Leaving Las Vegas: Where the market stands

Predicting potential fits for top free agents, trade candidates

December 13th, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- The Winter Meetings have come and gone, and most of the major free agents remain available for potential buyers.
The same goes for the trade market, though Thursday morning's three-team trade took off the market.
Hot Stove Tracker
To this point, the starting pitching market has been the most active, with , , J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton and all agreeing to deals, some of which have not been formally announced.
The two biggest names available continue to be Manny Machado and , though neither is expected to sign before the end of the year.
Teams used the past four days to kick the tires on a number of fronts, gaining traction on both the free-agent and trade markets. As the baseball world leaves Las Vegas, here's where the market stands:
Manny Machado

The superstar shortstop was not in Las Vegas this week, though his agent, Dan Lozano, spoke with teams about Machado. The Yankees, Phillies and White Sox are all in the mix for Machado, who will begin meeting with teams in person in the coming days. A fourth team is believed to also be in play for the All-Star, though it's unclear which club.
Potential fit: Yankees

Bryce Harper
Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, met with clubs at their suite at the Aria Resort and Casino this week, getting a feel for the superstar outfielder's market. The Phillies and White Sox appear to have serious interest, though teams including the Cubs and Dodgers are also monitoring the situation. The Yankees insist they're not in on Harper, taking a big-market club out of the picture.
Potential fit: Phillies

While the rest of the starting pitching market has been landing new deals, Keuchel -- considered to be the second-best free-agent starter behind Corbin -- has been relatively quiet. The Phillies and Reds seem to be the two most obvious candidates to sign the former Cy Young winner, though it remains to be seen how many years Keuchel will get. He's believed to be seeking six, though he might have to settle for five, or even four with a higher average annual value.
Potential fit: Reds

The star closer is reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth more than $100 million, which would blow away the previous record of five years and $86 million signed by two years ago. Several executives cast doubt that Kimbrel will be able to score that type of contract, though he could get five years and upwards of $75 million. The Red Sox have been viewed as having moved on from their closer, but they remain a potential landing spot along with the Braves, Phillies and Cardinals.
Potential fit: Phillies

The seemingly never-ending saga of J.T. Realmuto has been holding up the market for free-agent catchers, so Grandal and will likely have to wait until the Marlins move their catcher. But the Mets and White Sox are among the teams that have been linked to Grandal, so he should find a deal once the Realmuto situation is settled.
Potential fit: White Sox

A.J. Pollock
was the most notable outfielder to sign during the Winter Meetings, landing a three-year, $50 million deal from the Phillies. Pollock is considered the top outfielder available, with the Mets, Dodgers, Braves and Reds all reported to be interested. Pollock is said to be seeking a deal similar to the five-year, $80 million pact got from the Brewers last year.
Potential fit: Braves

J.T. Realmuto

Aside from Machado and Harper, no name was uttered as much this week as Realmuto, who has been rumored to be headed to at least a half-dozen clubs at different points this offseason. The Mets and Dodgers appear to be the most serious suitors, be it in a straight-up deal with the Marlins or a three-team trade. Realmuto's situation is holding up the rest of the catching market, but the teams looking for a top-notch backstop all seem to have him atop their list, viewing free agents Grandal and Ramos as Plan B.
Potential fit: Mets

We'll lump these two Indians pitchers together since it appears likely only one of them will be moved. The Dodgers have been viewed as the most obvious candidate to deal for one of them -- likely Kluber, whom they could pair with to form a lethal 1-2 combination -- though multiple teams remain in the mix. The Reds were said to be speaking with their in-state rivals, as well.
Potential fits: Dodgers (Kluber); Reds (Bauer)

The Dodgers have been actively trying to move Puig and/or Matt Kemp in an attempt to clear up their overcrowded outfield situation. The Reds have spoken with Cincinnati about a number of deals involving each of them, also putting left-hander Alex Wood into the mix, with right-hander Homer Bailey potentially going back to Los Angeles. The White Sox, Mets and Cardinals are also potential trade partners for the Dodgers. While nothing appears imminent, it's definitely a situation to watch.
Potential fit: Reds

The Tigers spoke with a number of teams about Castellanos, who is in his final year of salary arbitration before becoming a free agent next offseason. The Braves, who are players on a number of fronts, appear to be very interested in the outfielder and former third baseman, though the Astros, Indians and Phillies have also been linked.
Potential fit: Braves

The hottest rumor at the Meetings may have been the potential three-team trade that would have sent Realmuto to the Mets and Syndergaard to the Yankees, though the chances of the Mets shipping their star pitcher across town seemed remote at best. That said, new GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been ultra-aggressive since taking the job, so a Syndergaard deal remains possible. Other executives believe he'll remain with the Mets to start the season, though the Padres remain hot for the right-hander -- as long as top prospect isn't involved in the deal.
Potential fit: Padres