging first baseman Fred McGriff is trending at roughly 36 percent and won't get into the Hall this year, but he should get serious consideration in his first Veterans Committee cycle (the "Today's Game" era electorate in 2022) thanks to a significant bump. McGriff has gained a net 32 ballots in his 10th and final year of eligibility as voters have begun to recognize his consistency and clutch postseason performances at the precipice of baseball's "Steroid Era."

The debate continues
Speaking of that high-octane era, the Hall conversation wouldn't be complete without mention of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Their numbers would be unassailable if there weren't questions as to how they attained them, and that complicated question has split the electorate ever since the pair landed on the ballot in 2013. Bonds and Clemens are currently trending right near the 75-percent threshold, but the pair has gained just three votes apiece from 2018, when they finished at 56.4 percent and 57.3 percent, respectively. They'll likely need much more than that over the next week, since private voters have historically left Bonds and Clemens off their ballots. More ballot stagnation would mean the superstars' candidacies could truly come down to the wire if they don't gain election before their final year of eligibility in 2022.

Video: Bonds Moments

Curt Schilling is another player who could already be in the Hall if not for off-field considerations, but his 13 net votes gained give him an outside chance of election as soon as this year. Schilling, like Bonds and Clemens, has until 2022 to get over the hump.

These stars are on the bubble
Former Yankees great Andy Pettitte started and won more postseason games than any pitcher in history, but nevertheless he's in some danger of being a one-and-done candidate. Pettitte has been named on 6.8 percent of public ballots to this point, and needs to stay above 5 percent to remain on the ballot. Ten-time Gold Glove Award winner Andruw Jones is also in jeopardy, having received roughly 9 percent of the vote so far. Fellow first-timers Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt and Michael Young will all need significant help to stick around for 2020.

Video: MLB Now debates Edgar Martinez, Lance Berkman for HOF

There are a handful of interesting cases in the middle of the pack. Manny Ramirez has gained just four points over his 22-percent total in 2018, and he needs to build significant momentum moving forward. Another pair of 500-homer hitters in Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa remain stagnant between 10 and 15 percent, and second baseman Jeff Kent and closer Billy Wagner remain stuck under 20 percent. Defensive stalwarts Scott Rolen and Omar Vizquel have gained a net 15 and 14 votes, respectively, with eight years of BBWAA consideration left.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Rumors: Marte, Braves, Moose, Pederson

The latest MLB free agent and trade rumors for Hot Stove season
MLB.com

It's Hot Stove season, and MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

Free agents, by position
Free agents, by team

It's Hot Stove season, and MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

Free agents, by position
Free agents, by team

Dodgers 'active' in Marte talks
Jan. 21: After the Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds in December, the club's lineup now skews left-handed, and Los Angeles is reportedly exploring a number of options to remedy that.

One of those options is A.J. Pollock, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday. According to Michael J. Duarte of NBC Sports Los Angeles, the Dodgers are also having "ongoing and active discussions" with the Pirates about Starling Marte.

Tweet from @michaeljduarte: Sources: #Dodgers having ���active and ongoing discussions��� with #Pirates for Starling Marte. They���ve discussed a deal in previous weeks as well. Not known what other players are involved, or if teams are close to a deal. Marte is under contract with Pittsburgh through 2021.

The Dodgers still have a surplus of outfielders, but Marte would solve the team's need for a right-handed bat and give the club even more flexibility, allowing Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger to be used in the infield more often, if needed.

The 30-year-old Marte is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner in left field, and he capably handled the starting center-field job for Pittsburgh in 2018. Marte also continued to display a multidimensional offensive skill set, hitting .277 with 20 homers and 33 steals.

Marte has a $10 million base salary for 2019, and he is controllable for two seasons after that via reasonable team options for '20 ($11.5 million with a $2 million buyout) and '21 ($12.5 million with a $2 million buyout), so it will likely take a significant package to acquire him.

Markakis reunion one possibility for Braves
Jan. 21: The Braves still have a lot of options to address their corner outfield vacancy, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman thinks bringing back Nick Markakis is the "most logical" solution.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: With slow moving market, Braves are in good position to fill their corner outfield opening. Markakis, who had big year for them in 2018, remains most logical, but they���ve checked on a Joc Pederson trade, and free agents Adam Jones, CarGo and Parra (and others) are still out there

The 35-year-old Markakis was a first-time All-Star for the Braves last season, and finished the year hitting .297/.366/.440 with 14 home runs for the NL East champs.

Heyman notes that the slow free-agent market for outfielders should work in the Braves' favor. Aside from Markakis, he lists Adam Jones, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra as possibilities for Atlanta. The Braves could also explore the trade market -- according to Heyman, they're one of the teams that has checked in on Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.

Moose's market includes Phillies, Brewers, Padres
Jan. 21: The Phillies have made it clear they're looking to land one of the two premier free agents on this offseason's market, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But what would Philadelphia's plan be for third base if it doesn't land Machado? According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Plan B could very well be free agent Mike Moustakas.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Phillies have interest in Mike Moustakas. A Move for Moose likely depends on how Machado pursuit works out for them, though.

In an article for The Athletic (subscription required) on Sunday, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal mentioned that Moustakas' market also includes the Brewers and Padres. More >

Video: Rosenthal on the teams interested in Moustakas

Rangers have been in contact with Buchholz
Jan. 21: The Rangers have spent this offseason overhauling their rotation, starting back in early November when they declined team options for Doug Fister, Martin Perez and Matt Moore and saw Bartolo Colon and Yovani Gallardo enter free agency.

Texas has focused on buy-low options who have recently dealt with major injuries, bringing in Drew Smyly, Lance Lynn, Edinson Volquez and Shelby Miller on low-risk contracts. Given that strategy, it makes perfect sense that the club would be in contact with Clay Buchholz, which is reportedly the case, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. However, there's no indication that any deal is close.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Rangers have been in contact with Clay Buchholz but there's no word whether any deal is close

The knock on Buchholz has always been his inability to stay healthy. Even last year, when he posted a surprising 2.01 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP over 16 starts for the D-backs, his season ended prematurely due to a flexor strain in his right forearm. Buchholz has never made more than 29 starts in a season during his 12-year career, and only four times has he exceeded 20 starts.

That said, the 34-year-old would be another low-risk acquisition that could pay big dividends for the Rangers, either by helping them make an unexpected postseason run or giving them a pitcher to flip for a prospect or two this summer.

Pirates? Marlins? The latest on the Machado mystery teams
Jan. 21: Where will Manny Machado land? With Spring Training less than a month away, we're no closer to finding out the answer to that question, especially with the reports of multiple undisclosed teams being involved only creating more speculation.

Some of the mystery team suggestions are more surprising than others. Hector Gomez of Z101, a Dominican Republic radio station, has heard the Pirates could be in the mix. Meanwhile, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio shared his belief Monday that the Marlins, Machado's hometown club, are eyeing the superstar. More >

Reds complete deal for Gray, sign him to extension
Jan. 21: The Reds have acquired right-hander Sonny Gray and left-hander Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second baseman Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A Draft pick. In addition, Cincinnati has signed Gray to a three-year contract extension with a club option for 2023.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Gray will earn $30.5 million over 2020-22, plus his $7.5 million salary for 2019. The club option is for $12 million.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Gray extension with #Reds complete, per source. Three years, $30.5M, covering 2020-22. Club option for ���23 at $12M. All salaries can grow based on numerous escalators. Plus $500K of innings pitched bonuses each year.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Yankees have sent Long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Long was previously the Reds' No. 7 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The Yankees would have needed to add Long to their 40-man roster, but won't need to do so with Stowers, who was Seattle's No. 10 prospect.

class="token token-third-party token-third-party-twitter-embed" data-tokeninfo=" tokenGUID: token‑C2210B5A933530FA348AD type: thirdParty subType: twitterEmbed embedId: 1087465341033304065 authorName: Jeff Passan authorUrl: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan height: null width: 550 html:

Shed Long to the Mariners and Josh Stowers to the Yankees is done league sources tell ESPN.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21 2019

\n href: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1087465341033304065" id="token-C2210B5A933530FA348AD">Tweet from @JeffPassan: Shed Long to the Mariners and Josh Stowers to the Yankees is done, league sources tell ESPN.

 

Gray is the third notable addition to Cincinnati's rotation this offseason, with the Reds having traded for Tanner Roark and Alex Wood in separate December deals. Roark and Wood can become free agents next offseason. More >

Dodgers discussing Joc trade with White Sox, others
Jan. 20: The Dodgers have been discussing trades involving outfielder Joc Pederson, sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal on Sunday. The White Sox are one of the teams in the mix for Pederson, but per Rosenthal, it's unknown if the talks are at the stage where the teams would be close to a deal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: On rumors of Joc Pederson trade to #WhiteSox: #Dodgers have been discussing Pederson in possible deals, rival executives say. CWS one of clubs in those conversations, according to sources. Not known if talks are advanced to point where teams are close to a deal.

The 26-year-old Pederson hit .248/.321/.522 with 25 home runs for Los Angeles last season. He's under team control for two more seasons until he's eligible for free agency in 2021.

Pederson would slot in as a starting corner outfielder for a White Sox team looking to accelerate its rebuild. On the Dodgers side, trading Pederson could clear the way for a free-agent outfield signing like A.J. Pollock, who the Dodgers reportedly are interested in. And Bryce Harper is still out there, of course.

The Athletic's David O'Brien thinks the Braves also might be among the teams interested in Pederson. Atlanta has been in the market for a corner outfielder, and O'Brien notes on Twitter that Pederson could give the Braves a power bat to start in the middle of the order against right-handed pitching.

Video: Rosenthal discusses the Dodgers' pursuit of Pollock

Are the Yankees targeting Arenado?
Jan. 20: If the Yankees' interest in Manny Machado has petered out, it might be because they have their eyes on another superstar third baseman. A Major League source suggested to SNY's Andy Martino that Nolan Arenado could be a target for New York, either in a trade this offseason or as a free agent after the 2019 campaign.

Citing "people briefed on the Yankees' thinking," Martino reports that general manager Brian Cashman has internally discussed trying to trade for Arenado. Another source said it's likely the Yankees and Rockies have already talked.

However, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post was told there is "no substance" to the report, which suggests the two sides are not currently in contact regarding Arenado.

Tweet from @psaundersdp: Regarding those rumors coming out of NY about #Yankees #Rockies trade for Nolan Arenado... I���m told there is no substance to them. Far fetched.

Bridich has expressed interest in signing Arenado to a long-term extension, but the two sides haven't even been able to agree on a salary for 2019. Arenado and the Rockies exchanged arbitration figures before last week's deadline and are reportedly $6 million apart, as the third baseman is asking for $30 million while Colorado is offering $24 million. That doesn't bode well for the team's chances of working out a long-term deal, as Martino points out.

"It's going to be difficult for Colorado to keep him," one person familiar with the Rockies' situation told Martino.

Although Machado and Bryce Harper are having trouble getting the record-breaking deals they are reportedly seeking, MLB Network Radio's CJ Nitkowski doesn't think Arenado is going to be open to signing a long-term contract with the Rockies now.

"At this point, I can't imagine that he would try to sign any extension, not with a year to go," Nitkowski said. "Even if you're looking out at the market. Wherever the Rockies are right now on any kind of extension, they'll be at the end of the season as well. So there's no reason to take the other 29 teams out of the running."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: Have the #Rockies already lost Nolan Arenado to free agency next winter?@CJNitkowski believes it is a strong possibility. pic.twitter.com/eMKHpOVIoT

The Yankees could entice the Rockies by offering a package centered around young third baseman Miguel Andujar, though any trade would likely be contingent on New York signing Arenado to a new contract. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman suggests New York isn't interested in sending Andujar to Colorado as part of a trade for Arenado, and there are no trade discussions happening between the two clubs at this time. That doesn't, of course, rule out New York pursuing the superstar in free agency.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Just to clear up something that���s getting a lot of play in NY today: Yankees and Rockies are not talking about an Arenado trade, and Yankees wouldn���t send Miguel Andujar in package for Arenado. That said, have heard NYY loves Arenado, a free agent after ���19 (what���s not to love?)

Video: MLB Tonight discusses latest on Arenado negotiations

Among remaining free agents, Gonzalez is 'Mr. Versatility'
Jan. 20: In baseball today, versatility is value. Baseball executives, managers and coaches are seeking out players who can cover multiple positions, thus allowing more roster flexibility. The poster boy for this? Marwin Gonzalez.

Not only can the veteran free agent play just about anywhere on the field -- from first base to shortstop to second base to left field -- he does so at capable or better level. Oh, and his bat is pretty good, too, so the 29-year-old isn't merely a defensive specialist. More >

No current free agent hit the ball hard more often than Machado in '18
Jan. 20: Manny Machado is, along with Bryce Harper, the most talented free agent on the market. One particular area in which the 26-year-old superstar excels is consistently making hard contact. MLB.com's Andrew Simon took a look at the best skills among remaining free agents, and Machado had the highest hard-hit rate (percentage of batted balls with exit velocity of 95 mph or greater) in 2018, at 48.2 percent. That was good for 15th among 228 MLB hitters with a minimum of 250 batted balls.

The Phillies, White Sox and a pair of mystery teams reportedly lead the pack for Machado, who is reportedly looking for a record contract that would exceed the 13-year, $325 million deal Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in '14. More >

These clubs are in on Harrison
Jan. 20: Speaking of versatile players (see: Marwin Gonzalez above), Josh Harrison also has the ability to play all over the diamond. It's not surprising, then, to see that at least a handful of clubs are showing interest in the veteran.

Among the teams in the mix? The Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Phillies and Rays, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Phillies and Rays are among teams in on Josh Harrison, a great and versatile defender

Harrison, 31, had a club option for $10.5 million in 2019 that the Pirates chose to buy out for $1 million after he had an injury riddled '18 in which he played just 97 games due to hand and hamstring problems and hit .250/.293/.363 -- his worst season since becoming a regular in 2014.

Although he may be declining on offense at this stage of his career, Harrison does bring a bit of pop and speed for a versatile defensive player, and it's likely that the ailments hampered his production last year. He primarily has played second base since the start of '16, but Harrison also has had extensive action at third base and can handle a corner outfield spot as needed. That sort of profile makes him a good fit for clubs seeking roster depth and flexibility at a price that shouldn't be a cost prohibitive.

Which teams would benefit most from Keuchel's skill set?
Jan. 20: As the top starting pitcher left in free agency, Dallas Keuchel would make just about any team better. But some clubs look like they would be better fits than others for the veteran southpaw, based on his repertoire and approach.

In a look at which remaining free agents possess the best skills in various categories (i.e., hardest hitter, most effective fastball), MLB.com's Andrew Simon highlights Keuchel as the best ground-ball artist.

"For a team that plays in a homer-friendly ballpark, Keuchel would have obvious appeal," Simon writes. "The lefty threw his sinker more than 40 percent of the time last season, and generated a grounder on roughly 55 percent of balls put in play against him. While that represented a drop from his 68 percent mark in 2017, it still ranked among the best in MLB, and Keuchel has finished well above 50 percent in every season of his career."

Keuchel's ability to suppress homers and get grounders could suggest teams like the Reds, Phillies and Brewers -- all of whom have at least been linked to him in some fashion this offseason -- could benefit by bringing his skill set to their homer-happy ball parks.

Taking that one step further to factor in Keuchel's ability to pitch to the edges of the strike zone, MLB.com's David Adler ran down the catchers who might mesh best with Keuchel. In that regard, the Reds (with Tucker Barnhart) don't appear to be as good of a fit, but the Phillies (Jorge Alfaro) and Brewers (recently signed Yasmani Grandal) make a lot of sense.

Clubs that could use Kimbrel's elite swing-and-miss stuff
Jan 20: Craig Kimbrel  is the last of the high-end relievers remaining on the free-agent market, as Andrew Miller Zach Britton David Robertson Jeurys Familia Joe Kelly  and Adam Ottavino all have signed. Cody Allen  is also off the market, leaving one less proven closer out there.

As for why Kimbrel still should be considered a top-of-the-scale reliever at this point in his career, MLB.com's Andrew Simon dubbed Kimbrel as the pitcher with the most swing-and-miss ability among players still available on the open market.

"One of the game's elite closers over the past eight seasons, Kimbrel would also lead this remaining class of free-agent pitchers in fastball velocity (97.1 mph) -- albeit down from 98.3 mph in 2017 -- and best secondary pitch," Simon writes. "Working off that heater, Kimbrel threw his curveball about 35 percent of the time last season, and batters went 5-for-61 (.082) against it, with one extra-base hit and 33 strikeouts. Between those two pitches, the righty racks up lots of strikeouts. Batters missed on 40 percent of their swings against him in 2018, the third-highest rate out of 499 pitchers (minimum 200 swings)."

So which clubs could benefit from having Kimbrel in their bullpen (hint: a lot), and which ones appear to be the best matches for the right-hander? Read on here.

Do the Mets need either Harper or Pollock to avoid slipping in the NL East?
Jan. 20: The Mets have been among the busiest teams in the Majors this offseason, making big moves under new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen that include a trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Mariners, as well as landing free agents Jeurys Familia, Wilson Ramos and Jed Lowrie. But will it be enough to avoid taking a step back in the National League East next season?

SNY's Matthew Cerrone asks whether this could be the case given what the Braves, Nationals and Phillies are reportedly trying to do to improve their rosters. He argues that New York needs to sign either Bryce Harper or A.J. Pollock in the outfield, not only for the obvious advantages to the Mets, but also to keep those players away from division rivals.

"The Phillies are projected to have the fourth-best lineup in the division," Cerrone notes. "By adding Harper or Manny Machado, they slip just pass the Mets. The bulk of reporting indicates they will eventually sign one or the other and could possibly sign both, which, if that happens, puts their projection atop the entire division. 

"Similarly, if the Braves then add Pollock -- and a mid-rotation starter, which they're in the market to acquire -- they, too, move past the Mets, who drop from second to fourth."

Will the Mets surprise the baseball world and end up landing Harper, who MLB Network recently ranked the No. 5 right fielder in baseball and along with Machado is the most coveted free agent on the market? Could New York be a "mystery team" for the superstar slugger? It remains to be seen, but the shakeup of power in the NL East would be seismic if that were to happen.

Are markets for Harper and Machado impacting Realmuto's future?
Jan. 19: J.T. Realmuto has been the player talked about most on this offseason's trade market, but he still remains a Marlin for the time being. That could change soon, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, who said on MLB Network that he believes a deal will come together prior to Spring Training. Still, the current "holding pattern" in Realmuto's case, Frisaro said, may be due to the fact that neither of the two marquee free agents on the market, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, have signed yet.

"Let's say Machado or Harper signs with the Phillies," said Frisaro. "Does that motivate the Braves to say, 'Now we've got to make our counter-move,' and they add an extra piece to get a deal done with the Marlins? I think there's a little bit of that going on, but as far as I can tell you from the reporting I've done, and others have agreed, there are about four or five teams in. I think the Braves are one of those teams that are just waiting in the wings."

Video: Frisaro on latest rumblings surrounding J.T. Realmuto

Realmuto, 27, had a breakout year in 2018, slashing .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs in 125 games for Miami. He has well-above-average speed and is considered one of the best catchers in the game today. MLB Network ranks him as the No. 2 catcher in baseball right now. More >

Red Sox reportedly discussed extension with Bogaerts
Jan. 19: Earlier this month, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports reported that the Red Sox were discussing an extension with an undisclosed core player, and now it's clear who that player was. Multiple sources have confirmed that Boston had talks with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, but the two sides never came close to an agreement, according to Drellich.

At the time of the initial report, Drellich noted that some in the industry were speculating that it was left fielder Andrew Benintendi, but the 24-year-old said Saturday that he hasn't had any extension discussions with the team to this point.

Bogaerts, 26, is one of a number of key Red Sox players who are due to enter free agency in the next two offseasons. Bogaerts, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello can hit the open market after the 2019 season, and Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are eligible the following year. Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez can opt out of his contract in 2019 and 2020. Benintendi is under team control for four more seasons.

Sale said Saturday that he is open to talking with Boston about an extension.

"My phone is on if they call me," said Sale. "Obviously nothing has happened up until this point. If they call, I'd answer."

As for Betts, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said the team would love to have the reigning American League MVP Award winner stay in Boston for his entire career. But Betts knows there are no guarantees in baseball.

"Contract things are kind of tough to come up with, especially with both sides and kind of how the economics and all those things work," Betts said. "I love Boston, love my teammates, love the fans and all those types of things, so we'll just continue to see what happens."

Giants gauging trade interest in Longoria
Jan. 19: Slightly more than a year after acquiring him from the Rays, the Giants are reportedly shopping Evan Longoria, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman hears that San Francisco has been gauging trade interest in the third baseman.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Word going around is, #SFGiants have been gauging trade interest in Evan Longoria. Rivals believe it would take big bucks to offset his contract to move him. Has $72.5M to go through 2022 plus $2M assignment bonus if traded (Tampa Bay chipped in $14.5M to trade him last year).

It may be difficult to move him, however, as he is still due to receive an immense amount of money over the next four seasons. As part of the December 2017 trade sending Longoria from Tampa Bay to San Francisco, the Rays picked up $14.5 million of the $88 million in guaranteed money that was still owed to the veteran at that point. He earned $13.5 million in 2018, leaving about $60 million on his deal that isn't being covered by the Rays (including a $5 million buyout on a $13 million team option for 2023).

According to Heyman, rivals believe the Giants would need to eat a significant portion of his salary to have any chance of trading the 33-year-old, who has been a below-average offensive player over the past two seasons (91 wRC+).

Coming off a 73-89 campaign in 2018, the Giants are in a tough spot, as they have several high-priced veterans who are on the decline, significant needs on the big league roster and a lackluster farm system.

Gleyber narrowly escapes giraffe encounter

Now is a weird time to be a Yankees infielder. Between the Manny Machado rumors, Didi Gregorius' injury and the influx of new faces like Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu, there's a whole lot of uncertainty about who will be playing which positions in 2019 and beyond.

Source: Yanks sign Farquhar to Minors deal

Pitcher suffered brain hemorrhage in '18, has made full recovery
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Danny Farquhar's inspirational recovery from a brain hemorrhage is complete, and the right-hander will have the opportunity to return to the mound this coming season as he agreed to a Minor League contract with the Yankees on Monday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The Yankees have not formally announced the signing of Farquhar, who has been cleared for baseball activities and was going through his normal offseason throwing program at his California home with the expectation of pitching again in the Majors.

NEW YORK -- Danny Farquhar's inspirational recovery from a brain hemorrhage is complete, and the right-hander will have the opportunity to return to the mound this coming season as he agreed to a Minor League contract with the Yankees on Monday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The Yankees have not formally announced the signing of Farquhar, who has been cleared for baseball activities and was going through his normal offseason throwing program at his California home with the expectation of pitching again in the Majors.

On April 20, Farquhar was pitching for the White Sox against the Astros at U.S. Cellular Field when he collapsed in the home dugout. White Sox medical personnel and emergency responders treated the hurler, who had sustained a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.

He spent more than two weeks at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, then returned to the ballpark three times after his May 7 discharge, throwing out a ceremonial first pitch on June 1.

Farquhar received clearance to resume baseball activities in June, and told MLB.com in November that giving his skull additional time to heal was the only thing that held him back from returning late in the 2018 season.

"I felt like I could have faced big league batters and been just fine," Farquhar said. "I actually had some pretty positive doctors that believed in me. ... They saw my drive the whole way. They thought for sure I'd be back on the field, and now I just have to wait for 2019 for that to happen."

Farquhar turns 32 in February and owns a 3.93 ERA in 253 appearances across seven big league seasons with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays and White Sox from 2011-18. In 272 1/3 innings, Farquhar has allowed 237 hits with 106 walks and 309 strikeouts.

This will mark Farquhar's second tour in the Yankees' organization. He was selected off waivers from the Athletics in June 2012, spending less than a month in the system before being packaged to the Mariners with pitcher D.J. Mitchell in exchange for outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Danny Farquhar

Cardinals intend to pitch extension to Goldy

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals appear to be done downplaying their interest in inking Paul Goldschmidt to an extension that would keep the perennial All-Star first baseman in St. Louis beyond one season.

Six weeks after president of baseball operations John Mozeliak dodged a question about Goldschmidt's future fit by stating that "what I'm thinking about today is 2019," the tone has clearly changed. The organization used this weekend's Winter Warm-Up event as the start of a sales pitch that could continue through the season.

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals appear to be done downplaying their interest in inking Paul Goldschmidt to an extension that would keep the perennial All-Star first baseman in St. Louis beyond one season.

Six weeks after president of baseball operations John Mozeliak dodged a question about Goldschmidt's future fit by stating that "what I'm thinking about today is 2019," the tone has clearly changed. The organization used this weekend's Winter Warm-Up event as the start of a sales pitch that could continue through the season.

Mikolas open to extension talks | Wainwright ready to compete

Manager Mike Shildt hosted Goldschmidt and his wife Amy at dinner on Saturday. Fans did their part in showing up despite frigid temperatures. And on Monday, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. laid out the long-term vision.

"Whenever a good player comes to the Cardinals, if they have a year left on their contract, we always think down the road," DeWitt said. "We'd love to have him here longer than one year, and we'll just see how that plays out."

Goldschmidt, 31, is due to hit free agency next winter after reaching the end of a contract that will have paid him $44 million over six years. The Cardinals understood the gamble of dealing away three young players -- Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Andy Young -- for the assurance of only one season with Goldschmidt. But their move was calculated.

Not only did it improve the club for 2019, but the acquisition also offers the Cardinals an opportunity to spend the next several months pitching Goldschmidt on the idea of playing the twilight years of his career in St. Louis.

Video: Shildt on how Goldy will impact team, Fowler's status

"As you guys know, we've been fortunate over the years in making deals for players with one year left on their contract and retaining them," DeWitt said. "I think worst case is we get a top Draft choice, but that's not our goal when we trade for a player like Paul Goldschmidt."

It's a model that worked with the likes of Mark McGwire, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Matt Holliday. Each chose to stay after being traded to the Cardinals shortly before hitting free agency. Jason Heyward, in 2015, was the most notable and recent exception.

Goldschmidt has declined to comment about his willingness to negotiate an extension in-season, though his thoughtful comments this weekend about the sluggish state of free agency indicated that he is acutely aware of the uncertainty in that market. That could factor into his calculation about whether it's prudent to re-sign early or test free-agent waters.

As for the Cardinals, they have made their preference clear.

Video: Goldschmidt on getting acclimated with Cardinals

"All I did was really pray hard that we weren't going to get a lot of snow [for Goldschmidt's Winter Warm-Up appearance on Saturday]," Mozeliak said. "You know, first impressions could be meaningful. … I think most importantly when you think of Goldy and where this is headed is, get him down to Jupiter, [Fla.], get him with his teammates and, ultimately, we'll sort of, as we round the first turn, get a better idea of what the second turn looks like.

"Paul Goldschmidt has plenty of baseball left in his career. The fact that we only have him under control for one year? That was a gamble we were willing to take."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt

These 7 free agents could be steals

MLB.com @RichardJustice

Would the Braves have won the NL East last season without right-hander Anibal Sanchez's 24 starts and 2.83 ERA? He was signed in mid-March after the Twins released him.

Lefty Wade Miley helped the Brewers achieve a 96-win season after coming to Spring Training on a Minor League contract -- and the same thing happened with the Red Sox and reliever Ryan Brasier. Trevor Cahill joined the A's just before Opening Day, and he went on to have a career renaissance with 20 starts across 110 innings and a 1.191 WHIP.

Would the Braves have won the NL East last season without right-hander Anibal Sanchez's 24 starts and 2.83 ERA? He was signed in mid-March after the Twins released him.

Lefty Wade Miley helped the Brewers achieve a 96-win season after coming to Spring Training on a Minor League contract -- and the same thing happened with the Red Sox and reliever Ryan Brasier. Trevor Cahill joined the A's just before Opening Day, and he went on to have a career renaissance with 20 starts across 110 innings and a 1.191 WHIP.

These under-the-radar signings shouldn't surprise anyone, because every season, some of the least heralded free agents have significant impacts. They're a reminder that free agency doesn't only reward the teams that spend the most money.

Which players in on the market are in this low-risk, high-reward category? Let's take a look at seven possibilities for the upcoming season. (Ages listed are as of Opening Day 2019.)

1. Gio Gonzalez, LHP, age 33
Gonzalez was outstanding down the stretch in five starts for the Brewers last season, and he is two years removed from a 2.96 ERA in 32 starts for the Nationals. Over the past nine seasons, he has been one of baseball's most durable starters, averaging 31 starts. At 33, he may not be signed for longer than one season, but he showed again last season that he's still capable of pitching at a high level.

2. Brad Boxberger, RHP, age 30
Boxberger began last season as Arizona's closer -- and for about the first five months, he was almost as good as any. A few tough outings in the second half made his overall season look worse than it was. He doesn't have the classic 98-mph fastball, relying instead on a fastball-changeup combination, but he has proven he can contribute quality innings at a time when the game has never valued relief work more.

Video: Boxberger non-tendered, is now a free agent

3. Evan Gattis, DH/catcher, age 32
When Gattis is locked in, there are few better. His 27 home runs helped the Astros make their first postseason appearance in a decade in 2015, and he followed that up with 32 in 2016. He clubbed 22 in a 73-game stretch for the '18 Astros. Along the way, there are some cold stretches, too. But he's the kind of player that could be a major contributor in the right setting.

4. Nick Markakis, OF, age 35
Some doubted whether the Braves should have signed Markakis to a four-year contract at age 31. But in those four seasons, he averaged 159 games, 40 doubles and a .759 OPS. Now 35, he's coming off his best season with the Braves, and he could be a nice pickup for a contender.

Video: Nick Markakis enters free agency in 2019

5. Shawn Kelley, RHP, age 34
Kelley pitched in 54 games for the Nationals and A's in 2018, and he allowed fewer than one baserunner per inning with 9.2 strikeouts per nine. Yes, he's 34 years old and has twice undergone Tommy John surgery, but in three of the past four seasons, he has been on the short list of most effective relievers in the sport.

Video: Justice discusses Kelley being a good fit for Red Sox

6. Jose Iglesias, SS, age 30
You say a terrific defensive shortstop might stabilize your entire team? It happens sometimes. In that case, Iglesias is your man. Andrelton Simmons and Francisco Lindor are in a class by themselves, but Iglesias is in the middle of that next group. He has a .301 OBP the past three seasons, but his value is in making every defensive play, including many spectacular ones.

Video: Jose Iglesias brings slick glove to free agent pool

7. Clay Buchholz, RHP, age 34
Buchholz's changeup was his most effective pitch last season, proving that he successfully made the middle-age adjustment every pitcher faces. He had a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts for the D-backs before a sore arm ended his season in September. If he's healthy, though, he's still capable of being a solid starter.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Team-by-team transactions this offseason

MLB.com @DKramer_ and @mattkellyMLB

With just weeks until camp opens for Spring Training, the Hot Stove continues to cook. A throng of players have meandered their way into the New Year preparing to suit up for a new team.

With that in mind, MLB.com canvassed all 30 clubs to give a complete overlay of where rosters stand across the Majors. Below is a list of each club's acquisitions this offseason.

With just weeks until camp opens for Spring Training, the Hot Stove continues to cook. A throng of players have meandered their way into the New Year preparing to suit up for a new team.

With that in mind, MLB.com canvassed all 30 clubs to give a complete overlay of where rosters stand across the Majors. Below is a list of each club's acquisitions this offseason.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
David Phelps, RHP (free agent)
Clayton Richard, LHP (trade with Padres)
Matt Shoemaker, RHP (free agent)
Trent Thornton, RHP (Blue Jays No. 22 prospect, trade with Astros)

Other players: Eric Sogard, 2B (free agent)

Orioles
Drew Jackson, SS (Orioles No. 24 prospect, trade with Phillies)

Other players: Hanser Alberto, SS (waiver claim from Yankees); Austin Brice, RHP (waiver claim from Angels); Rio Ruiz, 3B (waiver claim from Braves)

Rays
Yandy Diaz, 3B (three-team trade with Indians and Mariners)
Avisail Garcia, OF (free agent)
Guillermo Heredia, OF (trade with Mariners)
Charlie Morton, RHP (free agent)
Mike Zunino, C (trade with Mariners)

Other players: Oliver Drake, RHP (trade with Blue Jays); Ryan Merritt, LHP (free agent); Emilio Pagan, RHP (three-team trade with A's and Rangers); RHP Caleb Sampen (trade with Dodgers)

Video: Erik Neander discusses acquiring catcher Mike Zunino

Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (free agent)
Steve Pearce, 1B (free agent)

Other players: Juan Centeno, C (free agent); Gorkys Hernandez, OF (free agent); Erasmo Ramirez, RHP (free agent); Tony Renda, 2B (free agent); Zach Putnam, RHP (free agent); Carson Smith, RHP (free agent); Ryan Weber, RHP (free agent)

Yankees
Zach Britton, LHP (free agent)
J.A. Happ, LHP (free agent)
DJ LeMahieu, 2B (free agent)
Adam Ottavino, RHP (free agent)
James Paxton, LHP (trade with Mariners)
CC Sabathia, LHP (free agent)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (free agent)

Other players: Rex Brothers, LHP (free agent); Danny Coulombe, LHP (free agent); Tim Locastro, OF (trade with Dodgers); Josh Stowers (trade with Mariners)

Video: Tulowitzki set to join the Yankees

AL CENTRAL

Indians
Jake Bauers, 1B (three-team trade with Mariners and Rays)
Chih-Wei Hu, RHP (Indians No. 17 prospect, trade with Rays)
Jordan Luplow, OF (trade with Pirates)
Carlos Santana, 1B (three-team trade with Mariners and Rays)

Other players: Brandon Barnes, OF (free agent); Mike Freeman, SS (free agent); Justin Grimm, RHP (free agent); Daniel Johnson, OF (trade with Nationals); Walter Lockett, RHP (trade with Padres); Max Moroff, SS (trade with Pirates); Kevin Plawecki, C (trade with Mets); Brooks Pounders, RHP (free agent); Jefry Rodriguez, RHP (trade with Nationals); Trayce Thompson, OF (free agent)

Royals
Billy Hamilton, OF (free agent)

Other players: Terrance Gore, OF (free agent); Connor Greene, RHP (waiver claim from Cardinals); Chris Owings, OF (free agent)

Tigers
Jordy Mercer, SS (free agent)
Matt Moore, LHP (free agent)
Tyson Ross, RHP (free agent)

Other players: Louis Coleman, RHP (free agent); Brandon Dixon, 2B (waiver claim from Reds); Jose Fernandez, LHP (waiver claim from Blue Jays); Pete Kozma, SS (free agent); Eduardo Paredes, RHP (free agent); Bobby Wilson, C (free agent)

Twins
C.J. Cron, 1B (waiver claim from Rays)
Nelson Cruz, DH (free agent)
Blake Parker, RHP (free agent)
Martin Perez, LHP (free agent)
Jonathan Schoop, 2B (free agent)

Other players: Michael Reed, OF (waiver claim from Braves); Ronald Torreyes, 2B (free agent)

White Sox
Yonder Alonso, 1B (trade with Indians)
Alex Colome, RHP (trade with Mariners)
Kelvin Herrera, RHP (free agent)
Jon Jay, OF (free agent)
James McCann, C (free agent)
Ivan Nova, RHP (trade with Pirates)

Other players: Manny Banuelos, LHP (trade with Dodgers); Evan Marshall, RHP (free agent)

AL WEST

Angels
Cody Allen, RHP (free agent)
Justin Bour, 1B (free agent)
Trevor Cahill, RHP (free agent)
Matt Harvey, RHP (free agent)
Jonathan Lucroy, C (free agent)

Other players: Luis Garcia, RHP (trade with Phillies); Tommy La Stella, 3B (trade with Cubs); Dillon Peters, LHP (trade with Marlins); Kevan Smith, C (waiver claim from White Sox)

Astros
Michael Brantley, OF (free agent)
Robinson Chirinos, C (free agent)
Aledmys Diaz, SS (trade with Blue Jays)

Video: Brantley joins the show to discuss joining the Astros

Athletics
Mike Fiers, RHP (free agent)
Jurickson Profar, SS (three-team trade with Rangers and Rays)
Joakim Soria, RHP (free agent)

Other players: Tanner Anderson, RHP (trade with Pirates); Chris Herrmann, C (free agent)

Mariners
Gerson Bautista, RHP (Mariners No. 28 prospect, trade with Mets)
Tim Beckham, SS (free agent)
Jay Bruce, OF (trade with Mets)
J.P. Crawford, SS (trade with Phillies)
Justin Dunn, RHP (Mariners No. 3 prospect, trade with Mets)
Edwin Encarnacion, DH (three-team trade with Indians and Rays)
Jake Fraley, OF (Mariners No. 27 prospect, trade with Rays)
Cory Gearrin, RHP (free agent)
Jarred Kelenic, OF (Mariners No. 2 prospect, trade with Mets)
Yusei Kikuchi, LHP (free agent)
Omar Narvaez, C (trade with White Sox)
Domingo Santana, RF (trade with Brewers)
Justus Sheffield, LHP (Mariners No. 1 prospect, trade with Yankees)
Mallex Smith, OF (trade with Rays)
Anthony Swarzak, RHP (trade with Mets)

Other players: Ruben Alaniz, RHP (free agent); John Andreoli, OF (waiver claim from Orioles); Kaleb Cowart, 3B (waiver claim from Angels); Shed Long, 2B (trade with Yankees); Dylan Moore, 3B (free agent); Zac Rosscup, LHP (free agent); Ricardo Sanchez, LHP (trade with Braves); Erik Swanson, RHP (trade with Yankees); Dom Thompson-Williams, OF (trade with Yankees)

Rangers
Brock Burke, LHP (Rangers No. 6 prospect, three-team trade with A's and Rays)
Jesse Chavez, RHP (free agent)
Shelby Miller, RHP (free agent)
Lance Lynn, RHP (free agent)
Jeff Mathis, C (free agent)
Drew Smyly, LHP (trade with Cubs)
Eli White, 2B (Rangers No. 12 prospect, three-team trade with A's and Rays)

Other players: John Andreoli, OF (waiver claim from Mariners); Kyle Bird, LHP (three-team trade with A's and Rays); Chase d'Arnaud, 3B (free agent); Tim Dillard, RHP (free agent); Luke Farrell, RHP (waiver claim from Angels); Nolan Fontana, SS (free agent); Jeanmar Gomez, RHP (free agent); Ariel Hernandez, RHP (free agent); Rafael Montero, RHP (free agent); Jack Reinheimer, SS (waiver claim from Cubs); Jordan Romano, RHP (trade with White Sox); Danny Santana, OF (free agent); Patrick Wisdom, 3B (trade with Cardinals)

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves
Josh Donaldson, 3B (free agent)
Brian McCann, C (free agent)

Video: Josh Donaldson discusses signing with Atlanta

Marlins
Riley Ferrell, RHP (Marlins No. 21 prospect, via waiver claim from Astros)

Other players: Pedro Alvarez, 1B (free agent); R.J. Alvarez, RHP (free agent); Jon Berti, 3B (free agent); Julian Fernandez, RHP (waiver claim from Giants); Gabriel Guerrero, OF (free agent); Rosell Herrera, OF (waiver claim from Royals); Bryan Holaday, C (free agent); Mike Kickham, LHP (free agent); Dixon Machado, SS (free agent); Deven Marrero, 3B (free agent); Brian Moran, LHP (free agent); Harold Ramirez, OF (free agent); Rodrigo Vigil, C (free agent)

Mets
Keon Broxton, OF (trade with Brewers)
Robinson Cano, 2B (trade with Mariners)
J.D. Davis, IF (trade with Astros)
Rajai Davis, OF (free agent)
Edwin Diaz, RHP (trade with Mariners)
Jeurys Familia, RHP (free agent)
Jed Lowrie, INF (free agent)
Wilson Ramos, C (free agent)

Other players: Luis Avilan, LHP (free agent); Gregor Blanco, OF (free agent); Arquimedes Caminero, RHP (free agent); Kyle Dowdy, RHP (waiver claim from Indians); Dilson Herrera, 2B (free agent); Rymer Liriano, OF (free agent); Ryan O'Rourke, LHP (free agent); Hector Santiago, LHP (free agent)

Video: Diaz discusses his excellent 2018 season on High Heat

Nationals
Patrick Corbin, LHP (free agent)
Brian Dozier, 2B (free agent)
Yan Gomes, C (trade with Indians)
Tanner Rainey, RHP (Nationals No. 22 prospect, via trade with Reds)
Anibal Sanchez, RHP (free agent)
Kurt Suzuki, C (free agent)

Other players: Matt Adams, 1B (free agent); Vidal Nuno, LHP (free agent); Trevor Rosenthal, RHP (free agent)

Phillies
Andrew McCutchen, OF (free agent)
David Robertson, RHP (free agent)
Jean Segura, SS (trade with Mariners)

Other players: Jose Alvarez, LHP (trade with Angels); Jeremy Bleich, LHP (free agent); Rob Brantly, C (free agent); Phil Gosselin, 2B (free agent); Josh Martin, RHP (free agent); Matt McBride, C (free agent); Juan Nicasio, RHP (trade with Mariners); James Pazos, LHP (trade with Mariners); Gregorio Petit, SS (free agent)

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
Alex Claudio, LHP (trade with Rangers)
Ben Gamel, OF (trade with Mariners)
Yasmani Grandal, C (free agent)
Cory Spangenberg, 3B (free agent)

Other players: Tuffy Gosewisch, C (free agent); Deolis Guerra, RHP (free agent); Jake Hager, 2B (free agent); Angel Perdomo, LHP (free agent); Bobby Wahl, RHP (trade with Mets)

Cardinals
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (trade with D-backs)
Andrew Miller, LHP (free agent)

Other players: Hunter Cervenka, LHP (free agent); Mike Hauschild, RHP (free agent); Tommy Layne, LHP (free agent); Williams Perez, RHP (free agent); Drew Robinson, OF (trade with Rangers)

Video: Goldschmidt excited for opportunity with Cardinals

Cubs
Daniel Descalso, 2B (free agent)

Other players: Kendall Graveman, RHP (free agent); Colin Rea, RHP (free agent); Rowan Wick, RHP (trade with Padres)

Pirates
Lonnie Chisenhall, OF (free agent)
Jung Ho Kang, 3B (free agent)

Other players: Steven Baron, C (free agent); Roberto Gomez, RHP (free agent); Erik Gonzalez, 2B (trade with Indians); Patrick Kivlehan, OF (free agent); Jordan Lyles, RHP (free agent); Tyler Lyons, LHP (free agent)

Reds
Sonny Gray, RHP (trade with Yankees)
Matt Kemp, OF (trade with Dodgers)
Yasiel Puig, OF (trade with Dodgers)
Tanner Roark, RHP (trade with Nationals)
Alex Wood, LHP (trade with Dodgers)

Other players: Matt Bowman, RHP (waiver claim from Cardinals); Kyle Farmer, C (trade with Dodgers); Reiver Sanmartin, RHP (trade with Yankees)

NL WEST

D-backs
Carson Kelly, C (trade with Cardinals)
Wilmer Flores, INF (free agent)
Luke Weaver, RHP (trade with Cardinals)
Andy Young, 2B (D-backs No. 22 prospect, trade with Cardinals)

Other players: Merrill Kelly, RHP (free agent); Rob Refsnyder, OF (free agent); Robby Scott, LHP (trade with Reds); Kelby Tomlinson, SS (free agent)

Dodgers
Jeter Downs, SS (Dodgers No. 7 prospect, trade with Reds)
Josiah Gray, RHP (Dodgers No. 16 prospect, trade with Reds)
Joe Kelly, RHP (free agent)
Russell Martin, C (trade with Blue Jays)

Other players: Adam McCreery, LHP (trade with Braves); RHP Jaime Schultz (trade with Rays)

Video: Friedman on Dodgers signing Kelly for three years

Giants
Mike Gerber, OF (Giants No. 28 prospect, waiver claim from Tigers)
Derek Holland, LHP (free agent)
Pat Venditte, SHP (free agent)

Other players: Breyvic Valera, 2B (trade with Orioles)

Padres
Ian Kinsler, 2B (free agent)
Garrett Richards, RHP (free agent)

Other players: Allen Craig, 1B (free agent); Deitrich Enns, LHP (free agent); Greg Garcia, SS (waiver claim from Cardinals)

Rockies
Daniel Murphy, 2B (free agent)

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.