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Perfect pairings for each top free agent

MLB.com @castrovince

"The Bachelor" just began its annual, methodical march toward a rushed engagement between two lonely souls who love the camera. The TV trainwreck this bit of sur-reality presents has become an odd winter pastime, in that you regret watching it even as you are watching it. And yet an audience of millions keeps coming back for more.

So maybe ABC is onto something. Maybe we've put too much stock in people choosing their partners patiently and judiciously. Maybe there's something to be said for a marital microwave, as opposed to a slow cooker.

"The Bachelor" just began its annual, methodical march toward a rushed engagement between two lonely souls who love the camera. The TV trainwreck this bit of sur-reality presents has become an odd winter pastime, in that you regret watching it even as you are watching it. And yet an audience of millions keeps coming back for more.

So maybe ABC is onto something. Maybe we've put too much stock in people choosing their partners patiently and judiciously. Maybe there's something to be said for a marital microwave, as opposed to a slow cooker.

In that spirit -- and in the midst of another slow-to-develop free-agent marketplace in MLB -- let's stop the dilly-dallying and come up with some fits that may -- or may not -- be perfect. If the teams and players involved don't like it, they can change it … by completing some actual, binding contracts.

Preferably soon.

In the meantime…

Bryce Harper is now on the…
Dodgers. Beyond what Bryce brings to the table as a ballplayer, this is Hollywood, and this is a marketable face capable of occupying every LA billboard that doesn't currently feature LeBron James (granted, that's only about three billboards, but that's still better than nothing). LA is a place for icons, and Harper and Clayton Kershaw can share that status (and beard-grooming tips) while winning rings.

Video: IT guesses the odds that Harper signs with Dodgers

Manny Machado is now on the…
Yankees. Why is this taking so long? What, you think just because the White Sox are adding everybody from Machado's brother-in-law to his Alaskan Klee Kai that they're actually going to sign him? No. Machado wants the pinstripes. Navy ones (sorry, Philly). And while the Yankees' austerity period fits with our current culture's pervasive irony, it's never going to last. (And for that matter, it's almost equally hard to believe Troy Tulowitzki's body is going to last.)

Video: Tulowitzki on Yankees possibly adding Machado

Craig Kimbrel is now on the…
Braves. Again. In real life, it seems more likely that he winds up back in Boston. But if his market really caves to the point where the contract makes sense for a Red Sox club well above the luxury tax threshold, why wouldn't it make sense for a Braves team that could give its fan base all the feels by bringing Kimbrel back at a time when the National League East battle is scorching?

Video: MLB Now debates Kimbrel's choices, reliever market

Dallas Keuchel is now on the…
Reds. This team talked about spending significant dollars on pitching in free agency. While Cincinnati has added two starters (Alex Wood and Tanner Roark), as well as two outfielders (Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp), it did so without taking on significant salary. The ground ball is a pitcher's best friend in Great American Ball Park, and Keuchel will point a predominantly young staff in the right direction as the Reds try to turn the corner in 2019.

Video: Phillies, Reds maintain interest in Keuchel

A.J. Pollock is now on the…
Indians. The only way the Indians' payroll-paring winter trades make sense in the context of their World Series window is if they invest some or all of that money back into the 2019 product. Pollock's market likely won't find its shape until after Harper signs, and that market is likely to exceed the Indians' reach. But the powers vested in us by this column's conceit allow us to focus primarily on baseball fits. And let's just say Pollock would be a welcomed addition to a Cleveland outfield currently highlighted by Leonys Martin, who was dangerously near death just a few short months ago.

Video: A.J. Pollock is hitting the free-agent market

Mike Moustakas is now on the…
Phillies. If they really do strike out on both Machado and Harper, they can still demonstrate to their fan base that there are other ways to build a championship-caliber ballclub. The Phillies have already done some heavy lifting this offseason, but Moustakas would help round out the lineup with the power they need from the left-hand side. Plus, if it's another one-year deal like the one he signed a year ago, the stage is set for Philly to shake off the Harper and Machado snubs by signing Nolan Arenado a year from now.

Video: Morosi discusses potential suitors for Moustakas

Marwin Gonzalez is now on the…
Nationals. They're still in on Harper, but, all emotional attachment aside, Gonzalez might be the better positional fit right now. He's an upgrade at second base over the current Wilmer Difo and Howie Kendrick combo, and he's a valuable insurance policy in an outfield featuring two youngsters in Juan Soto and Victor Robles and the injury-addled Adam Eaton. Coming off a disastrous 2018, the Nats need more wins. They need a Marwin.

Video: Justice on Marwin Gonzalez's appeal as a free agent

Gio Gonzalez is now on the…
Angels. Enough's enough. We can't keep subjecting great Mike Trout seasons to the whims of an iffy and injury-prone rotation. The Angels have added Trevor Cahill and Matt Harvey. Raise your hand if you think that's enough. Yeah, didn't think so. Gonzalez has an up and down track record, but one thing he's been consistent in is taking the ball. He's averaged 31 starts going back to 2010. The Angels need some of that.

Video: Gio Gonzalez enters free-agent market for 2019 season

Jed Lowrie is now on the…
Brewers. They need a stopgap second baseman until Mauricio Dubon or Keston Hiura arrive, and Lowrie is an underrated and versatile presence. He's a Stanford guy. GM David Stearns is a Harvard guy. It's time they meet in the middle. In Milwaukee.

Video: Rosenthal on Lowrie's worth in free-agent market

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.