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Free-agent signings each team can be proud of

MLB.com

Here's a look at the best free-agent signings for each team this century. Some of these players are still on the team, some of them provided their teams tons of value in the past, some of them are just getting warmed up. Last year, teams were hesitant to jump into free agency. Here are some arguments from the past as to why they should.

Note: For each player, the year listed is the first season he played with the club after he signed the contract, even if he actually signed it the previous November or December.

Here's a look at the best free-agent signings for each team this century. Some of these players are still on the team, some of them provided their teams tons of value in the past, some of them are just getting warmed up. Last year, teams were hesitant to jump into free agency. Here are some arguments from the past as to why they should.

Note: For each player, the year listed is the first season he played with the club after he signed the contract, even if he actually signed it the previous November or December.

AL EAST

Blue Jays: Russell Martin, five years, $82 million, 2015
Martin has battled injuries the last couple of years, but he was terrific at the beginning of his contract. The Canadian catcher was perfect fit for a Blue Jays team that leaped when its window was open and made it to the American League Championship Series in consecutive years, with Martin playing a big part.

Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen, three years, $11.3 million, 2012
Chen was perhaps the Orioles' most consistent pitcher for his four years in Baltimore, and Miami rewarded him with an even bigger contract when he left.

Rays: Carlos Pena, Minor League deal, 2007
Pena hit 46 homers for the Rays that year, and he was just as good when they re-signed him to a three-year, $24 million deal the next season -- the year Tampa Bay went to its lone World Series.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, one year, $1.25 million, 2003
Ortiz was only a free agent because the Twins released him, making this arguably the most fortuitous free-agent signing ever. Every contract the Red Sox signed him to after this one -- for much more money than he got in this deal -- was more than worth it for them as well.

Yankees: Hideki Matsui, three years, $21 million, 2003
"Godzilla" hit a total of 70 homers across the three-year span of his original deal with the Yankees. He'd later re-sign for four years, ending his career in New York by being named World Series MVP in 2009.

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Juan Gonzalez, one year, $10 million, 2001
This was JuanGone's last full season, and he finished fifth in MVP voting before going to Texas for the declining years of his career.

Royals: Edinson Volquez, two years, $20 million, 2015
Kendrys Morales was another option here, as both helped the Royals win that elusive World Series.

Tigers: Ivan Rodriguez, four years, $40 million, 2004
Both the Tigers and Rodriguez were widely criticized when he signed such a big deal with one of the worst teams in baseball. Two years later, they were both in the World Series.

Twins: Jim Thome, one year, $1.5 million, 2010
He came back for $3 million the next season, but he was outstanding in 2010, helping the team to the playoffs and looking like a natural fit in a Twins uniform.

White Sox: Jermaine Dye, two years, $10.15 million, 2005
Dye was the slugger the White Sox needed, and by the end of the deal, he had won a World Series MVP Award.

AL WEST

Angels: Vladimir Guerrero, five years, $70 million, 2004
This future Hall of Famer's contract, which came a couple of years after A-Rod signed for $252 million with Texas and Manny Ramirez signed for $160 million with Boston, looked like a bargain by comparison.

Astros: Roger Clemens, one year, $5 million, 2004
Clemens signed roughly the same deal with the Astros in 2005, which, according to ERA+, is the best year of his career.

Athletics: Bartolo Colon, one year, $3 million, 2013
Colon was 40 in 2013, when he put up the lowest ERA of his career (2.65).

Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki, three years, $14 million, 2001
Technically, Ichiro was signed last century, but since he didn't play his first game until this one, we're counting him.

Rangers: Adrian Beltre, five years, $80 million, 2011
Beltre had just rebuilt his value in Boston on a one-year deal after a tumultuous five years in Seattle, and went on to become a legend in Texas and cementing his status as a future Hall of Famer.

NL EAST

Braves: Billy Wagner, one year, $7 million, 2010
Wagner's lowest ERA of his career (1.43) came in his final season, which he played in Atlanta.

Marlins: Ivan Rodriguez, one year, $10 million, 2003
Yep, Pudge is on here twice, and why not? He was the vocal leader of a World Series-winning team.

Mets: Carlos Beltran, seven years, $119 million, 2005
The only people not convinced of this are, of course, Mets fans. Per Baseball Reference's WAR, his two best seasons (and three of his best five) came in Queens.

Nationals: Max Scherzer, seven years, $210 million, 2015
Many teams were scared off by Scherzer's age and violent delivery. Suffice it to say, they wouldn't mind having him right now.

Phillies: Cliff Lee, five years, $120 million, 2011
People were scared off by Lee as well. But he was fantastic nearly every year he was in Philadelphia.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Lorenzo Cain, five years, $80 million, 2018
Is it too early to say this already feels like a steal? Maybe. But maybe not.

Cardinals: Matt Holliday, seven years, $120 million, 2010
The Cardinals parted ways with Holliday at the end of his deal, but he provided excess value to them essentially every year of the contract.

Cubs: Moises Alou, three years, $27 million, 2002
Jon Lester may yet trump this -- perhaps he already has -- but Alou helped get the Cubs to within a game of the Fall Classic in 2003, as close as they'd get before finally winning it all in '16.

Pirates: Russell Martin, two years, $17 million, 2013
The Pirates' postseason breakthrough happened the second year of this contract, and Martin was instrumental in making that happen. (Fun note: There are two guys featured twice in this piece, and both of them are catchers -- Martin and Pudge.)

Reds: Aroldis Chapman, six years, $30 million, 2010
Say what you will about the Reds, but they were in on Chapman first.

NL WEST

D-backs: Randy Johnson, four years, $52 million, 1999
The easiest pick on this whole list, obviously. Johnson won the NL Cy Young Award every single year of this deal, going a combined 81-27 with a 2.48 ERA and 1,417 strikeouts in 1,030 innings.

Dodgers: Derek Lowe, four years, $36 million, 2005
The veteran right-hander won 54 games for the Dodgers between 2005-08, never starting fewer than 32 games in a season during that stretch. Yasiel Puig is also in the running.

Giants: Ray Durham, three years, $20 million, 2003
Durham hit .286/.362/.451 during this deal, helping the Giants win 100 games in his first year in San Francisco. Barry Bonds would, of course, be the all-time answer, but the only free-agent deal he ever signed with the Giants came prior to the 1993 season, precluding him from qualifying here.

Padres: Joaquin Benoit, two years, $15 million, 2014
Benoit had been a closer the previous year for the Tigers, but the Padres used him as an all-purpose reliever, and he put up a 1.96 ERA over his two seasons in San Diego.

Rockies: Mark Reynolds, one year, $1.5 million, 2017
Reynolds signed a one-year deal with Colorado prior to the 2016 season and was serviceable. He then signed another one-year deal for the following season for less money, and the Rockies got 30 homers out of him on the way to earning a Wild Card spot.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Rumors: Machado, Harper, Marwin, Davis

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

Are White Sox out on Harper?
Feb. 20: The White Sox coveted Manny Machado but missed out on landing him when he agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres.

The White Sox, however, also have been linked aplenty to Bryce Harper, the other superstar who remains readily available, so the expectation is that they could pivot and make a run at the slugging outfielder, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. More >

Video: Feinsand talks Machado's reported contract, Harper

Impact of Machado's record-breaking deal with San Diego
Feb. 20: Manny Machado appears to have found a new team. The superstar infielder has agreed to a deal with the Padres, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: BREAKING: Free agent star Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources tell ESPN.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand confirms the news, adding that the contract is for 10 years and $300 million -- a record for the biggest free-agent contract in the history of MLB and all American sports. Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million deal with the Marlins back in 2014 is the only larger contract; that was an extension, not a free-agent pact.

Tweet from @Feinsand: BREAKING: Manny Machado has agreed to terms on a deal with the Padres. According to a league source, it���s for 10 years and $300 million - the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports.

Speculation had been picking up around Machado the past few days, with the Padres and White Sox considered the frontrunners. The Phillies also were in the mix, although their main focus may be on outfielder Bryce Harper, the other star free agent still available. With Machado headed to San Diego, expect Harper buzz to swell to a crescendo.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: Manny Machado's deal, as @Feinsand first reported, is for 10 years and $300 million with an opt-out after the fifth season.A monumental deal -- the single biggest free agent contract in American sports history.And now every eye in baseball turns to Bryce Harper. His move.

As for Machado and the Padres, he will help fill the left side of their infield, perhaps covering shortstop until elite prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready to make his MLB debut, which could come as soon as the middle of 2019. It's likely that Machado eventually will cover the hot corner, however, as that was a position of great need in both the short- and long-term for San Diego. More >

Video: Feinsand analyzes Machado's reported deal with Padres

White Sox could shift focus to Marwin
Feb. 20: The White Sox missed out on Manny Machado, who rebuffed their offer to head to the Padres. On top of that, it seems Chicago also may be out on Bryce Harper, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who suggests, however, that Marwin Gonzalez could be an option on the South Side.

Here's the latest buzz surrounding Gonzalez.

Davis hoping to spend 'at least three more years' in Oakland
Feb. 20: Khris Davis has become the heart of the A's since joining the team three seasons ago, and he is hoping to remain in Oakland for the long haul.

"Davis would love to have a contract extension," Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle said in an appearance on MLB Network's Hot Stove. "He has said repeatedly that Oakland is where he wants to be."

Davis said he wants to be with the A's for "at least three more years," and he's willing to take less money to get a deal done. Davis will earn $16.5 million in 2019, giving him the highest single-season salary in team history.

"I don't want to break the bank," he said. "I want to be happy playing baseball. I'm not trying to max out the dollars. Sixteen million, this is the top for me. I don't want more than that. I'll probably have to take a cut, and that's fine, as long as I'm here."

Davis told MLB.com that he is open to making as little as $10 million per year, as long as he is guaranteed an additional two years with the A's, taking him through 2021. If that's the case, it would represent a change from last offseason, when Davis' camp proposed a three-year deal with a much higher average annual value, sources said. There has been little dialogue between the two sides since then.

Davis likely could get more than $10 million per year on the open market after hitting more homers (133) than anyone else since the beginning of 2016, but perhaps he is looking to avoid free agency after seeing the challenges many players have faced the past two offseasons.

"It's not a good thing being a free agent right now," he said. "I'm already 31. I don't know if I'm too old. There's a lot of things that run through my head."

Video: Slusser on a potential extension for Davis

What does Machado's deal with Padres mean for Harper?
Feb. 20: The news of Manny Machado's record-breaking $300 million contract with the Padres will impact the Hot Stove in a number of ways. Most of all, however, it will effect what happens with Bryce Harper, who now is the biggest free agent still in play.

The Padres were reported to have been in on Harper, too. Could they still be a possibility if they're willing to splurge like crazy? Otherwise, it is believed the Phillies are positioned as the likely favorite for the star outfielder at this stage, although the Nationals, White Sox and Giants also cannot be counted out.

The question now becomes: How hard will the Phillies push to get a deal done with Harper, seeing as he's the biggest name on the open market and has been their primary target recently? Oh, and also: Is Harper's agent Scott Boras now going to ensure that his client scores an even bigger total salary than Machado, as MLB.com's Todd Zolecki suggests?

Tweet from @ToddZolecki: OK, so that's the number that Scott Boras will insist he beats for Bryce Harper. https://t.co/RtNZsraj6a

Here's more on how Machado's deal could impact Harper.

Arenado takes notice of Machado's deal
Feb. 19: Manny Machado's 10-year, $300 million agreement with the Padres became the talk of baseball Tuesday. That tends to happen when a record free-agent contract is being hammered out. With Machado headed to San Diego, plenty of focus shifted to what might happen with Bryce Harper -- the other 26-year-old superstar free agent on the market this offseason.

But one another big-name player who took notice was Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado, as MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggests that Machado's massive contract "should benefit" both Harper and Arenado, the latter of whom continues to have conversations with Colorado about a long-term extension and recently said he would not consider Opening Day as a deadline for discussions.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Harper and Arenado both should benefit from Manny Machado���s 10-year, $300M deal with the #Padres - Harper because he now has Team Stupid Money (the #Phillies) to himself and Arenado because #Rockies know his price might only rise. Rockies, Arenado still talking extension.

Of course, Arenado's situation is different from Machado's in a number of ways. For one, he is more than a year older and will turn 28 on April 16, whereas Machado is entering his age-26 season in 2019. For another, Machado may have increased his value by showing he could handle shortstop last year with the O's and Dodgers; Arenado is an elite defensive third baseman, but he has never played anything other than the hot corner in the Majors.

And most importantly, Machado landed his deal as a free agent, meaning he had the ability to negotiate with all 30 clubs, thus driving up his market and price. Arenado remains under club control for another season.

For his part, Arenado indicated he's unsure how much impact Machado's pact could have on his own talks with the Rockies. "I don't know if it has an effect on me," Arenado said. "Your mind always is wondering what's out there [in free agency]. Hey, I'm in this position. I don't know what it's like out there. Part of me wants to find out, but part of me is like, 'Hey, man, I want to be one of the best Rockies players of all time.' So those are things I think about."

Red Sox have talked extension with Sale, Bogaerts
Feb. 19: In a meeting with media members Monday, Red Sox principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner confirmed that the team has discussed contract extensions with left-hander Chris Sale and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who are both eligible for free agency after the upcoming season.

Boston is determined not to repeat the mistake it made five years ago with Jon Lester, who was entering his final year with the Red Sox in 2014 and indicated he would be willing to take a hometown discount to re-sign. However, the club got negotiations started on the wrong foot when it offered the left-hander a contract (four years, $70 million) that was well below market value.

"I think we blew the Jon Lester [negotiations]," Henry said. "We blew signing him in Spring Training. For reasons that are pretty apparent now, which I won't go into, but they're apparent."

As MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal writes for The Athletic (subscription required), the Red Sox could be especially motivated to keep Sale from hitting the open market, as he will likely be a target for both the Yankees and the Astros, as well as a number of other clubs.

Sale has faded in the second half in each of the past two seasons, and he made multiple trips to the disabled list with a shoulder injury in 2018, calling his durability into question. But there's no question that, when healthy, the southpaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball. The 29-year-old has recorded a 2.56 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and a 545-to-77 K/BB ratio over 372 1/3 innings during his first two years with the Red Sox, following up his excellent tenure with the White Sox. He has made it known he'd like to stay in Boston.

The Red Sox several big-name players who are eligible for free agency over the next two years, with Rick Porcello, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. joining Sale and Bogaerts. Bogaerts shared his thoughts Tuesday on Manny Machado's agreement on a record contract with the Padres -- one that could, in some way, have a ripple effect for Boston.

Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez can opt out of his contract in 2019 and '20. Werner said on WEEI on Monday that the team has not had discussions with Martinez about working out a new deal.

Mariners interested in Maldonado 
Feb. 19: Seattle currently has Omar Narvaez as its starting catcher for Opening Day following the trade that sent Mike Zunino to Tampa Bay, but that could change soon. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports the Mariners are one of several teams looking at veteran catcher Martin Maldonado, who remains a free agent. 

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Mariners are among teams interested in Martin Maldonado, one of many major league free agents still out there

Maldonado, 32, split time between the Angels and Astros in 2018. He is seen as one of MLB's strongest defensive catchers, but has been limited offensively, slashing just .225/.276/.351 with nine homers last year. Still, Maldonado could add a veteran presence to a Seattle club that will shift toward developing its younger talent moving forward.

Yankees have talked extension with Betances' agent
Feb. 18: With Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino all under contract beyond 2019, the Yankees' bullpen is positioned to withstand the potential departure of Dellin Betances as a free agent after the upcoming season.

However, the club is seemingly looking to prevent Betances from ever getting to the open market. The right-hander arrived at Yankees camp Monday and revealed that his agent has discussed a contract extension with general manager Brian Cashman.

Tweet from @BryanHoch: Proud papa Dellin Betances has arrived in #Yankees camp. He said that his agent has had extension talks with Brian Cashman and added, ���I love New York.���

Betances has been one of the most dominant bullpen arms in the game over the past five seasons, posting a 2.22 ERA with a 14.6 K/9 mark in that span. He is the only reliever to top 100 strikeouts in all five of those years. After struggling late in 2017 and early last season, Betances returned to form by recording a 1.78 ERA over his final 51 appearances in 2018.

The 30-year-old will earn $7.125 million in 2019, as he reached an agreement with the Yankees in January to avoid arbitration.

Red Sox's stance on Kimbrel remains the same
Feb. 18: The Red Sox have maintained a consistent stance on Craig Kimbrel over the past few months, with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski saying multiple times that he doesn't expect the team to make a "large expenditure" on a closer.

It was more of the same from Tom Werner on Monday, as the team chairman said "it's extremely unlikely" Boston will re-sign Kimbrel. More >

Are Harper and Machado close to inking deals?
Feb. 18: Are the finish lines in the races to sign superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in view? According to former MLB general manager Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, Harper could be putting pen to paper by Friday, and Machado may be well down that path as well.

"We're now getting multiple sources [that] are hearing the same thing," Bowden said, " ... that Harper is probably very close to a deal with the Phillies, and Machado is probably very close to a deal with the Padres."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@JimBowdenGM thinks the free agency saga of @Bharper3407 is coming to an end, and we should have resolution soon. "I think the good news for baseball, is we're getting close to the end here and I think we'll know for sure by Friday." #Phillies #Nationals pic.twitter.com/3w08YCB6o2

Bowden did add the caveat, however, that there have been several past examples of players apparently close to deals with certain clubs, when "with a stealth airplane a GM or an owner will come in and blow things out at the last minute. Until it is signed and the language is all there, anything can happen."

Specifically, Bowden mentioned that in Harper's case, the Nationals, Yankees or White Sox could jump in at the last minute and up their offer for Harper even if all indications were that he'd sign with the Phillies.

Bowden also said he's hearing that Harper's deal will exceed the record 13-year, $325 million contract Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in 2014. More on Harper > More on Machado >

Padres and White Sox 'remain strong factors' in pursuit of Machado
Feb. 18: MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports that the Padres and White Sox, two clubs who, along with the Phillies, are seen as the frontrunners to land superstar free agent Manny Machado, "remain strong factors" in the Machado sweepstakes.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #WhiteSox remain strong factor along with #Padres in Machado sweepstakes, sources tell The Athletic. Machado is said to be first choice of both front offices and preference of #Phillies��� front office as well, though ownerships in SD and PHI might not see it as convincingly.

The Padres have made Machado an offer of at least eight years and $250 million, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. MLB.com's AJ Cassavell reported that it is believed that offer will not be eclipsed. Meanwhile, the White Sox, who have reportedly made Machado an offer of seven years and $175 million, have made several Machado-friendly moves this offseason, including trading for his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and signing a close friend in outfielder Jon Jay. Chicago also has one of the top farm systems in the game, with a lot of talent that could make an impact in the next couple of years. That is also the case, however, with San Diego.

Rosenthal adds that Machado is the preference for the front office of all three clubs, though "ownerships in San Diego and Philadelphia might not see it as convincingly." Phillies owner John Middleton famously said early in the offseason that the organization may be "a little bit stupid" in how it spends its money, with Bryce Harper, another 26-year-old superstar free agent, still on the market. Heyman reported Sunday that the Padres have made Harper an offer that exceeds the offer made to Machado. More >

Moustakas' return to Milwaukee has ripple effects
Feb. 17: Mike Moustakas is headed back to the Brewers, as a source told MLB.com he has agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract that includes a mutual option for 2020.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Free-agent Mike Moustakas in agreement with #Brewers on a one-year contract, pending a physical, sources tell The Athletic.

Milwaukee acquired Moustakas, 30, at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last summer, and he went on to hit .256/.326/.441 with eight home runs over 54 games while helping the Crew reach the postseason and make it all the way to the National League Championship Series.

With Moustakas back with the Brewers, here's a look at some of the ripple effects for Milwaukee, as well as other clubs that had been linked to the third baseman.

Video: Moustakas returns to Brewers according to a source

Could Keuchel be missing piece for Braves?
Feb. 17: First, the Braves signed slugger Josh Donaldson  to be their third baseman and brought back Brian McCann , who last played for Atlanta in 2013, to help at catcher. Most recently, the club re-signed outfielder Nick Markakis . That checks off three boxes on general manager Alex Anthopoulos' offseason to-do list.

One that hasn't been checked off yet? Adding a starting pitcher, ideally of the frontline variety. Could Dallas Keuchel  -- the top starter still on the open market -- be that for the Braves? More >

Is Marwin to Minneapolis the perfect match?
Feb. 17: Why would Marwin Gonzalez to the Twins be the right fit? According to MLB.com's Richard Justice, while it's true Minnesota has made some offensive upgrades, particularly by signing veteran slugger Nelson Cruz, Gonzalez would be "an insurance policy for the things that don't go right."

Since Gonzalez is the ultimate super-utility player, having played every position but pitcher and catcher, and the Twins could use more depth pretty much all over the diamond, such a signing would make a lot of sense.

Gonzalez had a breakout 2017 campaign for the World Series champion Astros, hitting .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers in 515 plate appearances. He took a step back last year, slashing .247/.324/.409 with 16 homers in 552 plate appearances. Nevertheless, he's 29 years old and has proven his ability to hit in addition to his added value from his versatility.

The Twins are looking up at the Indians in what could very well be a competitive American League Central in '19. Not to mention, bringing in Gonzalez also could take away a possible target for Cleveland, which has been looking to upgrade and add depth to its outfield.

The latest Gonzalez free-agent rumors

MLB.com

Marwin Gonzalez followed a breakout 2017 (.303/.377/.530) with a solid season in '18, posting a .733 OPS to go with 25 doubles and 16 home runs in a career-high 552 plate appearances. That and the 29-year-old's ability to play strong defense at multiple positions, including shortstop, second base and left field, make him an intriguing option for any number of clubs.

Below is a rundown of the latest news and rumors surrounding the versatile veteran.

Marwin Gonzalez followed a breakout 2017 (.303/.377/.530) with a solid season in '18, posting a .733 OPS to go with 25 doubles and 16 home runs in a career-high 552 plate appearances. That and the 29-year-old's ability to play strong defense at multiple positions, including shortstop, second base and left field, make him an intriguing option for any number of clubs.

Below is a rundown of the latest news and rumors surrounding the versatile veteran.

White Sox could shift focus to Marwin
Feb. 20: The White Sox missed out on Manny Machado, who rebuffed their offer to head to the Padres. On top of that, it seems Chicago also may be out on Bryce Harper, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who suggests, however, that Marwin Gonzalez could be an option on the South Side.

Tweet from @BNightengale: The Chicago #WhiteSox, who are out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, still plan to make some smaller improvements to team after Manny Machado chose the #Padres. Versatile infielders Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison, along with starter Gio Gonzalez, still on the free-agent board.

As the White Sox continue to rebuild, they may find Gonzalez extremely useful, because he could play just about anywhere on the diamond and help fill in holes as they arise via injury or lack of development from young players adjusting to the Major Leagues.

Fellow versatile veteran Josh Harrison also could have been a fit for Chicago, as Nightengale suggests, but he agreed to a one-year deal with the Tigers on Wednesday, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Gonzalez offers more offensive upside than Harrison, making it likely he will have more suitors, and thus cost more -- in both years and dollars -- to sign.

Is Marwin to Minneapolis the perfect match?
Feb. 16: Why would Marwin Gonzalez to the Twins be the right fit? According to MLB.com's Richard Justice, while it's true Minnesota has made some offensive upgrades, particularly by signing veteran slugger Nelson Cruz, Gonzalez would be "an insurance policy for the things that don't go right."

Since Gonzalez is the ultimate super-utility player, having played every position but pitcher and catcher, and the Twins could use more depth pretty much all over the diamond, such a signing would make a lot of sense.

Gonzalez had a breakout 2017 campaign for the World Series champion Astros, hitting .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers in 515 plate appearances. He took a step back last year, slashing .247/.324/.409 with 16 homers in 552 plate appearances. Nevertheless, he's 29 years old and has proven his ability to hit in addition to his added value from his versatility. And the Twins are looking up at the Indians in what could very well be a competitive American League Central in '19.

Marwin in Cleveland? Don't rule it out
Feb. 8: The Indians might have the most uncertain outfield situation in the Majors, and they may now be forced to enter the regular season without All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is expected to be held out of game action for seven to nine weeks due to a right calf strain.

Cleveland is still arguably the favorite in the American League Central, but the team has a great deal of question marks. Meanwhile, the Twins have improved this offseason, and the up-and-coming White Sox could add Manny Machado to the mix. The division race should be a much tougher fight than it was in 2018, with the Tribe won it by 13 games.

The Indians made several moves to trim payroll this offseason, so a major addition may not be forthcoming. But if Cleveland does want to dip into the free-agent market for some insurance, there just so happens to be someone available who can play the outfield and provide depth at shortstop … looking at you, Marwin Gonzalez.

So, could the Indians find some extra cash to sign the ultra-versatile Gonzalez? Cleveland projects to open the campaign with a payroll below $120 million, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The team began 2018 at roughly $134 million, meaning there is likely room to ink the 29-year-old, even if the Tribe wants to stay below last year's Opening Day mark.

Finding the right fit for Marwin
Feb. 6: Trying to find a match for Marwin Gonzalez should be easy. He's a play-just-about-anywhere defensive specialist with a potent offensive profile who is very much in his prime at age 29. In other words, he could be a fit for just about any team, even more so because he's unlikely to command a hefty, long-term contract.

But in a way, Gonzalez's level of versatility and value actually makes it somewhat challenging to come up with just the right fit because it's easy to see him with most clubs. Here's one possibility that might be especially on point, though.

Gonzalez to Cleveland is "an idea that would help the Indians by giving them backup plans all over the diamond," Eno Sarris of The Athletic writes in a column looking at five contenders with glaring holes (subscription required). "He's a switch-hitter and could find a more permanent home in the outfield if Jake Bauers is definitely a first baseman, anywhere on the infield if someone gets hurt, and could even be a first baseman in a pinch."

Sarris suggests a three-year, $30 million contract would be enough to land Gonzalez at this stage of the offseason, and it likely wouldn't be beyond Cleveland's budget. With one of baseball's best rotations built around Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger, as well as a star-studded infield featuring Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez already in place, the Tribe has a glaring need for outfield help. Gonzalez would address that, in particular, providing a proven corner option to play alongside Leonys Martin in center.

Are White Sox a match for Marwin?
Feb. 1: The White Sox have spent much of the winter being connected to free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the two biggest names on the open market. There's still a chance they could land one of those two stars, but should they be setting their sights a little lower -- or at least, have a good backup plan in mind, in case they don't snag either Machado or Harper?

Like, say, Marwin Gonzalez?

"Frankly, this is a commitment that would make much more sense than a Machado or Harper signing for a rebuilding team that is simultaneously trying to climb the ladder and evaluate where the holes in the lineup are," MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince writes in a column listing six bold predictions for the month of February. "Gonzalez can plug and play all over the place, and for a team with question marks in the corner outfield and in regard to Yoan Moncada 's long-term home (second base or third?), that's an asset."

Gonzalez's versatility would be an asset for any team, but it might come in especially handy for the White Sox, who have a ton of young talent that either has barely broken into the big leagues or is on the verge of doing so. Put simply: Chicago will need time and flexibility when it comes to playing and evaluating what should be its up-and-coming core. Gonzalez can provide that, because he can play anywhere in the infield and either outfield corner spot.

"Money does not seem to be an issue here," Castrovince continues. "The White Sox have reportedly been in pursuit of Machado and Harper, and Gonzalez won't come close to that kind of contract. And if we can assume that the Harper and Machado sagas will finally be resolved this month, then the other dominoes can fall, too. Gonzalez to the Windy City would work."

While it's unclear what sort of contract Gonzalez is seeking or what he might wind up being paid, it'll surely be a fraction of the price to land Machado or Harper. That could give the White Sox the chance to see what they have in Moncada for another year, get a long look at rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez on the South Side and also figure out how close infielder Nick Madrigal -- an advanced college bat who was the No. 4 overall pick in last year's Draft -- is to making an impact in the big leagues.

Then maybe the club could make a big free agency push next offseason, when big-name position players like Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon are due to hit the market.

What are the chances the Astros will re-sign Keuchel, Marwin?
Jan. 31: Astros owner Jim Crane stirred up some buzz last week when he hinted that the club might be interested in bringing back free agents Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez, but is a reunion with either one actually in play?

MLB.com's Brian McTaggart considers Keuchel more likely to return than Gonzalez, as the Astros don't have an immediate need for the utility man after signing Michael Brantley and trading for Aledmys Diaz. However, that doesn't mean Houston is particularly likely to re-sign the left-hander. McTaggart gave it less than a 20 percent chance of happening, and the chances might be even lower now after Houston reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with southpaw Wade Miley on Thursday.

However, it sounds like the Astros haven't completely closed the door on Keuchel, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Houston is still hoping to bring him back.

Tweet from @BNightengale: The #Astros, after signing Wade Miley to one year,$4.5 million deal, still hope to bring back former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel too

Miley could replace Keuchel in the Astros' rotation, and Houston could fill the spots vacated by Charlie Morton, who signed with the Rays, and Lance McCullers Jr., who underwent Tommy John surgery, with a combination of Collin McHugh, Josh James, Brad Peacock and Forrest Whitley -- MLB's Pipeline's No. 7 overall prospect -- among others.

Video: Crane, Luhnow hope to cut deals with Keuchel, Marwin

Marwin Gonzalez

The latest Harper free-agent rumors

MLB.com

After a seven-season tenure with the Nationals that included a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, an NL MVP Award in 2015 and six All-Star nods, Bryce Harper is now a free agent for the first time.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the outfielder.

After a seven-season tenure with the Nationals that included a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, an NL MVP Award in 2015 and six All-Star nods, Bryce Harper is now a free agent for the first time.

Below you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the outfielder.

Are White Sox out on Harper?
Feb. 20: The White Sox coveted Manny Machado but missed out on landing him when he agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres. The White Sox, however, also have been linked aplenty to Bryce Harper, the other superstar who remains readily available, so the expectation is that they could pivot and make a run at the slugging outfielder, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

The White Sox "are out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes," according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Tweet from @BNightengale: The Chicago #WhiteSox, who are out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, still plan to make some smaller improvements to team after Manny Machado chose the #Padres. Versatile infielders Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison, along with starter Gio Gonzalez, still on the free-agent board.

Nightengale adds that Chicago still is planning to adjust its roster, but the front office may do so not with a big-name free agent, but rather by targeting versatile veterans like Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison. Lefty starter Gio Gonzalez also could be a possibility, Nightengale suggests.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman checks in to say that "at least five teams are believed [to] still [be] in contact" with Harper, who "is believed to have turned down multiple offers over $300M in recent weeks." The Phillies, Giants and Nationals look like the leaders at this point, ahead of the Padres and White Sox, according to Heyman.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Bryce Harper is believed to have turned down multiple offers over 300M in recent weeks. at least 5 teams are believed still in contact, tho Philly, SF and perhaps Wash appear to have more chance than SD (just gave 300M to Manny) and CWS (seemed more focused on MM)

The Phillies have been thought of as the favorites to sign Harper for most of the offseason, although it's recently been reported that there's at least something of a question about how comfortable Harper is with the idea of going to Philadelphia. The Phillies also were in the mix for Machado, so missing out on him would appear to raise the stakes on their pursuit of Harper.

How Machado's record-breaking deal with Padres impacts Harper
Feb. 19: Manny Machado appears to have found a new team. The superstar infielder has agreed to a deal with the Padres, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: BREAKING: Free agent star Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources tell ESPN.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand confirms the news, adding that the contract is for 10 years and $300 million -- a record for the biggest free-agent contract in the history of MLB and all American sports. Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million deal with the Marlins back in 2014 is the only larger contract; that was an extension, not a free-agent pact.

Tweet from @Feinsand: BREAKING: Manny Machado has agreed to terms on a deal with the Padres. According to a league source, it���s for 10 years and $300 million - the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports.

Speculation had been picking up around Machado the past few days, with the Padres and White Sox considered the frontrunners. The Phillies also were in the mix, although their main focus may be on outfielder Bryce Harper, the other star free agent still available. With Machado headed to San Diego, expect Harper buzz to swell to a crescendo.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: Manny Machado's deal, as @Feinsand first reported, is for 10 years and $300 million with an opt-out after the fifth season.A monumental deal -- the single biggest free agent contract in American sports history.And now every eye in baseball turns to Bryce Harper. His move.

The Padres were reported to have been in on Harper, too, and while it's hard to imagine they would land both stars, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports they "aren't ruling [it] out."

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Padres are pulling off one surprise (once Manny���s finalized) but here���s another shocker : they aren���t ruling out Bryce Harper, too. 110M payroll (with MM) is still lower than most.

Still, it is believed that the Phillies are positioned as the likely favorites for the star outfielder at this stage, although the Nationals, White Sox and Giants also cannot be counted out.

The question now becomes: How hard will the Phillies push to get a deal done with Harper, seeing as he's the biggest name on the open market and has been their primary target recently? Oh, and also: Is Harper's agent Scott Boras now going to ensure that his client scores an even bigger total salary than Machado, as MLB.com's Todd Zolecki suggests?

Tweet from @ToddZolecki: OK, so that's the number that Scott Boras will insist he beats for Bryce Harper. https://t.co/RtNZsraj6a

For what it's worth, Andy Martino of SNY is hearing that Harper actually might be "unsure about Philly" -- a factor that might be mitigated if the Phillies are willing to give him an outright record contract.

Tweet from @martinonyc: Have been hearing lately Bryce Harper unsure about Philly. They'd better convince him for their sake.

Tweet from @martinonyc: Heard the same thing reiterated from a different source. Harper said to be reluctant to go to Philly. If they can get to $326 mil -- beating Stanton's deal, that could overrule his doubts. https://t.co/YgnIsprkMx

Otherwise, failing to bring in Harper could be a problem for the club, especially since its fan base has been expecting to land either Machado or Harper all winter after comments early in the offseason about how the ownership might be "a little bit stupid" in how it spends money.

Is finish line in sight for Harper, and will it be a record-breaking deal?
Feb. 19: Are the finish lines in the races to sign superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in view? According to former MLB general manager Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, Harper could be putting pen to paper by Friday, and Machado may be well down that path as well.

"We're now getting multiple sources [that] are hearing the same thing," Bowden said, " ... that Harper is probably very close to a deal with the Phillies, and Machado is probably very close to a deal with the Padres."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@JimBowdenGM thinks the free agency saga of @Bharper3407 is coming to an end, and we should have resolution soon. "I think the good news for baseball, is we're getting close to the end here and I think we'll know for sure by Friday." #Phillies #Nationals pic.twitter.com/3w08YCB6o2

Bowden did add the caveat, however, that there have been several past examples of players apparently close to deals with certain clubs, when "with a stealth airplane a GM or an owner will come in and blow things out at the last minute. Until it is signed and the language is all there, anything can happen."

Specifically, Bowden mentioned that in Harper's case, the Nationals, Yankees or White Sox could jump in at the last minute and up their offer for Harper even if all indications were that he'd sign with the Phillies.

Bowden also said he's hearing that Harper's deal will exceed the record 13-year, $325 million contract Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in 2014. 

Earlier on Monday, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted that it could take a few more days to get to the finish line for Harper.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: With several teams, Harper derby may take a few or even several more days. Besides favored Phillies there are at least the Giants, Padres, White Sox and perhaps incumbent Nats. Wash hasn���t been at forefront but could come late. Rumor they have right to match at end is untrue tho.

Heyman echoes Bowden, tweeting that the Phillies are believed to be the favorites. But he also notes the Giants, Padres and White Sox are also in the mix, and the Nationals might be as well. While Washington hasn't been at the forefront, the club could come in late, Heyman adds, though the rumor that the Nats are going to be given the chance to match any offer for Harper is untrue.

• Here are the ramifications if Harper signs with the Giants

Heyman described Harper discussions as "intensified" on Sunday and reported that the outfielder has "multiple long-term offers for more than $30 million a year" on the table. One of those offers is said to be from San Diego, with the club reportedly entering a bid over $250 million. The Padres also made a substantial offer to Machado, sources told MLB.com's AJ Cassavell.

The market for Harper appears to be more robust now than it has been at any point since he became a free agent in November, and Boras likely isn't in a rush to end the process without seeing if he can drum up a bidding war between the teams involved. It could also benefit Harper to wait and see if Machado accepts the Padres' offer, which is believed to be the largest on the table for the 26-year-old infielder. While signing Machado would take San Diego out of the running for Harper, it could in turn cause some of the other clubs that are in on Harper to get more aggressive.

Heyman: 'Intensified' Harper talks are 'heating up'
Feb. 17: There's been plenty of buzz around Bryce Harper over the past 48 hours or so. Could a resolution to the superstar slugger's free agency be coming soon?

"Things are heating up" for Harper, with the Phillies being seen as the favorite and the Padres making an offer higher than $250 million, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, who describes the discussions as "intensified" but also cautions that "nothing is done yet." Heyman follows up to point out that Harper is talking to other suitors -- including perhaps the Nationals, Giants and White Sox -- and has "multiple long-term offers for more than $30 million a year" on the table. Sources told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that while the Phillies and Harper's agent Scott Boras have been talking recently and making progress, nothing is imminent. Meanwhile, Philly also remains in contact with Manny Machado.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Things are heating up with Harper. Intensified is the word I heard. Phillies are the favorite, but word remains that nothing���s done yet. Will be a long-term deal.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: As things heat up, hear Harper is talking to other teams beyond Philly, and Philly is still talking to both Harper and Machado. Feels like Philly-Harper is the most likely match at this point tho.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Harper talks with Phillies appear to be intensifying, but no word anything���s done and to this point it seems other interested teams haven���t been told they are out. That includes Padres, Nats, Giants, Chisox, multiple mystery teams.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: As things intensify, Bryce Harper has multiple long-term offers for more than 30M a year. Philly is viewed as the favorite, as said here, but it is also said to an ���evolving��� market.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Padres aren���t kidding around and are said to have made serious offers for both Machado and Harper. Their bid for Machado is believed to be for about $250M (and about 8 years) tho there is the Cali tax and possibly deferrals. Bid for Harper believed to be for more than that.

This comes two days after a report started circulating and gaining some steam Friday afternoon that Harper just might be on the verge of finding a new home.

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

"Maybe I took a little bit of a leap of faith here based on some indications I got from a real good source," said Russell, who has heard that Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, as well as his wife have been meeting since Monday in his hometown of Las Vegas. "But I'm led to believe by the people that I've talked to that are close to the situation -- and I have, again, a real good source that has helped me through this process, let's just leave it at that -- that Bryce was in a mood to celebrate yesterday. Now, the source said, 'I believe it's done.'

"I don't have concrete, 100 percent proof for you guys," Russell continued. "I wish I did, otherwise I would have it and I would be running around with it. ... But that's what I was led to believe, that this thing is now decided."

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.

"I keep hearing there's a lot of momentum and traction here on [Harper] going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies," Bowden said. "He could be rounding third and heading home shortly."

Tweet from @CBSSportsHQ: "I keep hearing there's a lot of momentum and traction here on [Bryce Harper] going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.He could be rounding third and heading home shortly."-@JimBowdenGM says Bryce Harper could be making his announcement very soon. pic.twitter.com/WxIFU275Zr

Meanwhile, Harper commented on an Instagram post by Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins on Friday, which showed Hoskins walking with bat and glove at the Phillies' Spring Training complex in Clearwater, Fla. Harper's comment was "suhhhhh kiiiiiiid."

Tweet from @JClarkNBCS: Bryce Harper commenting on Rhys Hoskins Instagram!!!! 👀 🤔 #Phillies ������������🌴 pic.twitter.com/gdDiLBEUzz

The speculation indeed continues to swirl around Harper. As it does, we'll keep you up to date on the latest. In the meantime, here's a look at the impact Harper would have if he joins the Phillies, according to MLB.com's Andrew Simon.

Here's how Harper could fit with Yankees
Feb. 15: The Yankees have made several additions this offseason to bolster their roster ahead of another run at reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009. The club has brought in the likes of James Paxton, Adam Ottavino, Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu and brough back J.A. Happ, CC Sabathia and Zack Britton. But is that enough to overtake the powerhouse Red Sox?

While it may be, with superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still on the free-agent market, MLB.com's Mike Lupica asks: How much farther would the organization go financially to tilt the scales more sharply in its favor? Signing Harper or Machado certainly would do that, but neither will come cheap, and the Yankees already have a payroll in the $220 million range.

"Yankees fans want [owner Hal] Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman to finish the job this season," Lupica writes. "[If] it turns out that they haven't spent enough, and Machado or Harper might make all the difference, Yankees fans aren't going to want to hear about how fiscally responsible the team is being." More >

Here's a look at how Harper, in particular, could fit into the Yankees' roster and lineup, courtesy of MLB.com's Andrew Simon.

Video: Harper, Machado keep Yankees on their radar

Which teams have the best chance at landing Harper?
Feb. 13: Bryce Harper has been connected to several teams since the offseason began, but while a few clubs have emerged to be seen as frontrunners, which teams have the best chance to land the superstar free agent? MLB.com's Mark Feinsand ranked every potential landing spot for Harper based on the likelihood that the club signs him.

The "longshots" on Feinsand's list are the Cubs, Yankees, and Giants, with San Francisco being the most recent club to join the Harper Sweepstakes by meeting with him in Las Vegas last week. The next category up is "contenders," in which Feinsand places the Padres and White Sox. San Diego is also a recent entrant into the "Harper Bazaar" as his agent, Scott Boras, called it early in the offseason, and also sent a delegation to meet with Harper. The White Sox have shown serious interest this offseason in both Harper and fellow 26-year-old free agent Manny Machado, even though Chicago is currently in the middle of a rebuild with a lot of talent in the pipeline.

Finally, in the "favorites" category are the Phillies and Harper's former team, the Nationals. Philadelphia made it no secret at the start of the offseason that it intended to spend big. Washington reportedly offered Harper a 10-year, $300 million contract at the end of last season, which he declined, but it has been reported since then that the Nats increased their offer substantially and are definitely in the running.

"The Phillies have been the odds-on favorites to land Harper and/or Machado from the outset of the offseason, and many believe they will still ultimately sign one of them," writes Feinsand. "Last week's trade for J.T. Realmuto made the Phillies' roster even more attractive for a free agent, though some have wondered whether either Harper or Machado wants to play in Philly."

With respect to the Nationals, Feinsand writes that "the consensus is that Boras will give Nationals ownership a chance to exceed [or at least match] the biggest offer before Harper signs elsewhere." More >

Video: When will Harper and Machado sign new deals?

Is Harper open to a short-term deal?
Feb. 13: While it has been reported that the Giants are hoping to sign Bryce Harper to a shorter-term contract, the star slugger "is not signing -- or even considering -- short-term deals," according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Despite rumored offers/wishes of teams, word is Bryce Harper is not signing ��� or even considering ��� short-term deals.

That is similar to what MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi is hearing. "According to what I was told by a source, Harper is not actively discussing a short-term deal right now with the Giants," Morosi says. "At this point in time, Harper's mindset is still the longer-term deal. I think if Harper was going to sign a short-term deal, if that was a preference of his, he would have done so by now."

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that there's even skepticism among some of the people involved in the discussions that the Giants would generate the type of offer that will sway the slugger to pick San Francisco.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: There continues to be skepticism among some of the folks involved in the Giants/Harper conversation that San Francisco would generate the kind of offer that would sway the slugger. More smoke than fire at this point, in eyes of some involved.

Still, USA Today's Bob Nightengale thinks that the club is a strong place, telling San Francisco radio station KNBR that the Giants and Phillies look like the finalists to land the superstar outfielder.

"Right now, I really do think it's the Giants and the Phillies. It's a two-team race here," said Nightengale, who thinks San Francisco and Philadelphia are neck and neck. "With the Giants moving in and all the optimism, I do believe it's a coin flip," Nightengale said. "I think for the Phillies to get Harper, they're going to have to grossly outbid the Giants to get him. I really do. I think if it's close, he goes to San Francisco. If there's a huge gap, it's tough to walk away from that kind of money."

On the other hand, Nightengale believes the Nationals and Dodgers -- two of the other suitors most strongly linked to Harper this offseason -- are "definitely out of it."

The Giants did make a move to address their outfield Tuesday, bringing in Gerardo Parra on a Minor League deal. While Parra has a good chance to make the team, a source told Morosi that the Giants, who have a full 40-man roster, remain hopeful to sign Harper and didn't want to add another outfielder to their 40-man roster until Harper's situation is settled. Hence, the Minor League contract for Parra.

Video: MLB Tonight on Harper not looking for short-term deal

Could Giants add Harper and still go through rebuild?
Feb. 11: The Giants recently entered the race for Bryce Harper, sparking comparisons to the 1992-93 offseason, when San Francisco signed Barry Bonds after a 72-90 season.

With Bonds in the fold, the Giants won 103 games in 1993. Could Harper lead this San Francisco club to a similar turnaround and help the franchise get another few postseason runs from its aging core? Perhaps that's what new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and team president and CEO Larry Baer are hoping.

However, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman suggests that signing Harper could be a "middle-ground move" that keeps the club relevant while Zaidi reconstructs the roster.

"I wonder if the Giants are in this right now because they looked left and right and said, 'Well, Bryce Harper's still out there.'" Sherman said Monday on MLB Network's "Hot Stove" program. "'Should we at least put our toe in the water and see if we can do this at a level that we like? Because he's young enough to be part of our next good team, and he's star enough to keep our fans interested in the painful period that's likely to come over the next two to three years.'"

In Sherman's view, it would be surprising if the Giants stuck with the status quo, considering the hiring of Zaidi was the organization's way of breaking free from an old-fashioned thought process and ushering in a new era. But Harper could at least prevent the club from bottoming out and losing more fans and viewers in the interim.

"When you're in a market like San Francisco, where you're selling out every day, where TV ratings do matter, where you're in competition with the 49ers and the championship Warriors, you want to make sure you don't bleed out in the two- or three- or four-year period where they're [rebuilding]."

Video: Joel Sherman on the Giants' interest in Harper

Report: Giants prefer short-term deal for Harper
Feb. 10: The Giants have emerged as a serious contender for Bryce Harper in the past week, but USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes that the club has "no desire" to make Harper an offer approaching the 10-year, $300 million deal he reportedly rejected from the Nationals in September. Rather, San Francisco plans to make Harper a lucrative short-term offer.

Of course, as Nightengale notes, ownership was willing to take on $265 million of Giancarlo Stanton's contract last offseason if it acquired him from the Marlins, so it's possible the Giants will be open to investing that type of money in Harper as well.

Harper was a popular topic during the Giants' annual FanFest at Oracle Park on Saturday. The club's CEO, Larry Baer, declined to make any predictions about where Harper will land, but did say the meeting Giants executives had with him earlier this week in Las Vegas went well and lasted four hours, longer than either side expected. Baer also said the Giants are "giving it a shot."

Video: Giants CEO Baer discusses interest in Harper

According to NBC Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, Harper spoke of his admiration of catcher Buster Posey during the meeting, and "there has been an increased sense among some in the clubhouse that Harper prefers the Giants."

On Sunday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr chimed in during a press conference, saying, "Bryce, come to San Francisco. Let's go."

Tweet from @NBCSWarriors: Coach Kerr has a message for you, @Bharper3407 😏 pic.twitter.com/KpNthKUBtM

The Giants, along with the Dodgers and Padres, are among the clubs closest to Harper's home in Las Vegas. A move to sign Harper wouldn't be unprecedented for the franchise; San Francisco plucked a 28-year-old Barry Bonds off the market in late 1992 with a six-year, $44 million contract that was, at that time, the largest in baseball history. The following season, the club won 103 games.

"There is obviously mutual interest on both sides," Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Friday. "We thought it made sense to get together. We had a good conversation over a few hours. He's obviously got a lot of suitors and a lot of interest. He's going to have some decisions to make. I think it's fair to say that was an expression of our interest level, to make the trip out there to meet with him. You don't make a trip out there to meet with a player just for show."

Zaidi, though, wouldn't go as far as saying whether the team has made a formal offer to Harper.

Video: MLB Tonight on Harper's meeting with the Giants

How Manny's mega-deal impacts Bryce, others

Is Harper set to top Machado's record-setting contract?
MLB.com

Manny Machado is set to become the richest free agent in the history of American team sports, agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million contract on Tuesday with the Padres.

How long will that record last?

Manny Machado is set to become the richest free agent in the history of American team sports, agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million contract on Tuesday with the Padres.

How long will that record last?

:: Manny Machado's deal with Padres ::

The Machado news had barely been digested when all eyes immediately turned to Bryce Harper, who remains available on the free-agent market. The consensus in the industry is that Harper will sign for more than the $300 million Machado got from San Diego, but will it be the Phillies, White Sox, Giants or Nationals -- or another team altogether? -- that step up to sign the 2015 National League MVP Award winner?

Harper's future remains the primary topic around the game, but there are some other high-profile free agents still looking for deals. With Machado off the board, the uncertainty surrounding the remaining stars should begin to sort itself out before too long. Here's a look at what may happen next for the four biggest names on the free-agent market. (Ages listed are as of Opening Day 2019.)

Bryce Harper, OF, age 26
The floor for a Harper deal is now $300,000,001, as the player and his agent, Scott Boras, entered the offseason looking to establish a record for the biggest free-agent contract in history. In truth, the magic number is probably $325,000,001, which would eclipse Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year extension as the biggest overall contract ever, but Stanton was not a free agent when he signed it.

Latest Harper free-agent rumors

Will the Phillies be the team to show Harper the money? Philadelphia has made no secret of its desire to sign either Machado or Harper, though general manager Matt Klentak said the final Machado deal "will exceed our valuation and sometimes you have to be willing to walk away." Are the Phillies comfortable paying Harper more than $300 million? If not, they will likely watch him sign elsewhere.

Then again, the White Sox said they were unable to go to $300 million for Machado, which could take them out on Harper, too. The Giants seem unlikely to offer a deal of that magnitude, but might the Nationals swoop back in and bring the long-time face of the franchise back to Washington? They reportedly had a $300 million offer on the table for Harper when the offseason started, so don't count them out.

Video: Kapler, Franco, Hoskins on Machado joining Padres

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, age 31
Once thought to be the cream of the free-agent pitching crop, Keuchel watched Patrick Corbin land a six-year, $140 million deal from the Nationals in early December, a deal many thought would set a market for the former American League Cy Young Award winner.

More than two months later, the 31-year-old remains unsigned, with no clear market having formed for his services. The Phillies remain the most sensible match, though until Harper's situation is resolved, it's unlikely Philadelphia would turn its attention to Keuchel or any other available players.

If the Phillies don't make a push for the left-hander, the Astros could move to bring him back on a short-term deal. Aside from Houston, several teams including the Braves, Brewers and Rangers have been attached to Keuchel at some point, though none seem inclined to shell out a lengthy contract in the high eight figures.

Video: Could Astros bring back Keuchel or Gonzalez?

Craig Kimbrel, RHP, age 30
Like Keuchel, Kimbrel came into the offseason looking for a nine-figure deal, so even when relievers including Andrew Miller, Zack Britton, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino came off the board, it had little impact on Kimbrel's situation.

Kimbrel's dream of a six-year, $100 million deal is in the rearview mirror, as is the hope to exceed Aroldis Chapman's closer-record deal of $86 million (over five years). Unless the Phillies miss out on Harper and decide to pivot to the other top free agents -- a scenario that sources believe is unlikely -- Kimbrel's best landing spots appear to be the Braves or Red Sox.

Boston's luxury tax situation makes a reunion tricky, as the Sox would be paying hefty penalties on top of whatever deal Kimbrel gets, while Atlanta has been hesitant to shell out big money since its early signing of Josh Donaldson. At this point, anything is on the table, and Kimbrel's deal could be a creative one. Perhaps Kimbrel could get a deal similar to Yoenis Cespedes' first big pact with the Mets, which was a three-year contract with an opt-out after one year, which Cespedes exercised and parlayed into a four-year, $110 million deal.

Video: Craig Kimbrel is the No. 1 relief pitcher right now

Marwin Gonzalez, IF/OF, age 30
One of the most interesting -- and versatile -- free agents this year is Gonzalez, who plays every position on the field aside from pitcher and catcher. Like Keuchel, Gonzalez would be an ideal candidate to return to the Astros, where manager AJ Hinch has had the luxury of using the flexible soon-to-be 30-year-old all over the diamond.

Of course, the Machado and Harper situations should not have been standing in the way of such a reunion, so it's likely been Gonzalez's contract requests that have been the biggest obstacle. Gonzalez -- another Boras client -- was reportedly seeking a deal similar to the four-year, $56 million contract Ben Zobrist signed with the Cubs in December 2015. That money hasn't really been there for anybody, as only one position player -- Machado -- has signed a deal worth at least $56 million.

Finding a fit for Gonzalez shouldn't be difficult; contending teams such as the Braves, Athletics and Rockies would all improve immediately with him on the roster. Finding a team to pay him what he's looking for seems to be the biggest problem for Gonzalez. Once Harper signs, perhaps the teams that miss out will give Gonzalez another look.

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

Marwin Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, Manny Machado

Machado to Padres on record deal, sources say

10-year, $300 million agreement is largest free-agent pact in American sports history
MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' bright future is rapidly becoming the present, and Tuesday presented the clearest evidence yet: Manny Machado is headed to San Diego.

The superstar free-agent infielder agreed to a deal with the Padres on Tuesday morning, sources have told MLB.com. The agreement is for a record $300 million over 10 years with an opt-out after five years and a partial no-trade clause, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. It's the largest free-agent deal in the history of American sports, surpassing the 10-year, $275 million contract that Alex Rodriguez signed in December 2007.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' bright future is rapidly becoming the present, and Tuesday presented the clearest evidence yet: Manny Machado is headed to San Diego.

The superstar free-agent infielder agreed to a deal with the Padres on Tuesday morning, sources have told MLB.com. The agreement is for a record $300 million over 10 years with an opt-out after five years and a partial no-trade clause, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. It's the largest free-agent deal in the history of American sports, surpassing the 10-year, $275 million contract that Alex Rodriguez signed in December 2007.

Biggest free-agent contracts in MLB history

The Padres have not yet confirmed the signing, which is pending Machado's physical. Despite multiple reports of an agreement, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said, "We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions." It's standard practice for the Padres not to comment on such agreements until they are finalized.

:: Manny Machado's deal with Padres ::

At his annual Cactus League media day session, general manager A.J. Preller avoided questions about the deal, but he spoke glowingly of Machado's skill set.

"It's no secret, Manny Machado's one of the best players in baseball," Preller said. "He's a guy that handles both sides of the field. He's an elite offensive player and an elite defender, so he's obviously a guy that can help any club."

The move, once final, would fill the Padres' third-base void, seemingly the only remaining question in the club's long-term lineup. San Diego also boasts the best farm system in baseball -- a system that includes top shortstop prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., presumably Machado's partner on the left side of the infield for a long time.

"That would be awesome," Tatis said, breaking out into a wide smile upon hearing the news. Padres fans everywhere can nod in agreement.

San Diego was in dire need of a middle-of-the-order bat, and Machado clearly provides that thump. He batted .297/.367/.538 with 37 homers last season. The Padres haven't had a hitter with 30-plus homers and a .900 OPS since Adrian Gonzalez in 2010.

Machado also fills the biggest area of long-term need. Third base was the most pressing question mark.

Video: Rosenthal on Machado reportedly signing with Padres

As things stand, it's possible Machado opens the season at shortstop -- also an area of need, as Tatis isn't expected to arrive in the Majors until at least a few weeks into the season. But the Padres have been adamant about Tatis being their long-term shortstop, meaning that Machado, who spent his first six seasons at third before shifting to short last year, is likely bound for the hot corner once again.

The deal comes on the one-year anniversary of Eric Hosmer's previous franchise-record-setting $144 million contract. Machado will presumably fill out a long-term infield that features Hosmer, prospect Luis Urias at second and Tatis at short. Here's how that lineup could look, with every player mentioned below under contract for at least the next four seasons.

1. Urias, 2B
2. Tatis, SS
3. Hosmer, 1B
4. Machado, 3B
5. Wil Myers, LF
6. Hunter Renfroe/Franmil Reyes, RF
7. Manuel Margot/Franchy Cordero, CF
8. Austin Hedges/Francisco Mejia, C

In 926 career games over parts of seven seasons, Machado has 175 home runs, 513 RBIs and a .282/.335/.487 slash line. He has played in all but 11 games over the past four seasons, more than any other player in baseball over that span.

Machado brings elite defense to the table as well. He won two American League Gold Glove Awards with Baltimore, and has regularly ranked as one of the sport's best third basemen.

In every single facet, Machado makes the Padres a better team. It remains to be seen just how quickly he expedites the arrival of their window to compete in the National League West, as the rotation remains a major question mark. But the focus has clearly shifted toward contention.

Video: Commissioner Manfred on Machado signing with Padres

"There's different ways to build a club," said Preller. "If the right guys are out there, guys that fit in the long-term plan, we want to add the right piece at the right time."

The Padres' ownership group, led by Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler, was on hand at Spring Training camp on Tuesday and addressed the media. Fowler made it clear that no deal had been finalized, and the duo couldn't confirm the news. But they're undoubtedly willing to put their chips in.

"Ron and I -- we love the city of San Diego, we love sports in San Diego, we're also well aware of the history," Seidler said. "There's never been a championship. ... We as an organization, we want to completely change that. We want our franchise to win year after year after year. And we're going to do whatever we can rationally do to help make that happen."

When asked why now might be the time to make a play for one of the top free agents, Fowler said: "There's no perfect timing. ... But there's not talent out there that becomes available every year that's as good as what we think is there now. We need a third baseman, obviously, and that's one of the reasons why those discussions started taking place. But we're not in a place where we can announce anything."

The Padres were also rumored to be after free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, but those conversations will presumably end, now that Machado is on board. The Phillies, White Sox and Yankees were also in the mix for Machado's services.

Machado was drafted by the Orioles with the third pick in the 2010 Draft -- two picks after Harper. He debuted with Baltimore on Aug. 9, 2012, and he earned his first All-Star berth and Gold Glove Award the following season. (The Padres play two games in Baltimore this season -- June 25-26.)

Video: Feinsand analyzes Machado's reported deal with Padres

In every full year Machado has played, he would've led the Padres in wins above replacement. But last season, he posted the best statistical year of his career, doing so amid constant trade talk and a position change. He was dealt to the Dodgers in July.

Machado created some unwelcomed headlines during the NL Championship Series, telling FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, "I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,'" responding to criticism about not running hard on the bases. Machado clarified the comments in November during an exclusive interview with MLB.com.

"When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn't come across how I meant it. For me, I was trying to talk about how I'm not the guy who is eye wash. There's a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I've always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team."

Video: Floyd breaks down impact of the reported Machado deal

His team, to the surprise of many, is now the San Diego Padres. And, predictably, his new teammates are thrilled about that. They learned of the news as they exited the practice fields at the Peoria Sports Complex following the first full-squad workout of the spring on Tuesday.

"He's a game-changing player," Hosmer said. "He's extremely talented. He brings that edge. We got to see what he did the last part of last year in L.A. We'll be glad to have him on our side now."

"In our meeting today, as we started, we talked about how starved this city is for wins," said Hedges. "That's what we expect to give them. Obviously the front office is making moves to help make that happen."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Manny Machado

Reds add Dietrich on Minor League deal

MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Upon the passing of his physical on Tuesday, the Reds signed infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big league camp for Spring Training.

If he makes the club, Dietrich will earn $2 million this season with the chance for an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses. His addition gives the Reds 62 players in camp.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Upon the passing of his physical on Tuesday, the Reds signed infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big league camp for Spring Training.

If he makes the club, Dietrich will earn $2 million this season with the chance for an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses. His addition gives the Reds 62 players in camp.

Dietrich, 29, was designated for assignment by the Marlins in November after six seasons with the team. He elected free agency after clearing waivers. Considered below average defensively on many advanced metrics, he was unable to land a regular position in Miami. Instead, he moved around to play first base, second base, third base and left field.

Cincinnati is expected to have a four-man bench and could benefit from the added offensive punch besides the versatility. Dietrich has proven to be a slightly above-average hitter, recording a lifetime 109 OPS+. While batting .265/.330/.421 in 149 games last season, he hit a career-high 16 homers with 45 RBIs and a 2.2 offensive WAR.

Dietrich is expected to be in camp when the Reds work out on Wednesday. He will wear No. 22.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Derek Dietrich

The latest Machado free-agent rumors

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.

Impact of Machado's record-breaking deal with Padres
Feb. 19: Manny Machado appears to have found a new team. The superstar infielder has agreed to a deal with the Padres, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: BREAKING: Free agent star Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources tell ESPN.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand confirms the news, adding that the contract is for 10 years and $300 million -- a record for the biggest free-agent contract in the history of MLB and all American sports. Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million deal with the Marlins back in 2014 is the only larger contract; that was an extension, not a free-agent pact.

Tweet from @Feinsand: BREAKING: Manny Machado has agreed to terms on a deal with the Padres. According to a league source, it���s for 10 years and $300 million - the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports.

The deal has an opt-out after the fifth year, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

Tweet from @TBrownYahoo: Opt out in Machado deal is after the fifth year. 

Passan also reports that the deal should be formally announced later this week, and will include a limited no-trade clause. 

Tweet from @JeffPassan: Manny Machado's deal with the San Diego Padres, which is expected to be announced officially on Thursday or Friday, includes a limited no-trade clause, league sources tell ESPN.

Speculation had been picking up around Machado the past few days, with the Padres and White Sox considered the frontrunners. The Phillies also were in the mix, although their main focus may be on outfielder Bryce Harper, the other star free agent still available. With Machado headed to San Diego, expect Harper buzz to swell to a crescendo.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: Manny Machado's deal, as @Feinsand first reported, is for 10 years and $300 million with an opt-out after the fifth season.A monumental deal -- the single biggest free agent contract in American sports history.And now every eye in baseball turns to Bryce Harper. His move.

As for Machado and the Padres, he will help fill the left side of their infield, perhaps covering shortstop until elite prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready to make his MLB debut, which could come as soon as the middle of 2019. It's likely that Machado eventually will cover the hot corner, however, as that was a position of great need in both the short- and long-term for San Diego.

MLB.com's AJ Cassavell runs through everything you need to know about Machado's deal and its impact on the Padres.

Padres and White Sox 'remain strong factors' in pursuit of Machado
Feb. 19: The Padres and White Sox "remain strong factors" in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, and the Phillies -- who also are pursuing Bryce Harper -- remain very much in the mix, too, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #WhiteSox remain strong factor along with #Padres in Machado sweepstakes, sources tell The Athletic. Machado is said to be first choice of both front offices and preference of #Phillies��� front office as well, though ownerships in SD and PHI might not see it as convincingly.

The Padres have made Machado an offer of at least eight years and $250 million, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. MLB.com's AJ Cassavell reported that it is believed that offer will not be eclipsed -- and that when it comes to filling its hole at third base via free agency, San Diego is going for Machado or bust. Additionally, Heyman reported Sunday that the Padres have made Harper an offer that exceeds the offer made to Machado.

Meanwhile, the White Sox -- who reportedly made Machado an offer of $175 million over seven years -- have made several Machado-friendly moves this offseason, including trading for his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and signing a close friend in outfielder Jon Jay. Like the Padres, Chicago has one of the top farm systems in the game, with a lot of talent that could make an impact in the next couple of years.

Rosenthal adds that Machado is the preference for the front office of all three clubs, though "ownerships in San Diego and Philadelphia might not see it as convincingly." Phillies owner John Middleton famously said early in the offseason that the organization may be "a little bit stupid" in how it spends its money.

Is Machado close to signing?
Feb. 18: Are the finish lines in the races to sign superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Machado in view? According to former MLB general manager Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, Harper could be putting pen to paper by Friday, and Machado may be well down that path as well.

"We're now getting multiple sources [that] are hearing the same thing," Bowden said, " ... that Harper is probably very close to a deal with the Phillies, and Machado is probably very close to a deal with the Padres."

Tweet from @MLBNetworkRadio: .@JimBowdenGM thinks the free agency saga of @Bharper3407 is coming to an end, and we should have resolution soon. "I think the good news for baseball, is we're getting close to the end here and I think we'll know for sure by Friday." #Phillies #Nationals pic.twitter.com/3w08YCB6o2

Bowden did add the caveat, however, that there have been several past examples of players apparently close to deals with certain clubs, when "with a stealth airplane a GM or an owner will come in and blow things out at the last minute. Until it is signed and the language is all there, anything can happen."

Padres reportedly make Manny an offer of around 8 years, $250 million or more
Feb. 17: With the Padres, Phillies and White Sox seen as the finalists in the Manny Machado Sweepstakes, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that San Diego has made Machado an offer of about eight years and $250 million. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee reports the offer is actually north of that, and a source told MLB.com's AJ Cassavell that the Padres' offer is "substantial" and believed to be the highest on the table for Machado, one that will likely not be topped.

Tweet from @sdutKevinAcee: I don���t know the years. But my understanding is offer to Machado is for more than $250 million. https://t.co/kSkJo5DVwo

Heyman reported earlier that it appears Machado will go with the highest offer, regardless of destination, but that if Machado would consider a shorter deal with the Yankees, New York might take him up on it.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Word is Machado will go for the ���best deal��� (ie most money), but if he���s willing to do something short term ��� very short term ��� he should try calling back the Yankees. It���s a long shot, but under those circumstances, word is they might consider Manny.

Machado seems to be a perfect fit for a long-term Padres infield that could feature Eric Hosmer at first, prospect Luis Urias at second, top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. at short and the 26-year-old superstar at third. San Diego could also use the power upgrade Machado would bring to the lineup -- the franchise hasn't had a hitter produce 30 or more home runs and an OPS of .900 or better in a season since Adrian Gonzalez in 2010.

The Padres are also still in the mix for Machado's fellow 26-year-old superstar free agent, Bryce Harper. According to Heyman, San Diego has made an offer to Harper as well, which is higher than the offer made to Machado. Though he wouldn't be an easy fit on the roster like Machado, Cassavell reports the Padres are ready to make room by dealing from their wealth of outfielders if Harper is amenable to their contract offer.

Will Moose's signing ignite Machado sweepstakes?
Feb. 17: Mike Moustakas' reported deal with the Brewers means another prominent free-agent infielder is off the board. It also means there's one less backup plan at third base for those in the sweepstakes for Manny Machado. With that in mind, will Machado's suitors shift gears and ramp up their offers, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman speculates?

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Moustakas close to returning to brewers. Said to be about 9M for 1. @Ken_Rosenthal and @JeffPassan 1st. Also had interest from angels or could have possibly waited for a manny runner up (ie padres or chisox).

The White Sox and Padres are considered by many to be the frontrunners for Machado, and both of those clubs are rumored to want him to play the hot corner rather than shortstop. Chicago has Tim Anderson entrenched at short but could use an upgrade over Yolmer Sanchez at third base; San Diego has youngster Fernando Tatis Jr. -- the No. 2 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline -- nearly ready to take over shortstop but lacks a short- or long-term answer at third.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Padres remain hopeful to land one of the two big fish (Manny seems more likely, with Harper/Phillies heating up). Chisox plus mystery teams the main competition assuming Phils get their top target.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: There was a belief Machado preferred to be east and especially not be on the West Coast. However recent word in Miami circles has been that he���s going to take whatever the best deal is. #padres

The Phillies also have been in the mix for Machado, as well as for outfielder Bryce Harper, and the latter might be the better fit in Philly. Although third baseman Maikel Franco was a 1-WAR player in 2018, he still may have some upside, and the Phillies already traded for shortstop Jean Segura this offseason.

The Angels were connected to Moustakas recently, too, so perhaps they could pivot toward Machado with the sense that no team has bowled him over with an offer to this point. The Halos, however, may not have room in their payroll for that.

And the Yankees shouldn't be counted out just yet, either, as Heyman suggests they still could be a fit -- if Machado is willing to consider a short-term deal, something Heyman calls a "long shot."

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Word is Machado will go for the ���best deal��� (ie most money), but if he���s willing to do something short term ��� very short term ��� he should try calling back the Yankees. It���s a long shot, but under those circumstances, word is they might consider Manny.

Feinsand also delves into how an Arenado extension would impact this summer's trade market, as well as next offseason's free-agent market. More >

Manny Machado

Machado to Padres: What you need to know

MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Manny Machado is San Diego-bound.

The Padres agreed to a record-setting 10-year deal with the superstar free agent on Monday morning, sources told MLB.com, though the club has not yet confirmed the news. Here's everything you need to know about the signing. 

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Manny Machado is San Diego-bound.

The Padres agreed to a record-setting 10-year deal with the superstar free agent on Monday morning, sources told MLB.com, though the club has not yet confirmed the news. Here's everything you need to know about the signing. 

:: Manny Machado's deal with Padres ::

What are the parameters of the contract?
It's a 10-year deal worth $300 million, with an opt-out for Machado after the first five years, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. That's the largest contract awarded to a free agent in American sports history, surpassing the 10-year, $275 million deal that Alex Rodriguez signed in December 2007. It's the largest given by the Padres, more than doubling Eric Hosmer's eight-year, $144 million contract signed precisely one year ago today.

Biggest free-agent contracts in MLB history

The Padres structured Machado's contract so he'd be under control through 2023 at least. They've now guaranteed that Machado's prime will link up with the emergence of baseball's top-rated farm system. If Machado opts into his deal, he'd be under control through '28.

Where is he going to play?
It's unclear where Machado opens the season. He spent six years at third base with the Orioles before transitioning to shortstop last year. The Padres have openings at both positions in the short term.

Video: Diving into Machado's reported deal with Padres

But it seems like Machado's long-term place on the diamond is already set. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the top shortstop prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. A couple of years ago there were question marks about Tatis' ability to handle shortstop. But the 20-year-old has answered those questions, becoming a well-above-average defender in the Minor Leagues.

The Padres are staunch in their belief that Tatis is their shortstop of the future, meaning Machado's heading back to the hot corner.

"With Tatis, it's been great to see the progression of adding him to the organization and seeing him continue to grow at the shortstop position," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller on Tuesday afternoon. "We think he's going to be an impact defender. ... Our opinion of Tatis, he's a shortstop. He's going to be our shortstop. That's the way we look at it."

Video: MLB Network highlights No. 2 prospect Tatis' talents

What's the Opening Day lineup now?
Machado's hitting somewhere right in the heart of it. He had 340 total bases last season. The Padres have never had an infielder record that many in a single season.

It's hard to envision a bigger upgrade in any lineup anywhere, given that six journeymen were set to compete for the third-base job, and Ty France was the projected starter.

To open the season, Manuel Margot, Ian Kinsler and Luis Urias are options for the leadoff spot. Machado could bat second, with big boppers Hosmer and Wil Myers hitting behind him. Here's how things could shake out:

1. Margot, CF
2. Machado, 3B
3. Hosmer, 1B
4. Myers, LF
5. Hunter Renfroe, RF
6. Kinsler, 2B
7. Urias, SS
8. Austin Hedges, C
What's the long-term plan for the lineup?
Tatis is expected to reach the Major Leagues at some point during the season's first two months. He could be promoted as soon as mid-April.

That'd push Urias to second base and Kinsler into something of a utility role. Here's a look at how the Padres could line up for the foreseeable future.

1. Urias, 2B
2. Tatis, SS
3. Hosmer, 1B
4. Machado, 3B
5. Myers, LF
6. Renfroe/Franmil Reyes, RF
7. Margot/Franchy Cordero, CF
8. Hedges/Francisco Mejia, C

The Padres have some legitimate depth options, and they have every single player listed above under team control for the next four seasons. (Not to mention the glut of talent waiting in the wings in the Minor Leagues.)

So, are the Padres instant contenders?
Well, maybe not just yet. The Padres finished 25 1/2 games behind the Dodgers last season, and Machado's presence alone won't bridge that gap.

The San Diego offense should make major strides in 2019, with top prospects Tatis, Urias and Mejia all expected to arrive. But the rotation is still iffy. Padres starters posted a National League-worst 5.09 ERA last season, and general manager A.J. Preller didn't add any immediate help this offseason. Garrett Richards -- who could miss the entire season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery -- was San Diego's only free-agent acquisition.

The club's stated goal was to make a run at contention in 2020. The Padres have a host of incredibly talented pitching prospects who could arrive by then. Richards will return, and so will Dinelson Lamet. It's probably realistic to expect the biggest strides to be made in '20. But the Padres certainly wouldn't mind if that timeline were moved forward by a year.

What else will the Padres do this offseason?
There's been some speculation that a Machado signing might push the Padres all-in for 2019. That seems unlikely. They probably aren't going to add a big-name starter like Dallas Keuchel, and they might not add to the rotation at all. The in-house preference has been to find out what they've got in some of their young arms.

Video: Mayo on Padres' best left-handed pitching prospects

It's still possible the Padres find a trade partner for one of their six big league-caliber outfielders. With Machado on board for a record salary, maybe the Friars look to move Myers, who is owed $64 million over the next four seasons. Reyes, Cordero and Renfroe could then compete for time in the two outfield corners. (But that trio of young outfielders could be trade bait as well -- perhaps for a starting pitcher.)

Are the Padres still in on Bryce Harper?
They almost certainly are not. No, the Machado signing is enough for one offseason.

What else do the Padres need to do?
They don't need to do anything. In fact, they're pretty content to find out how the current roster, plus Machado, holds up.

From here, the most important item on the Padres' agenda is player development. They've invested heavily in free agents over the past two offseasons, under the premise that Machado and Hosmer would perfectly complement an extremely talented group of young players. If that group of youngsters lives up to its billing, the Padres will be a force in the NL.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Manny Machado