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Rumors: Kimbrel, Yanks, Harper, Keuchel, Machado

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

How could a Harper or Machado signing impact Kimbrel?
Feb. 16: Craig Kimbrel  entered the offseason as the best closer on the market, but while most other back-of-the-bullpen relievers have come off the board, the All-Star right-hander remains unsigned. That may be due, in part, to the type of contract he's been rumored to be asking for: a six-year deal, which would be unprecedented for a relief pitcher. But Kimbrel isn't the only big-name free agent still out there, of course. So what could happen with Kimbrel if Bryce Harper  or Manny Machado  signs before he does?

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand goes through multiple scenarios in which one of the two superstars secure a contract, and what impact it would have on other top free agents. In the case of Kimbrel, Feinsand writes that the closer likely would end up reuniting with either the Red Sox or Braves in the event Harper or Machado signs with the Phillies. He adds that if Harper signs with the Nationals or Giants, the Phillies may become a more likely destination for Kimbrel. Philadelphia's level of interest, of course, would also depend on its continued pursuit of Machado in that case.

What if Machado signs with the White Sox and Harper is still out there? Feinsand surmises Philly could then become a more likely landing spot for Kimbrel, but that would also depend on how serious the club is about inking Harper. If the Phillies aren't able to sign either superstar, "it could spark a chain reaction that could land Dallas Keuchel  or Kimbrel -- or both -- in Philly." More >

Don't count Yanks out on Harper or Machado
Feb. 16: Even as Spring Training has begun and the Yankees have already made several moves to upgrade a roster that won 100 games last year, don't count New York out when it comes to the two premier free agents remaining on the market, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

"I wouldn't say specifically, but I would reinforce, I'm doing my job," general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday. "Whether that's those two players or other players that aren't as significant name value, the job at hand is to constantly be open-minded to ways to make this work the best it can possibly work. ... We like what we've done to this point, but we're never a finished product."

The Yankees already have a full outfield with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and an injured Jacoby Ellsbury. Signing Harper would necessitate some reshuffling. With respect to Machado, the Yankees have added multiple infielders already, signing free agents Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu. Tulowitzki is expected to open the season at shortstop as Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery, and LeMahieu is expected to play a super-utility role.

Then again, this is the Yankees, a team that can really never be counted out on big free agents, regardless of the situation. 

How close is Harper to making his choice?
Feb. 16: Make of this what you will, but a report started circulating and gaining some steam Friday afternoon that Bryce Harper just might be on the verge of finding a new home.

Maybe.

In a conversation with radio station 94WIP in Philadelphia about the superstar free agent's situation, Chris Russell of 106.7 The Fan, a radio station in Washington, D.C., speculated that Harper could be making up his mind very, very soon.

To a certain extent, that meshes with information coming from former big league general manager Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ and The Athletic, who says the Phillies are viewed as the clear favorite for Harper, followed by the Nationals. More >

Is Keuchel still waiting on Harper and Machado?
Feb. 16: Dallas Keuchel has been the top available starting pitcher for several weeks now, but his market appears to be at something of a standstill. Why? Perhaps in large part due to the two bigger names still available in free agency: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

In an in-depth rundown of how the dominoes could fall once Harper or Machado signs, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand explains how many of Keuchel's scenarios depend on where the slugging outfielder and/or star infielder wind up. More >

After meeting with Padres GM, here's how Machado could fit in San Diego
Feb. 16: After SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Padres were being "very aggressive" with their offer to Manny Machado, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that general manager A.J. Preller actually flew to Miami to meet with Machado and his wife sometime in the past week.

Machado is the Friars' first choice to fill their vacancy at the hot corner, but it is not believed that the 26-year-old is close to choosing a team at this time, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

MLB.com's AJ Cassavell provides a look at how Machado would fit with the Padres in both the short and long term, while Feinsand breaks down how the dominoes could fall for Bryce Harper (as well as Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel) if Machado goes to San Diego. More > 

Halos in on Moose
Feb. 15: For a second straight offseason, Mike Moustakas is unsigned into Spring Training. But the slugging third baseman has a new suitor.

The Angels are in on Moustakas, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. That adds one more team to the list of potential landing spots for the veteran, along with the Brewers, Padres and Phillies. More >

Video: MLB Tonight: Angels rumored to pursue Mike Moustakas

Latest on extension talks between Mets, deGrom
Feb. 15: Jacob deGrom's representatives have set an Opening Day deadline for the Mets to complete a contract extension with the right-hander, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said that deGrom's reps will be in Port St. Lucie soon to ramp up discussions.

deGrom, 30, took part in a press conference after being announced as the Mets' 2019 Opening Day starter and reaffirmed his desire to remain with the club on a long-term basis.

"I would like to be a part of this team's future," deGrom said. "I would like the feeling to be mutual, but that's just something that we're going to have to see."

The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, who can become a free agent after the 2020 season, also said he would consult with his agents about a self-imposed restriction on his workload if the two sides can't reach an agreement. More >

Video: deGrom, Van Wagenen on a potential contract extension

Keuchel still could be a fit for Astros in 2019 -- and beyond
Feb. 15: When the Astros inked left-hander Wade Miley  in late January, the initial thought was that transaction decreased the chances of free agent Dallas Keuchel  returning to Houston. And yet, the club may be keeping the door open to the possibility, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported.

Here's why a reunion with Keuchel still could work. It's true that the Astros have excellent rotation depth for this season, as Justin Verlander Gerrit Cole Collin McHugh  and Miley are backed up by Brad Peacock , and a host of youngsters like Forrest Whitley  (MLB Pipeline's No. 7 overall prospect), Josh James  (the No. 62 overall prospect), Framber Valdez Cionel Perez  and J.B. Bukauskas

But with Miley in the fold on a one-year pact, the Astros now have (count 'em) four starters who can hit the open market after the 2019 season; McHugh and co-aces Verlander and Cole are the others. And the looming free agency of the latter two is something Houston's front office is going to have to face soon enough. More >

Are Phillies still front-runners for Harper or Machado?
Feb. 15: Even if the Phillies aren't necessarily the first choice for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, will one of the superstar free agents ultimately accept Philadelphia's offer?

Buster Olney predicted as much in an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up!," saying the feeling is that the White Sox are a "safety net" for both players.

With both Harper and Machado reportedly seeking contracts in the range of 10 years for more than $300 million, the two have lingered on the free-agent market. But Olney thinks both player will eventually land deals between 8 and 10 years.

Meanwhile, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak indicated that he is still monitoring the open market but also feels like the team accomplished its offseason goals by adding Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto and David Robertson. More >

Arenado won't set hard deadline on contract extension negotiations
Feb. 14: The Rockies are hoping to work out a long-term contract extension with Nolan Arenado before the third baseman becomes a free agent next offseason, and they'll have some time to do so.

Arenado said Thursday that he won't make Opening Day a hard deadline for negotiations, giving his agent, Joel Wolfe, a chance to continue talks with Colorado during the season, if needed.

The 27-year-old recently came to an agreement with the Rockies on a one-year deal for 2019 that will pay him $26 million, a record for an arbitration-eligible player. More >