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Acuna, Ohtani named Rookies of the Year

Braves OF wins NL honor; Angels' two-way phenom claims AL prize
MLB.com @RichardJustice

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. dazzled us from the moment he stepped onto a Major League diamond last April. Are 20-year-olds supposed to be this good? This polished?

Acuna became the face of the Braves in a magical turnaround season and was honored with the Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year Award on Monday. He received 27 of 30 first-place votes, with Nationals outfielder Juan Soto finishing second and Dodgers righty Walker Buehler third.

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. dazzled us from the moment he stepped onto a Major League diamond last April. Are 20-year-olds supposed to be this good? This polished?

Acuna became the face of the Braves in a magical turnaround season and was honored with the Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year Award on Monday. He received 27 of 30 first-place votes, with Nationals outfielder Juan Soto finishing second and Dodgers righty Walker Buehler third.

• All-time Rookie of Year Award winners

:: NL Rookie of the Year voting totals ::

The three of them are part of a tidal wave of youth sweeping through Major League Baseball, changing it -- and making it better -- almost by the day.

Meanwhile, Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani won the American League Rookie of the Year Award after a season in which he did something -- pitching and hitting on a regular basis -- no player had done in 99 years.

Ohtani also won easily, receiving 25 of 30 first-place votes, with a pair of Yankees -- third baseman Miguel Andujar and second baseman Gleyber Torres -- finishing second and third.

Because Ohtani tore a ligament in his right elbow and was limited to 10 pitching starts, he will not pitch again until 2020, so his 2018 season served to tease us about what the 24-year-old is capable of.

"Putting numbers aside, I don't want to talk numbers, I was disappointed I was not able to play full season," Ohtani said. "Elite players should be able to play a full season and help the team win. That's one of my goals."

Complete awards coverage

Video: Ohtani wins AL Rookie of the Year and reacts to honor

Despite the injury, he joined Babe Ruth (1919) as the only other player with at least 10 pitching appearances and 20 homers in a single season.

"I'm really honored to win this award in my first season in the States," he said. "It's my first year, and I think I have a lot of years ahead of me better than this one. I want to keep the focus on the future."

Ohtani is the fourth Japanese-born player to win Rookie of the Year honors, joining Seattle's Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) in the AL and Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers in the NL (1995).

:: AL Rookie of the Year voting totals ::

To have one's name in a conversation with Babe Ruth is one of the ultimate compliments a player can receive, and Ohtani took it in stride, saying, "I'm really honored to win this award against the high level of competition in Major League Baseball. I'm really proud of it."

On Opening Day, Ohtani was attempting to do something no player had done since Ruth's 1919 season -- be a starting pitcher and a full-time hitter.

Ohtani needed only a few weeks to show that he had a skill set to do both. Until a torn ligament was discovered in his right elbow, he'd had one of the most remarkable seasons in history. He's the first player to hit at least 20 home runs and record 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.

Video: MLB Tonight: Ohtani wins 2018 AL Rookie of the Year

He'd gone 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings through May 19 when he began to experience elbow issues. In that same stretch, Ohtani was hitting .321 with six home runs and a .986 OPS in 24 games (21 starts) as the Angels' designated hitter.

Ohtani pitched in just three more games after that, and he did not hit for most of June. But he returned for the final three months to DH and continued to be productive, finishing with 22 home runs, 21 doubles and a .925 OPS in 104 games.

"I never had any doubts coming over here," Ohtani said. "I feel like I was able to fight through [the injury], and to end up with an award like this is an honor."

Ohtani and Acuna were the only MLB rookies with at least 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 2018.

Video: MLB Tonight: Acuna Jr. wins '18 NL Rookie of the Year

Acuna's rookie season was magical from the start. He'd had an electrifying Spring Training and was MLB Pipeline's No. 2 prospect when he made his debut for the Braves on April 25.

He proceeded to fulfill every bit of promise by helping Atlanta improve by 18 games and make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Acuna homered in his second big league game and went on to lead the Braves with 26 home runs and a .917 OPS in 111 games. He's one of five players in history to hit 26 home runs before his 21st birthday and the 10th to have at least 25 homers and 15 steals during his rookie season.

Acuna's 55 extra-base hits in his first 100 games were the sixth-most in history on a list that includes Joe DiMaggio, the all-time leader at 69.

Acuna's most impressive stretch came after the All-Star break, when Braves manager Brian Snitker moved him to the top of the batting order. Acuna hit 19 home runs in the final 68 games of the season had the NL's third-highest OPS, at 1.028.

His 3.4 WAR after the All-Star break was the second-highest in the NL, trailing only Brewers NL MVP candidate Christian Yelich's 5.4. In addition, Acuna's 171 Weighted Runs Created Plus after the break ranked third in the NL.

Video: Ronald Acuna Jr. is named the NL Rookie of the Year

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.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Shohei Ohtani

Yankees' Machado research is 'extensive'

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 doing "extensive" background work on Machado
Nov. 12: It's still a little murky how strong the Yankees' pursuit of Machado will actually be. But they're definitely doing their due diligence.

According to The Athletic's Jayson Stark (subscription required), the Yankees have been doing "particularly extensive" background work on Machado, even beyond the typical amount of background information teams routinely seek about potential free-agent or trade targets.

Sources told Stark that Yankees manager Aaron Boone, front-office members and scouts are all among those who "calling around" about Machado.

The superstar shortstop remains a clear fit for the Yankees, with Didi Gregorius out indefinitely as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

A big gap between Harper and Machado?
Nov. 12: In a piece for The Athletic, Cliff Corcoran ranks the best under-28 free agents of all-time. It's interesting to see where the top two free agents on this year's market land. Manny Machado is ranked third, behind only Alex Rodriguez (2000) and Barry Bonds (1992). Bryce Harper is all the way down at 11th out of 13 players, ahead of Carlos Beltran (2004) and Goose Gossage (1977).

"The math projects [Machado] to be worth 5.2 bWAR in his age-26 season, but he has been a six-win player in four of the last six seasons (I'm counting his 5.7 bWAR this year given his uncharacteristic struggles in the field), so he could very well exceed that projection," writes Corcoran.

With respect to Harper, Corcoran cites his inconsistency at the plate and injury history, pointing out his 1.5 WAR (Baseball Reference) in 2016, and 1.3 WAR last season.

"What was supposed to be the monster free agency to end all free agencies is instead a confusing mixed bag of impressive accomplishment and confounding underperformance," Corcoran writes.

Should Cubs choose Machado over Bryant? Brisbee thinks so.
Nov. 11: SB Nation senior baseball writer Grant Brisbee decided to chime in on the Machado debate with a lengthy column in which he debates the advantages and disadvantages of several teams' pursuits of the 26-year-old shortstop, including the Yankees, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Padres.

In his search for an ideal fit for Machado, Brisbee considers four factors: extra money to spend, a fan base that needs a jolt, a robust farm system that can allow them to subsidize a superstar for the coming years, and a young team.

"We need the Padres. Machado needs the Padres. The Padres need Machado," Brisbee writes.

Brisbee points to the Eric Hosmer contract as an example of the Padres making an expensive, long-term investment in a player that could play a key role on a future team in contention, but concedes that Machado playing his home games in Petco Park remains a long shot. He ultimately concludes that he expects Machado to sign a 10-year, $330 million contract to play for the Cubs.

He doesn't feel that it's a coincidence that Kris Bryant trade rumors are gaining steam now, when Machado is also on the market. He writes that for the Cubs, it could be a matter of committing $300 million to a 29-year-old Bryant after the 2021 season versus making a similar commitment to a 26-year-old Machado right now -- and also reaping the benefits of whatever top prospects they would gain in a trade involving Bryant.

Would Harper or Machado be enough for Phillies to contend?
Nov. 10: In hopes of contending next year, the Phillies are expected to make a run at big-name free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado this offseason. But Jonah Keri of CBS Sports argues that adding one of those players might not be enough to spark a postseason run in 2019.

As Keri points out, the last three World Series winners -- the Cubs, the Astros and the Red Sox -- all had a strong core in place before adding to it in free agency. The Phils, though, have a ton of question marks after Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins.

Philadelphia's roster isn't barren, but Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez are coming off poor second halves, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin haven't proven to be consistent rotation options, and neither J.P. Crawford nor Scott Kingery have lived up to expectations as former top prospects.

Keri writes that signing Harper or Machado -- potentially for $400 million -- should be part of a larger free-agency plan that involves adding relief help as well as a starting pitcher. Keri names J.A. Happ and Charlie Morton, who has expressed his desire to be close to his wife's family's Delaware home, as potential options.

Meanwhile, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that this offseason could get tricky for the Phillies, with the markets for Harper and Machado potentially playing out slowly as their agents -- Scott Boras and Dan Lozano, respectively -- try to land the longest and most lucrative deal possible. As Lauber writes, neither agent is going to want his client to be the first of the two to sign, instead preferring to let the other player set the market. Moreover, the longer each player's free agency endures, the more likely it is that other teams will join the bidding.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has indicated that he won't wait around for Harper or Machado if he has a chance to improve the team.

"We're not going to forgo opportunities early in the offseason because we're waiting on something else," Klentak said this past week during the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. "If there are good opportunities for us to improve our club now or in the coming weeks or months that make sense for us, we will do it."

Will Yankees make competitive bid for Machado?
Nov. 10: While the Yankees continue to be connected to both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News does not think the club is a likely suitor for either player.

Madden wrote Saturday that New York "will monitor the Manny Machado sweepstakes, if only because he has previously expressed a desire to play for the Yankees and his market may be more limited than you might think."

But teams such as the Phillies are expected to offer more than $300 million for Machado, and Maddon doesn't expect New York will want to saddle itself with another potential albatross after being burned by the Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury deals.

Said one former big league executive: "All you have to know with Machado is he says he's no 'Charlie hustle' or whatever before he even gets the money. What's he going to do AFTER he gets the money, when he's got the security and nobody can talk to him? For me, he'd be toxic. To give that guy 10 years? That's one bad contract waiting to happen."

Meanwhile, Madden considers the Harper-to-the-Yankees dream to be "dead," noting that New York has no interest in spending another $250 million or more on an outfielder.

Madden writes that the Yanks' priority instead is "to add at least two more proven quality frontline pitchers," and he predicts that after staying under the luxury-tax threshold in 2018, New York "will not be out-bid for Patrick Corbin" or J.A. Happ, if they choose to pursue them.

Murti: No matter what Yanks say, don't count them out on Machado or Harper
Nov. 9: The Yankees say that they're focused on starting pitching this offseason. The Yankees say that they're not interested in Bryce Harper. The Yankees say that Machado is a back-burner item. WFAN Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti says to ignore all that.

"They tell everybody right now that they have no level of interest in these guys, but that doesn't mean anything at this point in time," Murti said in a Friday interview on MLB Now.

Murti goes on to explain that he feels that the Yankees are distancing themselves because they're not willing to pursue 12-year or 14-year deals with Machado or Harper, but if they remain on the market and New York feels that they can fill holes on the roster, he "guarantees" that the Yankees are still part of the equation.

"I will never believe a guy like Harper or Machado is not a Yankee until I see him holding up another jersey and wearing another cap at the podium," Murti said.

Murti pointed to the Yankees' past signings of Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira as examples of pursuits in which New York distanced itself at the start before ultimately choosing to pull the trigger on both. And Murti also feels the Yankees have more of a need than they would indicate at shortstop with the uncertainty around Didi Gregorius, pointing to the time in 2013 when Derek Jeter's injury necessitated them scrambling to find Luis Cruz to fill the gap.

With that said, this time could be different, with the Yankees finally having dropped below the luxury tax threshold after 15 straight years of being penalized, and owner Hal Steinbrenner reportedly reluctant to make another significant commitment.

Will last year's acquisition of Stanton cost Yankees Harper or Machado?
Nov. 9: The Yankees made a blockbuster move to acquire slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins last offseason, also taking on $265 million remaining on his contract after Miami agreed to pick up $30 million in the trade. Did that acquisition make it unlikely New York could land one of this year's prized superstars, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?

It did, according to SNY's John Harper (no relation), who argues that Stanton's no-trade clause, coupled with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner's aversion to putting another giant contract on the franchise's payroll, makes the chances of Harper or Machado landing in the Bronx slim to none. The Yankees have also made it very apparent their first priority this offseason is starting pitching.

Who is the better investment: Harper or Machado?
Nov. 9: With both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado expected to command a long-term contract valued at more than $300 million this offseason, the question arises: which young superstar is the better investment?

ESPN's Bradford Doolittle takes a shot at answering that question, and he comes to the conclusion that Harper is the better bet. In a nutshell, Harper has more value offensively, and Machado has more value defensively, but Doolittle sees the offensive advantage Harper brings to the table outweighing Machado's superior defensive ability.

Obviously, these types of decisions are subject to many other factors, including positional need, for the different clubs that may pursue the two sluggers. But in a vacuum, Doolittle sees a Harper mega-deal paying off more than one for Machado.

What does the future hold for Harper and Machado?
Nov. 9: Since being drafted first and third overall, respectively, in the 2010 MLB Draft, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have become two of the biggest stars in baseball. And regardless of where the two players land in free agency this offseason, the signing clubs will surely be hoping they'll be as good or better over the next decade.

History paints a positive picture about what teams might be able to expect, with some exceptions.

According to FanGraphs, Harper and Machado have each generated roughly 30 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in their careers. To determine potential future outcomes for the duo, MLB.com's Andrew Simon took a look at 43 players who each also recorded between 20-40 WAR through their age-25 seasons and have seen at least 10 years pass since then.

Breaking down WAR totals from their age 26-35 seasons, Simon found Willie Mays (92.2 WAR), Barry Bonds (79.1) and Hank Aaron (75.7) to be the cream of the crop, and seven players -- Rickey Henderson (62.1 WAR), Carl Yastrzemski (58.2), Frank Robinson (57.9), Eddie Mathews (56.7), George Brett (53.7), Albert Pujols (51.8) and Cal Ripken Jr. (50.9) -- qualified as all-time greats. Simon put an additional 16 players in the superstars group.

Fifteen players were productive for a while, but injuries and/or age typically caught up to them, with David Wright serving as a representative example. On the lower end of the spectrum, Simon lists Jim Ray Hart (4.0 WAR) and Grady Sizemore (1.4) as the worst-case scenarios. Sizemore posted 27.2 WAR over his first four full seasons, ranking fourth in the Majors, behind only Pujols, Chase Utley and Alex Rodriguez. But due to injuries, the outfielder barely collected 1,000 at-bats between 2010-15, and he played his final season in '15 at age 32.

Yankees not all-in on Machado, but remain opportunistic
Nov. 8: The Yankees will be tied to Machado for as long as he's available, because, well, they're the Yankees and have the payroll to give him his long-term deal, and Machado is a generational talent that fills a short-term need at shortstop. But according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, New York is more fixated on acquiring two starting pitchers this offseason and Machado is currently a "back-burner item."

With only Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and now CC Sabathia appearing to be locked into rotation spots for 2019, that's a more pressing need than breaking the bank for a shortstop, and with the Yankees finally falling below the luxury tax threshold in 2018, the Steinbrenners might be loath to give up payroll flexibility by locking up a long-term commitment to Machado alongside the 13-year deal already owed to Giancarlo Stanton.

Sherman indicates that the most likely path for the Yankees is, indeed, adding two starters and a temporary replacement for Gregorius. But he also points out that after 2008, when Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were available to cement a championship contender, the Steinbrenners were convinced to make the commitment. The same thing happened with Tanaka prior to the 2014 season.

So with the Yankees, it's never say never, as they've shown that they're not averse to changing their plans when the market dictates it. And as Andy Martino of SNY point out, the market might still be shaping up for the Yankees to make an opportunistic push for Machado.

If the Phillies win the competition for Bryce Harper, as would be suggested by recent reports, Machado could lose perhaps his most aggressive suitor. And while the White Sox or a mystery team could still choose to go all-in on the shortstop, the Yankees could swoop in if the market cools enough to drive the asking price to a more reasonable level.

Dodgers, Mets unlikely to pursue Machado
Nov. 8: Machado himself already hinted that a reunion with the Dodgers would be unlikely after he posted a thank-you message to the Dodgers and their fans on Instagram following the World Series. Now, a return to Los Angeles seems even more unlikely after a Thursday report by the Los Angeles Times that shortstop Corey Seager will likely be ready for Spring Training after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April and a hip operation in August.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times at the General Managers Meetings that Seager will return as a shortstop, meaning that the Dodgers' infield is simply too crowded for Machado. Justin Turner and David Freese can both play third base, and though Turner could move to first, that would block Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy from regular playing time.

The Mets, on the other hand, do have a clear fit for Machado, with a need for a powerful right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup and struggling hitters in Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario installed on the left side of the infield. They've maintained that they're in win-now mode under the reign of new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

But a source told Matt Ehalt of NorthJersey.com that the Mets are not expected to pursue Machado, with Van Wagenen's focus after the GM Meetings instead centered around finding relief pitching, a catcher and outfield options this offseason. According to Ehalt, the Mets would prefer to make several impactful acquisitions instead of a franchise-altering commitment to someone like Machado.

Where will Machado sign?
Nov. 8: That's a pretty simple question with a much less simple answer. Manny Machado, after all, would make every team in baseball better, but not every team can both afford and fit him into its roster.

So the friendly folks at Cut4 broke out the Free Agent Matrix to analyze which clubs are best positioned to target the star shortstop (or third baseman). The favorites? Well, sure, it's the Phillies and Yankees, who both have lots of money to spend and a need on the left side of their infields. But there are a few dark horses in this race, too. Wanna see who they are? Of course you do. (And c'mon, you also wanna lay eyes on the well-designed matrix, which covers all 30 teams.)

Oh, and while you're there, go ahead and vote for which team YOU think will land Machado.

Showalter, Britton on Machado's mentality
Nov. 7: A portion of the coverage surrounding Manny Machado's free agency has been focused on the superstar's personality and mentality in the wake of a few highly publicized on- and off-field gaffes related to his lack of hustle and questionable dirty play (i.e., running over Jesus Aguilar's foot and sliding aggressively into second base). The big question: How much will that impact Machado's market, if at all?

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado on altercation with Aguilar

In a story for the New York Post, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman discussed Machado with Buck Showalter. The money quote from Showalter, who managed Machado for the first six-and-a-half seassons of the star's career in Baltimore:

"Manny loves baseball, but who knows what happens when someone gets this kind of [financial] commitment. Will it make him more driven or more lackadaisical with that kind of commitment? No one is smart enough to know that. What I know is that his talent plays. There is no doubt he will listen if he respects you. Are there going to be times you have to define reality to him? Yes."

Meanwhile, former longtime teammate Zach Britton -- a free agent himself this offseason -- made supportive comments about Machado in an appearance on MLB Network Radio. "I know the guy he is in the clubhouse and the guy he is off the field, and that guy overshadows any of the stuff people may see on TV," Britton said. "He's a really good guy and a really good teammate."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: Zach Britton: Manny Machado's postseason antics should not overshadow the type of player he is. #Dodgers #Orioles pic.twitter.com/k69ekMl3Y4

Character certainly is something teams take into account when considering acquiring players, especially ones who are likely to cost upward of $300 million over a long-term deal like Machado is expected to get. While there might be some questions in this vein about Machado, he's also one of the very best players in the sport, and having a former manager and teammate back him up is a positive sign.

Phils not ruling out Machado over character concerns
Nov. 7: The Phillies have been long linked to Machado (and Bryce Harper, for that matter), but after the superstar shortstop's skirmishes in the postseason, speculation surfaced about whether Philly -- or any club, for that matter -- would have concerns over Machado's character when contemplating giving him a lucrative contract. 

Phils GM Matt Klentak wouldn't speak directly about Machado when asked about such assertions at the GM Meetings on Tuesday, but he did offer more clarity on where the club might stand on the matter. 

"We have to factor in everything," Klentak told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. "I'm being vague because I don't want to address that particular player, as you can tell. But it's something that we will incorporate into our decision-making process, whether it's a superstar player or a complementary player or whether it's extending an internal player, whether it's a Minor League free agent, whether it's hiring a staff member. We really do a thorough assessment of the individual. We're going to evaluate that, and the decision might be to not sign that person. But it really comes down to the balance of all the factors. It's not that complicated."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: The hot stove season is here. If your favorite team is thinking about signing Manny Machado, how worried are you about the character concerns? pic.twitter.com/Ddsx219bXe

Phils don't seem afraid of Machado's baggage

The Phillies, who were prominently linked to Machado ahead of last season's non-waiver Trade Deadline, are on a short list of favorites to land the 26-year-old. But given Machado's exploits in the postseason -- tripping over Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's foot and claiming that he's not "Johnny Hustle" -- speculation has surfaced if those behaviors will affect his free-agent stock. 

In 2017, Machado was accused of purposefully sliding hard into Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, which allegedly prompted Boston to throw at Machado on purpose in retaliation. Machado then lashed out in an expletive-laden rant in response during a TV interview when asked about the matter. In 2016, Machado tussled with Yordano Ventura when the former Royals starter intentionally threw at him. And in 2014, Machado was suspended five games for tossing a bat into the A's infield in what was perceived retaliation for Josh Donaldson, then with Oakland, sliding hard into Machado at third prior. 

Video: Must C Confrontation: Machado's mad charge at Ventura

All of this has been brought to light given that Machado has been touted to earn a contract in exceess of 10 years and $300 million by some pundits. 

"When we are evaluating players, we do our best to evaluate the total player, everything that player brings to the table," Klentak said. "Offense, defense, baserunning, their makeup and work ethic, their age, their health histories and a couple other things. We factor in all of those characteristics into how we evaluate the player. We make roster and contract decisions accordingly.

"It's unlikely you're going to find a player that's elite in every single one of those areas. If you do, he's probably not going to be a free agent. Sometimes you have to pick and choose what you're willing to bet on."

Will Padres trade Myers to make room for Machado?
Nov. 6: There have been several big market teams linked to Manny Machado, but what about the Padres? After all, they did land one of the top free agent hitters last offseason in Eric Hosmer, as they sought a veteran clubhouse leader to add to a mix of young players. San Diego was mentioned as one of the top three suitors for Machado by MLB Network Radio analyst and former MLB general manager Jim Duquette.

Sources tell MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the Padres could look to move Wil Myers, who is two years into the six-year, $83 million extension he signed in January 2017, to clear salary as the club looks to address its needs at third base and in the rotation.

According to Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), the Padres are comfortable with Franmil Reyes in left and Hunter Renfroe in right, and they have Hosmer entrenched at first base, leaving Myers without an obvious place to play. Myers did start 36 games at the hot corner in 2018, but he didn't show enough defensively to suggest he can be a long-term option at the position (though, in fairness, he was put there on short notice and with no prior experience). 

It's unclear whether Padres general manager A.J. Preller and the rest of the San Diego front office will pursue the biggest names on the market, but as he told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, the General Managers Meetings provide an opportunity to gauge the field.

"You just want to leave there with as many answers and a clear sense of what's realistic and what's probably not going to line up free agent-wise and trade-wise," Preller said. "You find out 'This is what it's going to cost' and 'This is what it's going to be in terms of a trade.' … We are definitely prepared. We've put together target groups, different game plans. You start to work your way through them."

Manny Machado

Rumors: Greinke, Machado, Cano, Harper, Phillies

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

Could D-backs make Greinke available?
Nov. 12: With the free-agent market for starting pitchers not particularly deep, the D-backs might be able to benefit by making Zack Greinke available via trade, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal suggests (subscription required). In fact, Rosenthal writes, Greinke might end up being the second-most attractive starting pitcher available this offseason, behind only teammate Patrick Corbin (who's now a free agent).

Greinke is 35, has had to deal with diminishing velocity over the past few seasons and is signed to an expensive contract -- he has three years and $104.5 million remaining on his six-year, $206.5 million deal that runs through 2021. But a selling point for the D-backs, per Rosenthal, would be their willingness to ease the financial burden on a prospective trade partner, whether by including cash or taking on another player's unfavorable contract.

And in Greinke's favor: his continued effectiveness and ability to adjust -- he had a 3.21 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 207 2/3 innings this season, after posting a 3.20 mark with 215 strikeouts in 202 1/3 innings in 2017.

Rosenthal notes that the D-backs haven't come out and said they want to trade Greinke, but the time might be right, with Corbin and A.J. Pollock free agents and Paul Goldschmidt a trade candidate since he's set to hit free agency next year.

Yankees doing "extensive" background work on Machado
Nov. 12: It's still a little murky how strong the Yankees' pursuit of Manny Machado will actually be. But they're definitely doing their due diligence.

According to The Athletic's Jayson Stark (subscription required), the Yankees have been doing "particularly extensive" background work on Machado, even beyond the typical amount of background information teams routinely seek about potential free-agent or trade targets.

Sources told Stark that Yankees manager Aaron Boone, front-office members and scouts are all among those who "calling around" about Machado.

The superstar shortstop remains a clear fit for the Yankees, with Didi Gregorius out indefinitely as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Video: Yanks cautiously testing waters on Machado

Is there a trade market for Cano?
Nov. 12: Even if the Mariners want to rebuild, they might not be able to pull off deal for all their big-contract players, including Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano.

Cano, for one, has several factors working against him, as Rosenthal notes (subscription required). He's 36, and has five years is signed to a 10-year, $240 million contract that runs through 2023. Cano has full no-trade protection. He might have to move from second base to first base/designated hitter in the near future, much less valuable positions. And teams will likely be leery of Cano's suspension this past season for violating MLB's Joint Drug Agreement.

Rosenthal thinks that Cano's preference would be to return to the Yankees, with whom he spent his first nine Major League seasons before signing with Seattle entering 2014. A deal between the two clubs might include, for example, Jacoby Ellsbury, who has another big contract -- the Mariners would likely have to take on such a contract to have a chance at moving Cano. But he notes that the two teams might not really have any reason to make such an exchange.

Are Phillies shopping Santana to clear room for Harper?
Nov. 12: According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), a rival executive said the Phillies are "shopping the hell" out of first baseman Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract with Philadelphia last offseason.

Per Rosenthal, the Phillies want to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base. While that makes strategic sense from a defensive standpoint -- Hoskins recorded -19 Outs Above Average, per Statcast™, and -24 Defensive Runs Saved in left field this past season -- Philadelphia may also be trying to clear space on the payroll and in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper.

Santana's deal included a $10 million signing bonus, leaving him with a base salary of roughly $35 million over 2019-20, and he has a $500,000 buyout on his $17.5 million club option for '21. The Phillies will likely need to send some cash to move the 32-year-old, who hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs over 161 games in the first year of his contract.

Philadelphia has been consistently connected to Harper this offseason and could conceivably afford to sign him without moving Santana, but doing so would likely mean putting promising right fielder Nick Williams on the bench or giving Santana more playing time at third at the expense of Maikel Franco.

Phillies could look to Donaldson, Moustakas for upgrade at third
Nov. 12: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki notes that Phillies third basemen ranked 18th in the Majors in batting (.248), 21st in on-base percentage (.311), and 13th in slugging percentage (.438) last season. Will the club upgrade at third base? That may depend on whether they sign one of the two big superstar sluggers on the market, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

"If they sign Harper, they might be more inclined to pursue help at third," Zolecki writes. "If they sign Machado and he plays shortstop, they might be more inclined to move forward with internal options like J.P. Crawford, Maikel Franco and even Scott Kingery, who could play second base if Philadelphia trades Cesar Hernandez."

Zolecki suggests the Phillies may pursue free agents Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas. He writes that they would likely try to ink Donaldson to a short-term deal given the risk involved; he was hurt for most of last season, and was not as productive as in years past when he was in the lineup.

Tigers could trade Castellanos this offseason; might Astros be interested?
Nov. 12: Nicholas Castellanos has one more season left before he can become a free agent, and the Tigers don't expect to contend anytime soon. According to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, that makes Castellanos a prime candidate to be moved this offseason, especially with the club's July 2017 trade of J.D. Martinez still fresh in general manager Al Avila's mind.

As Fenech points out, the Tigers didn't consider trading Martinez before his final season of free agency, as the club wasn't in rebuilding mode yet. Once Detroit opted to move him, it had limited suitors for the slugger and ended up taking an uninspiring three-player package from the D-backs.

The problem for the Tigers is that Castellanos' defensive shortcomings may deter teams from trading for him. The 26-year-old, who was a third baseman before changing positions late in 2017, ended his first full season as an outfielder with an MLB-worst -25 Outs Above Average, per Statcast™.

And while Castellanos is a good hitter whose underlying metrics suggest he has room to grow, he hasn't yet proven to be on Martinez's level, which means he doesn't stand out much from the myriad of productive outfield options currently on the free-agent market.

Fenech mentions the Astros as one potential suitor for Castellanos, as they may still be looking for an outfielder after reportedly coming close to trading for Bryce Harper this past season. Per Fenech, Houston also made an offer for Castellanos before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Astros have openings in left field and at designated hitter with Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis becoming free agents.

Tweet from @anthonyfenech: One team who could be a fit for Castellanos: The Astros, who made an offer for him before the July 31 trade deadline last year.

Ryu the only player to accept qualifying offer
Nov. 12: Hyun-Jin Ryu is staying with the Dodgers, as he officially accepted Los Angeles' one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer Monday. Bryce Harper, Patrick Corbin, Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Pollock declined the offer.

The news is not exactly surprising. Ryu recorded a 1.97 ERA in 2018, but he again missed substantial time due to an injury. The left-hander has thrown just 213 2/3 innings since the beginning of '15, and he might have had trouble finding a lucrative multi-year offer on the open market, especially because new teams would have needed to forfeit a Draft pick to sign him.

Video: Ryu only one to accept qualifying offer, six decline

How will Rizzo address Nats' needs this offseason?
Nov. 12: Although the Nationals want to bring back Bryce Harper, the club has other holes to plug, and earmarking a substantial portion of their payroll for a potential Harper reunion could have dire consequences if the team waits too long and the 26-year-old signs elsewhere.

According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), one agent offered a theory about Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo's offseason approach, predicting that Rizzo will aggressively try to address the team's needs, then leave it up to ownership to make the final decision on Harper if the outfielder is still available.

As Rosenthal points out, Rizzo must proceed as if Harper is not returning after the slugger reportedly rejected a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Nats on the final day of the regular season.

Rosenthal also notes that any upgrades the Nats make could make the team more appealing to Harper and persuade him to re-sign, which would be a win-win scenario for Rizzo.

Will Donaldson headline Cardinals' offseason pursuits?
Nov. 12: The Cardinals may pursue free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson to upgrade their offense, but Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues that the veteran comes with too much uncertainty to be relied upon as the club's marquee addition this offseason.

Donaldson has a lofty ceiling, as he slashed .285/.387/.559 with 111 homers from 2015-17, winning the American League MVP Award in the first year during that span.

But Donaldson will turn 33 years old in December and is coming off a season in which he played just 52 games due to right shoulder and left calf injuries.

Although Frederickson thinks Donaldson would be well-received by the fan base as St. Louis' new starting third baseman, he writes that it "would seem a bit thin" if the slugger was "the Cardinals' sole big move for the lineup."

Will Reds trade for Gray?
Nov. 12: The Reds are in the market for starting pitching, and Cincinnati's new pitching coach, Derek Johnson, was Sonny Gray's college pitching coach at Vanderbilt. Is there a reunion in the cards?

MLB.com's Mark Sheldon answered that question in his most recent Inbox, writing that it would, indeed, be a good match. But the Yankees are looking for starting pitching as well, meaning they might ask for right-hander Luis Castillo. That might be too much of an ask for Cincinnati. Nevertheless, Sheldon adds that he would be shocked if the Reds didn't at least check in with New York on Gray.

Gray struggled in 30 appearances (23 starts) for the Yankees last season, posting a 4.90 ERA. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has indicated the club is looking to move on from the 29-year-old right-hander, saying last month that "to maximize his abilities, it would be more likely best [for him to be] somewhere else."

Despite outfield questions, Indians unlikely to bring back Brantley
Nov. 12: With Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall hitting the open market, the Indians have question marks at all three starting outfield spots for next season.

But after a strong -- and healthy -- 2018 season put him in position to receive a lucrative multi-year offer, the 31-year-old Brantley is seemingly unlikely to return to an Indians club that is reportedly shopping some of its veterans for short-term financial relief and younger, cheaper assets.

In fact, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that there is "nearly a zero chance" of the Tribe re-signing Brantley.

With no qualifying offer attached to Brantley, new teams won't be forced to surrender a Draft pick to sign him. As a result, there could be a robust market for the veteran, especially among clubs that need a corner outfielder but aren't in on Bryce Harper. The Braves, the Phillies and the White Sox have reportedly already made offers to Brantley.

A big gap between Harper and Machado?
Nov. 12: In a piece for The Athletic, Cliff Corcoran ranks the best under-28 free agents of all-time. It's interesting to see where the top two free agents on this year's market land. Manny Machado is ranked third, behind only Alex Rodriguez (2000) and Barry Bonds (1992). Bryce Harper is all the way down at 11th out of 13 players, ahead of Carlos Beltran (2004) and Goose Gossage (1977).

"The math projects [Machado] to be worth 5.2 bWAR in his age-26 season, but he has been a six-win player in four of the last six seasons (I'm counting his 5.7 bWAR this year given his uncharacteristic struggles in the field), so he could very well exceed that projection," writes Corcoran.

With respect to Harper, Corcoran cites his inconsistency at the plate and injury history, pointing out his 1.5 WAR (Baseball Reference) in 2016, and 1.3 WAR last season.

"What was supposed to be the monster free agency to end all free agencies is instead a confusing mixed bag of impressive accomplishment and confounding underperformance," Corcoran writes.

Could poor defense of free-agent competitors help Lowrie's market?
Nov. 12: While the free-agent market for second basemen is deep this offseason, Jed Lowrie stands apart from many of his counterparts -- and not solely because of his bat.

Lowrie isn't an elite defender, but he isn't likely to hurt a team with his fielding, which gives him an edge over some of the alternative free-agent options.

Mark Simon took a look at six players whose free-agent markets could be hindered by their poor defense in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), and the list included three second basemen: Asdrubal Cabrera, Daniel Murphy and Brian Dozier.

Cabrera has made the majority of his defensive appearances at shortstop during his career, but he's played there just 76 times over the past two seasons, and his lifetime Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) mark as a shortstop is -56. The veteran isn't likely to be courted as a shortstop by most teams, but his defense at second base isn't much better.

In 2018, Cabrera's -17 DRS at second base ranked second to last among those with at least 500 innings at the position. Murphy was last with -18 DRS, and Dozier was three spots behind Cabrera with -8. Lowrie recorded 1 DRS with a 6.1 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) in '18, while Cabrera, Murphy and Dozier had negative UZR marks.

Meanwhile, neither DJ LeMahieu or Ian Kinsler was anywhere close to Lowrie in terms of offensive production this past season, mitigating the defensive advantage they have over the 34-year-old Lowrie.

Arenado for Bryant? Hear this out.
Nov. 11: The rumors were flying earlier in the week about whether the Cubs would really entertain the idea of trading former NL MVP Kris Bryant. Former MLB general manager Jim Bowden, in a piece for The Athletic (subscription required), examines the idea, concluding that the likelihood of Bryant beginning the 2019 season anywhere but Wrigley Field is very low. Nevertheless, he suggests that for "the right deal," a swap could make sense for Chicago, and the organization may think hard about making it happen.

One of those "right deal" scenarios is -- brace yourself -- a swap of third basemen with the Rockies. That's right, trading Bryant for Nolan Arenado, who has one year remaining before he becomes a free agent. Bowden writes that such a deal could allow "the Cubs to try to extend Arenado instead, while the Rockies would have an extra two years of control of Bryant."

Arenado, an NL MVP finalist this year, has an .886 OPS (121 OPS+) with 186 home runs over six Major League seasons, along with six Gold Glove Awards at the hot corner. Bryant was the '15 NL Rookie of the Year before winning MVP honors the following season as he helped the Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years. Though injuries hindered him last season, he remains one of the premier sluggers in the game, with a .900 OPS (137 OPS+) with 107 homers in 559 games.

Bryant has the aforementioned two years of team control remaining, while the Rockies will try to extend Arenado before he hits free agency. The prospect of a swap, while perhaps unlikely, is very intriguing nonetheless.

Should Cubs choose Machado over Bryant? Brisbee thinks so.
Nov. 11: SB Nation senior baseball writer Grant Brisbee decided to chime in on the Manny Machado debate with a lengthy column in which he debates the advantages and disadvantages of several teams' pursuits of the 26-year-old shortstop, including the Yankees, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and ... Padres.

In his search for an ideal fit for Machado, Brisbee considers four factors: extra money to spend, a fan base that needs a jolt, a robust farm system that can allow them to subsidize a superstar for the coming years, and a young team.

"We need the Padres. Machado needs the Padres. The Padres need Machado," Brisbee writes.

Brisbee points to the Eric Hosmer contract as an example of the Padres making an expensive, long-term investment in a player that could play a key role on a future team in contention, but concedes that Machado playing his home games in Petco Park remains a long shot. He ultimately concludes that he expects Machado to sign a 10-year, $330 million contract to play for the Cubs.

He doesn't feel that it's a coincidence that Kris Bryant trade rumors are gaining steam now, when Machado is also on the market. He writes that for the Cubs, the decision is between committing $300 million to a 29-year-old Bryant after the 2021 season versus making a similar commitment to a 26-year-old Machado right now -- and also reaping the benefits of whatever top prospects they would gain in a trade involving Bryant.

Astros targeting familiar foe
Nov. 11: Could Mariners ace James Paxton pitch for another American League West club in 2019?

Count the Astros among the teams talking to Seattle about a potential trade for the southpaw, per MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, who calls the market for Paxton "active." The Yankees were also identified as a party in contact with the Mariners about Paxton earlier this week, meaning there could be an arms race developing between AL superpowers for what would be an impact arm.

Paxton has fared well against Houston, posting a 2.89 ERA across 12 career starts against the division foe. Houston's rotation was historically good in 2018, but could look a little different with Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton both entering free agency and Lance McCullers Jr. out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Justin Verlander is also entering the final year of his deal in his age-36 season, and so adding an emerging front-of-the-rotation arm like Paxton -- who does not become a free agent until the end of the 2020 season -- could help Houston stay ahead of the curve.

Seattle would likely want a significant haul (especially from a successful division rival like the Astros) for Paxton, who threw his first no-hitter and struck out a career-high 208 batters last season.

Would the Mets part with Thor to bring Bryant to New York?
Nov. 11: It will likely take an offer of seismic proportions to convince the Cubs to part with star third baseman Kris Bryant. Could a package involving Noah Syndergaard do the trick?

SNY's Danny Abriano thinks that a swap of the hard-throwing Mets star for Chicago's former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner would make sense for both sides. And as he goes on to explain, if such a dramatic deal were to unfold, the impact could make ripples around the league, possibily even impacting the free-agency pursuits of high-end starters like Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi.

Why would it make sense for the Cubs? Abriano thinks that despite all of the high-profile names in Chicago's starting rotation, there is still a need for a true ace on the staff. He points to Jon Lester's diminishing numbers, Yu Darvish's inconsistent health and the inability of Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks to consistently pitch at an ace-caliber level as examples of why Syndergaard might be a good addition on the North Side.

Meanwhile, the Mets have a need for a right-handed power bat that could slot in at third base, and with New York reportedly not interested in pursuing Manny Machado, Bryant could offer a tantalizing alternative. Since Bryant hasn't yet hit free agency, if the Mets aren't willing to pay Bryce Harper or Machado to add a franchise-altering face, the Cubs third baseman could offer an outside-the-box solution.

With that said, if the Mets felt confident enough in Bryant's shoulder health to part with Syndergaard, they would likely seek a high-upside arm to bolster their rotation. Though Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or James Paxton could make sense as trade options, the prospect cost of acquiring one of those arms -- in addition to whatever prospects the Mets might send to Chicago to sweeten the Bryant deal -- might be prohibitive.

So in that case, the Mets might join the fray for Corbin, Eovaldi, Dallas Keuchel or other top starters in free agency. Though the bidding for Corbin and Keuchel are expected to be pricey with the Yankees in tow, new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has expressed that New York remains in win-now mode, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Mets were aggressive in free agency.

Altuve says he will be ready for spring, addresses Gonzalez free agency
Nov. 11: Jose Altuve said Sunday that he expects to be "120 percent" ready by the start of Spring Training after undergoing surgery to repair a patella avulsion fracture in his right knee last month. The Astros' star second baseman, who's currently in the early stages of rehab, injured his knee sliding into second base in July.

Utility man Marwin Gonzalez filled in for Altuve at second base when Altuve was limited to designated hitter in the American League Championship Series and made 24 starts at the position in the regular season. If Altuve isn't ready or is limited to begin next season, Gonzalez may not be an option for Houston as he's currently a free agent.

"I don't think there's a single team in MLB that doesn't like Marwin," Altuve said. "For me, he's the savior. You have a problem, you call Marwin. That's one of the reasons why it's going to be really hard to get him back because he's in such high demand right now."

Altuve's words echo previous reports that Gonzalez has been a hot commodity on the open market. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported last week for Fancred Sports that nearly every MLB club has at least some level of interest in the versatile 29-year-old, who played every position besides catcher and pitcher this season.

The Astros opted not to extend a $17.9 million qualifying offer to Gonzalez, so they won't receive Draft compensation if he signs elsewhere.

Video: Altuve on Astros' free agents, 2019 season 

Will Corbin return to the franchise that drafted him?
Nov. 11: Sure, the Yankees appear to be the favorite to land left-hander Patrick Corbin at this point, but according to MLB.com's Free Agent Matrix, there could be other serious players in the mix, including the Angels. It was the Angels that drafted Corbin in the second round of the 2009 Draft, but they traded him to the D-backs before he made his big league debut.

The Angels could definitely use an upgrade in their rotation, particularly with Shohei Ohtani unable to pitch next season after having Tommy John surgery. With Ohtani, Mike Trout and Corbin, perhaps Los Angeles could finally get back to the postseason. Corbin would be coming full circle, and it would make for a very intriguing move.

deGrom's future unclear as agent becomes GM

Ace 'willing to explore' extension as Van Wagenen settles in
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- As Brodie Van Wagenen navigated the Mets' general manager interview process earlier this month, he stayed in close contact with Jacob deGrom and his other clients at CAA. Unwilling to blindside deGrom with the news that he might change jobs, Van Wagenen kept his star client updated on what was happening.

Shortly after Van Wagenen became GM, divesting himself of all interests in CAA and forfeiting the chance to represent deGrom in contract negotiations, he chatted again on the phone with his ex-client.

NEW YORK -- As Brodie Van Wagenen navigated the Mets' general manager interview process earlier this month, he stayed in close contact with Jacob deGrom and his other clients at CAA. Unwilling to blindside deGrom with the news that he might change jobs, Van Wagenen kept his star client updated on what was happening.

Shortly after Van Wagenen became GM, divesting himself of all interests in CAA and forfeiting the chance to represent deGrom in contract negotiations, he chatted again on the phone with his ex-client.

"Have you talked to my agent?" deGrom recalled asking him.

"I don't know who that is," Van Wagenen deadpanned.

"Yeah, me neither," deGrom said, laughing.

For now, deGrom is still working out that detail, as he tries to determine how Van Wagenen's move to the Mets' front office might affect him. Back in July, Van Wagenen was vocal in saying the Mets should either sign deGrom to a long-term deal or trade him. Like most around baseball, deGrom is unsure if his agent's career change will facilitate either of those things. (Van Wagenen has language written into his contract that he cannot fight deGrom in arbitration, among other limitations, given the nature of their past dealings.)

"That's what I'm still trying to wrap my head around over this past week, week and a half," deGrom said in a telephone interview. "I've had conversations with him since then, and they've been good. It's still a little confusing for me, I guess."

Upon leaving the GM Meetings last Friday in Carlsbad, Calif., Van Wagenen expressed interest in locking deGrom up to a long-term deal. But the two sides have not engaged in negotiations, which is nothing new for deGrom (and nothing abnormal for this point in the offseason). Ex-GM Sandy Alderson never approached deGrom about a contract extension during his tenure, despite the pitcher's interest in making something happen.

"I've remained steadfast that I think he's tremendous," Van Wagenen said. "I'd love to try to keep him if it's possible. We'll explore that in the coming weeks."

deGrom's position has not changed since the end of the season.

"I think anybody is open to an extension if it's right for you and your family," said deGrom, who is under team control through the 2020 season, at which point he will be 32 years old. "Nothing is guaranteed in this game until you sign that deal or hit free agency and sign a deal there. You just have to sit down and, at the end of the day, look at what's right for you and your family and kind of make a decision based upon that.

"I really do enjoy playing in New York. The fans have treated me great. I enjoy taking the mound at Citi Field in front of them, and it's rare that a guy spends his career with one team. If that was something that they wanted to do, and me and [my wife] Stacey felt like it was the right move for us, then we'd be willing to definitely explore that."

No matter what happens this offseason, deGrom will enter next year in an enviable position. MLB Trade Rumors projects his salary to jump from $7.4 million to $12.9 million, after he went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA. He is an overwhelming favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award, which the Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

Although deGrom knows he stands an excellent chance of taking home the award, he remains anxious for the announcement.

"That was a goal of mine," deGrom said. "I've said it for the past couple of years -- you win a Cy Young Award, you were probably the best pitcher in your league that year. Yeah, I'm nervous. It's something that I've set as a goal, and [I] would definitely like to win it."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Vlad Jr. leaving AFL early due to family matter

MLB.com @wboor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s highly anticipated -- and highly successful -- stint in the Arizona Fall League will come to an early end, as baseball's No. 1 prospect is leaving Arizona prior to Tuesday's game to tend to a family matter, sources told MLB Pipeline.

Guerrero went 1-for-3 with two RBIs on Monday to finish with a .351/.398/.446 slash line as the youngest player in the Fall League. After hitting a career-high 20 homers during the regular season, Guerrero didn't homer in Arizona, but he hit seven doubles and consistently made loud contact, regularly registering exit velocities over 100 mph.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s highly anticipated -- and highly successful -- stint in the Arizona Fall League will come to an early end, as baseball's No. 1 prospect is leaving Arizona prior to Tuesday's game to tend to a family matter, sources told MLB Pipeline.

Guerrero went 1-for-3 with two RBIs on Monday to finish with a .351/.398/.446 slash line as the youngest player in the Fall League. After hitting a career-high 20 homers during the regular season, Guerrero didn't homer in Arizona, but he hit seven doubles and consistently made loud contact, regularly registering exit velocities over 100 mph.

The Blue Jays' 19-year-old phenom hit safely in each of his first 13 games, recording multiple hits in seven of those, and was batting .462 before going 3-for-25 over his final two weeks (six games). He ranks fourth in the league in average and RBIs (17) and is tied for second with 27 hits. At 10-17, Guerrero's Surprise Saguaros squad has three games remaining and has been eliminated from contention for Saturday's championship game.

Guerrero was sent to Arizona to make up for lost at-bats after he missed roughly six weeks during the regular season with a strained patellar tendon. When he was healthy, MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year hit .381/.437/.636 over 95 games, primarily with Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Turner hosts over 400 vets at Dodger Stadium

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- It happens in the middle of the second inning of every home game, when third baseman Justin Turner makes his way to the far end of the dugout to present a baseball to an active or former military member being honored that day at Dodger Stadium.

Sometimes, other players join with a handshake or a piece of memorabilia of their own, but Turner is always there, his spot in the batting order having come and gone one inning earlier, leaving him with precious time during a game to give thanks.

LOS ANGELES -- It happens in the middle of the second inning of every home game, when third baseman Justin Turner makes his way to the far end of the dugout to present a baseball to an active or former military member being honored that day at Dodger Stadium.

Sometimes, other players join with a handshake or a piece of memorabilia of their own, but Turner is always there, his spot in the batting order having come and gone one inning earlier, leaving him with precious time during a game to give thanks.

Honoring just one member of the military a game, though, leaves a mere 81 times when Turner can publicly show his appreciation, so a Veterans Day event at Dodger Stadium on Monday gave him another chance.

Just 15 days after the Dodgers' heartbreak in the form of a World Series defeat against the Red Sox, Turner hosted more than 400 military veterans at Dodger Stadium. He told the group just what their sacrifice means to him and the organization and took an individual photograph with each and every person in attendance.

Afterward, military members and their families took turns taking batting practice and tracking fly balls on the outfield grass.

"Being Veterans Day, Veterans Weekend, having a chance to give a little bit of time to say thank you and spend time with the men and women that sacrifice their life, their family, their time to go defend our country is a no-brainer for me," said Turner, who also visited fire evacuation centers in the Los Angeles area last week. "I would have not been anywhere else.

"On top of the fact that one of the main beneficiaries of the Justin Turner Foundation are homeless veterans at the Dream Center, and we had a chance to bring out some of those individuals today to take part."

Tweet from @Dodgers: The Dodgers, along with @redturn2 and #DodgersAlumni, held their annual Veteran���s Day batting practice and lunch at Dodger Stadium today. pic.twitter.com/ic5HOumflX

Former U.S Army specialist Jason Ortega of Mission Hills took advantage of his chance to walk the field at Dodger Stadium and play catch in left field with his 8-year-old son, Elijah.

"For me, my guy is Justin Turner, because every time I see him, I'm always watching him and he's always saluting the vets and he's always into the vets," Ortega said. "So that's my favorite player right there. He is a good teammate, and it reminds me of all the guys I was with [in the Army]. It was all about teamwork."

Active U.S. Navy hospital corpsman senior chief Jason Fechner, from Murrieta, also appreciates Turner, but his 8-year-old son, Jaysen, showed as much appreciation as anybody Monday, sporting a fake Turner beard and mustache. Jaysen even dressed as Turner for Halloween this year.

"[The Dodgers] remind us that there are people who still support, who encourage us to continue to serve," Fechner said. "Knowing that we come here and are thanked is a blessing is that we are fortunate to have."

For Turner, Monday's gathering showed that support is reciprocated. The Dodgers are coming off their second consecutive World Series defeat, with the disappointment fresh. But the team's fans were there, ready to show appreciation so quickly.

"Looking back on the World Series, the one that probably hurt the most was Game 4," Turner said about the Dodgers relinquishing a late 4-0 lead and losing 9-6. "That one was more devastating after the game than actually losing Game 5, for me."

Turner said he already has started his workout program in advance of the 2019 season with the hopes of another World Series run. And he is waiting to see what next year's roster will look like, knowing that changes are inevitable.

Turner said he is already trying to come to terms with the loss of third-base/infield coach Chris Woodward, who left to become the Rangers' manager. Then there was the departure of hitting coach Turner Ward, who left to become the Reds' hitting coach, and the exit of general manager Farhan Zaidi, who is now the Giants' president of baseball operations.

Turner expressed appreciation to all three and wished them well … to a certain extent.

"I wish [Zaidi] all the luck up there," Turner said. "Not too much luck. Hopefully, he can finish in second [place] for a long time."

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Justin Turner

International showcase in Aruba set for Tuesday

MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

The Trainer Partnership Program, a new MLB initiative with trainers from Latin America, will host its second showcase for participants in the program, this time for international prospects and trainers from Venezuela, starting Tuesday at Stadium Nadi Croes/Crismo Angela on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

The three-day event will feature the 60-yard run and infield and outfield drills, along with batting practice for 66 prospects eligible to sign during the current and upcoming international signing periods. The format also includes one game scheduled for Tuesday and two games in each of the following two days.

The Trainer Partnership Program, a new MLB initiative with trainers from Latin America, will host its second showcase for participants in the program, this time for international prospects and trainers from Venezuela, starting Tuesday at Stadium Nadi Croes/Crismo Angela on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

The three-day event will feature the 60-yard run and infield and outfield drills, along with batting practice for 66 prospects eligible to sign during the current and upcoming international signing periods. The format also includes one game scheduled for Tuesday and two games in each of the following two days.

"We are very excited to have everyone in Aruba," said Morgan Sword, senior vice president of league economics and operations for Major League Baseball. "We have lots of club scouts here ready for an exciting couple of days of baseball."

In addition to the traditional scouting methods, the showcase will use a camera during batting practice to measure exit velocity, launch angle and projected distance. Another camera will be used to track pitch types, velocity and spin rate. Sensors will be attached to the bottom of the prospects' bats to measure bat speed, barrel speed and other swing analysis. Laser sensors will be used to time the 60-yard run.

There are 19 trainers from Venezuela participating in the Training Partnership Program, increasing the total to close to 70 trainers overall across the Caribbean and Latin America in the program. Overall, MLB's efforts in Latin America include prospect registration, a temporary prospect league, a focus on age and identity verification, and central drug testing, along with new tryout rules.

"We have doubled in size and are expanding as fast as our drug testing apparatus will allow us to," Sword said. "Ultimately, it's our goal to have any trainer that wants to participate be able to. We are on our way."

The event is being held in Aruba because of the facilities available and club scouts find it easier to travel to the island compared to Venezuela, which is facing economic crisis and political unrest.

The Trainer Partnership Program held its first event in September in front of more than 200 scouts at the Chicago Cubs academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. The first two days of the event showcased prospects eligible to sign during the 2018-19 and '19-20 signing periods. The final day featured prospects from the 2020-21 window.

"The first event was a big success and as a result, we have been contacted by dozens more trainers in the Dominican and Venezuela that are interested in enrolling in the program, and we are expanding as fast as we can," Sword said. "The trainers were very happy with the program in the Dominican. They were able to meet with our staff, along with Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, to discuss some issues going on in international baseball, and we plan to do the same with the trainers from Venezuela. I'm looking forward to spending some time with them."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Compton academy gets boost from golf outing

Hunter, Matthews co-host event in Newport Beach for 2nd straight year
MLB.com

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Much of the Southern California baseball community gathered at Newport Beach Country Club on Monday to help support the next generation of athletes coming up behind them.

A number of former and current Major Leaguers took to the links for this year's Celebrity Golf Invitational, which benefits the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. Former All-Stars Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews Jr. co-hosted the event at the Newport Beach Country Club for a second consecutive year.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Much of the Southern California baseball community gathered at Newport Beach Country Club on Monday to help support the next generation of athletes coming up behind them.

A number of former and current Major Leaguers took to the links for this year's Celebrity Golf Invitational, which benefits the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. Former All-Stars Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews Jr. co-hosted the event at the Newport Beach Country Club for a second consecutive year.

Hunter assumed hosting duties for the annual fundraiser from Hall of Famer Frank Robinson beginning in 2016, and partnered with Matthews, his former Angels teammate, in '17. Proceeds from the event will support the academy through the nonprofit Major League Baseball Youth Foundation.

"It's something that's near and dear to my heart," Hunter said. "Everything they have to offer at the academy is something that I stand for."

The MLB Youth Academy in Compton aims to expand baseball's reach in communities where kids might not otherwise have access to the facilities, equipment and instruction required to play the sport. The facility spans 20 acres of the Compton College campus and features multiple playing fields, training areas, batting cages and pitching mounds. It offers free year-round baseball and softball instruction as well as educational resources and programs such as SAT and ACT prep courses and tutoring.

Since the Compton academy opened its doors in 2006, more than 500 of its student-athletes have gone on to play collegiate softball or baseball and more than 160 have been drafted by MLB clubs, including last year's No. 2 pick, Hunter Greene, the Reds' third-ranked prospect (No. 22 overall), per MLB Pipeline. Greene, who started going to the academy when he was 7 years old, attended Monday's event but couldn't play because he's rehabbing an ulnar collateral ligament sprain this offseason.

"I remember I was looking down on him, now he's looking down on me," said Ken Landreaux, a former All-Star outfielder who won a World Series with the Dodgers in 1981 and has been an instructor at the academy since it opened. "You don't ever want to forget where you started. Life's a cycle. They've gotten a helping hand, and hopefully they turn around and they present a helping hand."

Like many academy alumni, Greene jumped at the opportunity to support the place that was so important to his development. The academy has now produced several Major Leaguers -- including the Yankees' Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka, the Mets' Dominic Smith, the A's Khris Davis and the Phillies' J.P. Crawford and Vince Velasquez -- and they maintain an active presence at the facility and in the community.

"For me, it's really easy to give back because it's the people I care about, that I love and appreciate, who helped me get here," said Greene, who fondly recalled playing alongside several future big leaguers as a child. "To be around those guys and be able to get that mentorship at that age when I was young, it helped me not just to be a good baseball player, but a good person as well."

"To whom much is given, much is expected," said Trayce Thompson, who went to the academy as a teenager. A Southern California native, Thompson played two seasons with the Dodgers from 2016-17 and is currently a free agent after splitting the 2018 campaign between the A's and White Sox.

"You're supposed to give back and do what you can to help kids out, especially the kids at the academy. Most of them aren't as fortunate as I was growing up with my dad [former NBA player Mychal Thompson] being who he was. I try to give back as much as I can, because I remember when I was a kid -- the gesture goes really far."

The Compton academy was the first such facility built by MLB, and seven more have since opened in Cincinnati, Dallas, Gurabo (Puerto Rico), Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Three more are in development in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

"I think [the academy] sends a strong message that we care," said former Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who touted his foursome with Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke, former Dodgers teammate Mickey Hatcher and Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey as the team to beat. "This is one piece of the pie. We've got to continue to grow and continue to give kids opportunities all over the country. ... We need to build fields, we need to go out there and get kids excited about baseball."

Video: Scioscia talks retirement, Angels on High Heat

Others in attendance included MLB executive vice president of baseball and softball development and former Angels general manager Tony Reagins; MLB vice president for youth and facility development, director of the Compton academy and former Angel Darrell Miller; and former Major Leaguers Kenny Lofton, Chuck Finley, Bob Boone, Garret Anderson, Shawn Green, Mark Gubicza, Derrek Lee, Vince Coleman, Dmitri Young, Gary Matthews Sr., Darren Oliver, Jerry Hairston Jr., Jerry Hairston Sr., Brett Tomko and Sergio Santos.

"All the guys that are here, they want to be here. We didn't beg them," Hunter said. "They wanted to come here because there's some fruit coming out of the academy and they see the fruit. People want to be a part of something great."

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

Revisit the big 'firsts' for 2018 Rookies of the Year Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr.

The future of the game is bright indeed -- and in 2018, few first-year players shined as brightly as Shohei Ohtani of the Angels and Braves phenom Ronald Acuna Jr.

On Monday, the pair of young stars were named the American League and National League Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year, with Ohtani becoming the fourth Japanese-born player to win the award. 

Rangers part ways with pitching coach Brocail

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

The Rangers informed pitching coach Doug Brocail on Monday that he will not be returning next season. Brocail had been Texas' pitching coach since 2016, after spending six seasons as a special assistant to the general manager, and later pitching coach, for the Astros.

Brocail, 51, had a 15-year Major League career as a reliever, spending two seasons from 2004-05 with the Rangers. In three seasons as the club's pitching coach, Texas pitchers had a 4.65 ERA, which ranked 26th in the Majors over that span. Opponents' .264 batting average against Rangers hurlers was also 26th.

The Rangers informed pitching coach Doug Brocail on Monday that he will not be returning next season. Brocail had been Texas' pitching coach since 2016, after spending six seasons as a special assistant to the general manager, and later pitching coach, for the Astros.

Brocail, 51, had a 15-year Major League career as a reliever, spending two seasons from 2004-05 with the Rangers. In three seasons as the club's pitching coach, Texas pitchers had a 4.65 ERA, which ranked 26th in the Majors over that span. Opponents' .264 batting average against Rangers hurlers was also 26th.

"I don't wish anything bad on anybody. It is a business, I understand it," Brocail said. "I want to thank everybody, and especially the fans. It has been fun, I'm just sorry we didn't get it done."

Last season, the Rangers' staff posted a 4.92 ERA and .271 batting average against, both 28th in the Majors.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Texas Rangers

The case for each NL Manager of the Year finalist

MLB.com

The Dodgers may have represented the National League in the World Series for the second straight season, but the remainder of the NL Division Series field was comprised of a trio of more unexpected teams led by this year's finalists for NL Manager of the Year. Brian Snitker's Braves overcame the Nationals and Phillies to reach the postseason ahead of schedule, while Bud Black's Rockies took the next step with a win over the Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game. But most significantly, Craig Counsell and the Brewers embraced the unorthodox, opening and bullpenning their way to within one game of the NL pennant.

With the 2018 NL Manager of the Year set to be revealed in Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET announcement on MLB Network, here's a look at the case for each of the finalists.

The Dodgers may have represented the National League in the World Series for the second straight season, but the remainder of the NL Division Series field was comprised of a trio of more unexpected teams led by this year's finalists for NL Manager of the Year. Brian Snitker's Braves overcame the Nationals and Phillies to reach the postseason ahead of schedule, while Bud Black's Rockies took the next step with a win over the Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game. But most significantly, Craig Counsell and the Brewers embraced the unorthodox, opening and bullpenning their way to within one game of the NL pennant.

With the 2018 NL Manager of the Year set to be revealed in Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET announcement on MLB Network, here's a look at the case for each of the finalists.

Bud Black, Rockies
To begin, there's history: The Rockies had never qualified for the postseason in consecutive years until Black, who was a finalist last year when the Rockies appeared in the Wild Card Game, took them a step further -- to the NL Division Series -- in 2018. And after being eight games out of first place in the NL West on June 28 and losing five of six from Sept. 14-19, the Rockies finished 162 games in a dead heat with the Dodgers at 91 wins (the second-highest win total in club history). Only a loss in a tiebreaker game separated the Rockies from their first division title in their 26-season history.

Black navigated through some difficult times. The offense's .256 batting average and .225 road average were club record-lows. Yet, the Rockies won a club-record 44 road games.

Last offseason, the Rockies signed closer Wade Davis, righty setup man Bryan Shaw and lefty setup man Jake McGee to three-year deals totaling $106 million. While Davis finished with 43 saves, he had a couple of difficult periods, and Shaw and McGee struggled to the point they weren't included on the postseason roster. But by season's end, Black navigated through the slumps and the relievers were a driving force down the stretch.

Ultimately, the success reflected the values of Black, the only former pitcher to manage the Rockies. His leadership helped the Rockies become the first team since the 2011 Rays to have every game started by someone who had never pitched for another Major League team.

--Thomas Harding

Craig Counsell, Brewers
Counsell, who grew up in Milwaukee and played for the Brewers before moving to the dugout in 2015, finished fourth in NL Manager of the Year balloting a year ago but is a finalist this time after Milwaukee surged to a 96-67 finish in the regular season, matching the franchise record for victories in a season with a win over the Cubs in a NL Central tiebreaker that secured the third division crown in franchise history. That came as part of a late-season winning streak that stretched to 12 games, including the final eight games of the regular season.

Counsell's imprint was evident, especially down the stretch as he juggled a position player group with many movable pieces and squeezed the most out of a pitching staff that lacked an ace.

In both areas, it worked. The Brewers went from "too many outfielders" in Spring Training to "too many infielders" in July, but Travis Shaw successfully shifted to second base and the Brewers, led by NL Most Valuable Player Award finalist Christian Yelich, ranked fourth in MLB with a .781 OPS after the All-Star break. On the pitching front, the Brewers ranked fifth in MLB with a 3.73 ERA despite missing 2017 ace Jimmy Nelson for the entire season while he recovered from shoulder surgery, and steps back for Chase Anderson and Zach Davies. The difference was a strong bullpen led by multi-inning lefty Josh Hader and co-closers Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel, whom Counsell used aggressively in September as the Brewers chased down the Cubs.

--Adam McCalvy

Video: Reynolds on Counsell's NL Manager of the Year case

Brian Snitker, Braves
After Snitker spoke to his players upon inheriting a 9-28 Braves team during the 2016 season, Freddie Freeman says he and his teammates walked away feeling like they were 28-9. The beloved manager's upbeat personality and optimism guided Atlanta through the final stages of a rebuild and helped create the culture that allowed an underdog bunch to claim an unexpected division title this year.

Picked by many to finish fourth in the NL East, the Braves spent 115 days in first place and never experienced anything longer than a four-game losing streak. Snitker's calm approach fueled the resiliency of this Atlanta club that blew a six-run, eighth-inning lead to the Red Sox on Sept. 5 and then proceeded to essentially seal the division by winning seven of the next eight.

Snitker benefited from the MVP-caliber production Freeman provided throughout much of the season and the great success NL Rookie of the Year Award winner Ronald Acuna Jr. had after being moved to the leadoff spot after the All-Star break. But he also pushed all of the right buttons with the pitching staff, which was without its only experienced closer for approximately 3 1/2 months. Four of the five relievers who made at least 50 appearances had never previously experienced a full Major League season.

Much of this season's success was also a product of Snitker's willingness to digest and utilize much of the analytical data he was introduced to after general manager Alex Anthopoulos joined the organization last winter. The information simply fortified the leadership strengths he has displayed while spending the past four decades serving the best interests of the Braves organization and his players.

--Mark Bowman

Video: Darling on Snitker's Manager of the Year candidacy

Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies

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 Patrick CorbinDallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. 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 Patrick CorbinDallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. 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)
Robinson Chirinos (35, 1.6)
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)
Brian McCann (35, 0.5) -- Astros declined $15 million option (Oct. 31, 2018).
Rene Rivera (35, 0.3)
Chris Gimenez (36, 0.0)
Chris Stewart (37, -0.1)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (34, -0.2)
Jose Lobaton (34, -0.3)
Drew Butera (35, -0.3)
Jeff Mathis (36, -0.5)
Bobby Wilson (36, -0.5)
Stephen Vogt (34, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

First basemen
Steve Pearce (36 years old, 1.6 WAR)
Joe Mauer (36, 1.0)
Matt Adams (30, 0.8)
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) -- Twins declined $8 million option (Oct. 30, 2018).

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)
Josh Harrison (31, 0.3) -- Pirates declined $10.5 million option (Oct. 31, 2018).
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) -- Agreed to three-year, $21 million contract with D-backs (Oct. 22, 2018).
Mike Moustakas (30, 2.4) -- Declined $15 million mutual option (Oct. 30, 2018).
Josh Donaldson (33, 1.3)
Adrian Beltre (40, 1.2)
Jung Ho Kang (32, 0.0) -- re-signed with Pirates for one year (Nov. 8, 2018).
Chase Headley (35, -0.4)
Ryan Flaherty (32, -0.4)
Danny Valencia (34, -0.4)
Jose Reyes (36, -0.9)
Luis Valbuena (33, -0.9)
Yangervis Solarte (31, -1.3) -- Blue Jays declined $5.5 million option (Oct. 31, 2018).

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)
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) -- Mariners declined $12 million option (Oct. 30, 2018).
Curtis Granderson (38, 0.9)
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) -- Rockies declined $12 million option (Oct. 30, 2018).
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)
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)
Melky Cabrera (34, 0.4)
Brandon Guyer (33, 0.1) -- Indians declined $3 million option (Oct. 30, 2018).
Carlos Gomez (33, -0.5)
Chris Young (35, -0.5)

Designated hitters
Nelson Cruz (38 years old, 2.5 WAR)
Evan Gattis (32, 0.0)
Pedro Alvarez (32, -0.2)

Starting pitchers
Patrick Corbin (29 years old, 6.3 WAR)
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) -- re-signed with Yankees for one year, $8 million (Nov. 7, 2018).
Anibal Sanchez (35, 2.4)
Nathan Eovaldi (29, 2.2)
Gio Gonzalez (33, 2.0)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (32, 2.0)
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)
Jeremy Hellickson (32, 1.2)
Garrett Richards (32, 1.0)
Tyson Ross (32, 1.0)
Brett Anderson (31, 0.9)
James Shields (37, 0.8) -- White Sox declined $16 million option (Oct. 29, 2018).
Jason Hammel (36, 0.8) -- Royals declined $12 million mutual option (Oct. 30, 2018).
Edwin Jackson (35, 0.7)
Adam Wainwright (37, 0.5) -- Reached agreement on one-year contract with Cardinals (Oct. 11, 2018).
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)
Martin Perez (28, -0.2)
Drew Pomeranz (30, -0.3)
Miguel Gonzalez (35, -0.3)
Chris Tillman (31, -0.4)
Ervin Santana (36, -0.5) -- Twins declined $14 million option (Oct. 30, 2018).
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) -- Declined $10 million mutual option (Oct. 30, 2018).
David Robertson (34, 1.5)
Craig Kimbrel (31, 1.5)
Jesse Chavez (35, 1.2)
Oliver Perez (37, 1.1)
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)
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)
Jeanmar Gomez (31, 0.2)
Zach Britton (31, 0.1)
Santiago Casilla (38, 0.1)
Carson Smith (29, 0.1)
Cody Allen (30, 0.0)
Jorge De La Rosa (38, 0.0)
Fernando Salas (34, 0.0)
Zach McAllister (31, 0.0)
Blake Wood (33, 0.0)
Daniel Hudson (32, -0.1)
Jerry Blevins (35, -0.1)
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.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.