Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Where will they sign? Likely FA landing spots

January 2, 2019

The confetti has been cleaned up, resolutions have been made and New Year's decorations have been moved to the clearance bin. Yet with Spring Training less than six weeks away, some very notable names remain on the free-agent market.Where will Manny and Bryce (yes, they've now been elevated to mononymous

The confetti has been cleaned up, resolutions have been made and New Year's decorations have been moved to the clearance bin. Yet with Spring Training less than six weeks away, some very notable names remain on the free-agent market.
Where will Manny and Bryce (yes, they've now been elevated to mononymous status) wind up? How about Craig Kimbrel and the rest of the relief market? And don't forget about Dallas Keuchel, who remains the best starter available.
Top 15 remaining free agents
Here's a look at where 10 of the top free agents stand as January kicks into gear. (Ages listed as of Opening Day 2019.)
Manny Machado, SS, age 26
Contenders:
Phillies, Yankees, White Sox
Machado made visits to all three of these teams before the holidays, and even with a mystery team potentially in the mix, he likely has all of the information he needs to make a decision. Could the Yankees' reported deal with Troy Tulowitzki be a sign that they're out on Machado? Don't count on it.
Best guess: Yankees

Bryce Harper, RF, age 26
Contenders:
Nationals, Phillies, White Sox
Nationals owner Mark Lerner said last month his team was out of the Harper sweepstakes, but the Nats have reportedly kept close tabs on the superstar's situation. If Machado goes to the Yankees, the Phillies could put the full-court press on Harper, who is believed to be seeking the biggest deal in baseball history.
Best guess: Phillies

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, age 31
Contenders:
Brewers, Phillies, Reds
The Reds seemed to be waiting in the weeds for Keuchel, but the addition of lefty Alex Wood and righty Tanner Roark may have lessened their need to spend big on a starter. The Phillies might be playing this one the same way they did with Jacob Arrieta -- another Scott Boras client -- last winter, waiting for him to take one less year than he desires. Last offseason, Arrieta settled for three years, and perhaps Philly is hoping Keuchel will settle for four instead of five.
Best guess: Phillies

Craig Kimbrel, RHP, age 30
Contenders:
Angels, Braves, Red Sox
Kimbrel's market has been a big mystery this winter, with most reports focusing on his desire for a six-year, nine-figure deal rather than potential landing spots. The Red Sox seemed like a long shot when the offseason began, but Boston has been monitoring his market and could be waiting to bring him back at a price more palatable to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who has passed on other relievers to this point.
Best guess: Red Sox

Zach Britton, LHP, age 31
Contenders:
Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees
The Yankees would like to bring Britton back to join Dellin Betances and Albertin Chapman as a three-headed bullpen monster, but Britton is looking for closer money. Boston could pivot to Britton if Kimbrel signs elsewhere.
Best guess: Yankees

Yasmani Grandal, C, age 30
Contenders:
Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox
The Mets made a play for Grandal, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $60 million deal. New York signed Wilson Ramos to take them out of the catching market, leaving Grandal in a tough spot. Could he take a one-year deal (possibly from the Dodgers?) and test the market again next year?
Best guess: Dodgers

A.J. Pollock, CF, age 31
Contenders:
Phillies, Reds, White Sox
Pollock is unlikely to sign before Machado and Harper, because the teams that miss out on them (Harper, in particular) could look to the All-Star center fielder to bolster their lineup. Pollock is seeking a Lorenzo Cain type of deal (five years, $80 million), though it remains to be seen whether his lengthy injury history impacts his ability to get a deal of that length.
Best guess: White Sox

Mike Moustakas, 3B, age 30
Contenders:
Padres, Phillies, Royals
After settling for a one-year deal last winter, Moustakas is back on the market for a second straight offseason. He'd be a natural fit in Philadelphia if the Phillies miss out on Machado, as Moustakas would be an upgrade over Maikel Franco. San Diego seems like a good fit, where Moustakas would be reunited with former Royals teammate Eric Hosmer.
Best guess: Padres

Marwin Gonzalez, INF/OF, age 30
Contenders:
Mets, Nationals, Padres
Gonzalez is the ideal player for 2019, able to slot in at nearly every spot on the diamond. He can sell himself as an infielder, an outfielder or a hybrid of both, making him a fit with a number of teams. The Nationals could use him at second base, and if they don't re-sign Harper, there should be money to spend.
Best guess: Nationals

Adam Ottavino, RHP, age 33
Contenders:
Red Sox, White Sox, Yankees
Like Britton, Ottavino one of the top non-Kimbrel relievers available in free agency. A New York native, the Yankees seem like a logical fit, but that might require signing both Britton and Ottavino, which is possible, given the expected loss of Player Page for David Robertson. A return to the Rockies isn't out of the question, though after giving Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw big money last year, it seems like a remote possibility.
Best guess: Yankees

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.