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Cutch, Phillies make 3-year deal official

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- Andrew McCutchen is not the former National League MVP that everybody expected the Phillies to sign this offseason.

But the Phillies announced Wednesday night that they had agreed to terms with McCutchen on a three-year, $50 million contract. The deal includes a $15 million club option, with a $3 million buyout for 2022.

LAS VEGAS -- Andrew McCutchen is not the former National League MVP that everybody expected the Phillies to sign this offseason.

But the Phillies announced Wednesday night that they had agreed to terms with McCutchen on a three-year, $50 million contract. The deal includes a $15 million club option, with a $3 million buyout for 2022.

"I think Andrew McCutchen has been incredibly consistent and incredibly healthy, and I think his skill set is one that in baseball history has aged pretty well," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. "I have incredible respect for what he has accomplished in his career. His Baseball Reference page is littered with MVP, multitime All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger -- you name it."

Video: McCutchen brings veteran presence to Phillies

It is why the Phillies said they never blinked at offering McCutchen a three-year deal.

"Honestly, that was never a huge sticking point on our end," Klentak said.

The move upgrades another position for the Phillies, following the recent acquisitions of shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitchers Juan Nicasio, James Pazos and Jose Alvarez. It remains to be seen what else the Phillies accomplish this offseason. They remain in the hunt for free-agent superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, although the Phillies said they have a "walkaway" point with both players. Still, they met with the agents for both players this week at the Winter Meetings. The Phillies had not met with Harper, despite the fact he lives in town. Machado is scheduled to visit the Phillies next week.

The latest on Machado, Harper

The Phillies continue to pursue left-handed relievers Zach Britton and Andrew Miller. It is unclear if they will find a starter, particularly with J.A. Happ reportedly headed to the Yankees. The Phillies could still find an outfielder, even if Harper signs elsewhere.

The Phillies are deeper in the outfield with McCutchen. He is not the player that won the 2013 NL MVP Award with the Pirates, but he continues to hit. He batted a combined .255 with 20 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .792 OPS last season with the Giants and Yankees. He posted an .892 OPS in 114 plate appearances with the Yankees.

McCutchen recorded a 123 wRC+ in 2017 and a 118 wRC+ in '18. Rhys Hoskins was the only Phillies player last season (minimum 150 plate appearances) with a 110 wRC+ or better.

McCutchen essentially replaces Carlos Santana's bat in the lineup. McCutchen was 12th among qualified hitters in walk rate last season (13.9 percent). His chase rate (15.9 percent) ranked third lowest out of 226 batters (minimum 750 pitches seen out of the zone), according to Statcast™. His hard-hit rate has remained consistent the past three seasons: 42.1 percent in 2016, 38.3 percent in '17 and 41.8 percent in '18. His wOBA was .329 in '16, .360 in '17 and .347 in '18.

"You look at players with similar abilities and similar track records, how did those players age, and I think when you look at guys like Andrew who are talented in so many ways, they have more opportunity to impact the games," Klentak said. "This guy can run, he can throw, he can play the outfield, he puts the bat on the ball, he's got one of the better batting eyes and walk rates in baseball. He's got plus makeup. He does everything well."

Video: MLB Tonight: How will McCutchen age with Phillies?

The Phillies believe the move to Citizens Bank Park will help McCutchen's defense, too. He played much of the last two seasons in spacious PNC Park and AT&T Park.

"We think both offensively and defensively, moving from the ballparks he's played in to Philadelphia should help him," Klentak said.

Steamer and ZiPS project McCutchen for 2.6 WAR in 2019 and 6.3 combined WAR over the next three seasons. That profiles to roughly $50 million in value.

Video: After Cutch, Phils could still target Harper, Machado

Fifty million still leaves the Phillies plenty of financial flexibility to sign Machado, whom they would love to play third base, or Harper. But McCutchen's deal drove home a point that Klentak made earlier this week: The Phillies will not be held hostage by one or two players this offseason. They want Machado or Harper, but they will not wait for them before they make other moves, either.

"When we began this process, and as it became more serious, we started to do some more vetting on the person, on the teammate, on the character of the player, and you cannot find anybody in this industry to say anything bad about this player," Klentak said of McCutchen. "It's all positive -- his work ethic, his teammate behavior, the way he posts, the way that he hustles and plays every day. It's a great fit for us."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Andrew McCutchen

The latest on Phillies' pursuit of Manny, Bryce

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Machado is scheduled to visit the Phillies next week in Philadelphia. The organization still wants Machado to be its third baseman.

Sources maintain the Phillies prefer him over Bryce Harper.

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Machado is scheduled to visit the Phillies next week in Philadelphia. The organization still wants Machado to be its third baseman.

Sources maintain the Phillies prefer him over Bryce Harper.

Scott Boras is Harper's agent. He stood atop a TV equipment case and spoke to reporters for nearly an hour Wednesday at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. He said little about the Phillies' level of interest in his superstar client, but the Phillies met with Boras this week. They had not met with Harper, who lives in town. It is interesting because MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday that Harper had met with "several teams" and "has a few more to go" before the Winter Meetings conclude Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft.

Kapler high on Harper, Machado as fits for Phillies

A "mystery owner" reportedly had flown to Las Vegas to visit Harper in his hometown. It was not Phillies managing partner John Middleton.

It could mean something. It could mean nothing.

"I think when you're talking about Bryce Harper, it's just a different situation," Boras answered, when asked if he got the sense after meeting with the Phillies that they prefer Machado over Harper. "There are a lot of really good ballplayers out there. There really are. They are exceptional. But Bryce's situation has a dynamic about it in terms of what he brings to an ownership and the iconic side of it. It has certainly an appeal because he is really a player that has the ability to economically pay for himself independent of the performance."

Does Harper like Philly?

"Bryce has got great comfort in playing and great numbers there," Boras said. "He knows the division. You know, he respects the organization. So yeah, it's certainly on his list."

McCutchen signs three-year deal with Phillies

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said earlier this week that they will not be held hostage by one or two players as they navigate their offseason. He clearly meant Machado and Harper, although he never mentioned either by name.

"I think that in the end, all organizations are going to look back on this opportunity," Boras said, when asked about Klentak's comments. "They're going to look back on it and they're going to say, 'What should I have done? How should I have done it? What steps should I have taken?' These are pivotal moments. There's a lot of organizations and general managers that will be evaluated about what they did do or didn't do when you have the availability of a player like that."

It is clear the Phillies are not waiting for Machado and Harper to make up their minds. The Phillies have added shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and three relief pitchers over the past couple of weeks. They could add another starter, although those chances took a hit with left-hander J.A. Happ expected to agree to a two-year contract with a third-year option with the Yankees. They remain in the hunt for left-handed relievers Zach Britton and Andrew Miller. They still could add another outfielder, even if Harper signs elsewhere.

Video: Klentak on Phils' expectations for Winter Meetings

Boras declined to say if he has talked recently with Middleton, but he said: "I got a chance to spend a good deal of time with John last year when we signed Jake Arrieta. I really felt he was an owner who had just a strong commitment to his goals and bringing this team to playoff and championship levels."

Middleton told USA Today last month that the Phillies could be a "little bit stupid" in how they spend their money this offseason.

"We just prefer not to be completely stupid," Middleton added.

Klentak echoed that sentiment on Wednesday.

"I don't know what the markets are going to turn out to be for the top free agents," Klentak said. "If it makes sense for this franchise, we'll pursue it. If it doesn't, we have to have a walkaway point, because to not have that is bad business. It all comes down to properly balancing the present and the future, the short term and the long term. Do we want to do everything we can to compete for the playoffs in 2019? Of course we do. Are we going to mortgage our future to do that? Probably not. We have to balance the two."

Video: Kapler on Phillies' pursuit of Machado

Does this mean Machado and Harper are headed elsewhere? No. Take everybody's words with a grain of salt these days. One meeting, one phone call, one text message can change everything. The Phillies thought their pursuit of Cliff Lee in December 2010 died several times before it finally happened. There was a point when the Phillies thought they would not be able to extend Roy Halladay in December '09, too. They did.

The cryptic answers. The smokescreens. This is how these things work.

"Until players sign somewhere else, we're going to maintain our engagement with them," Klentak said. "There's no reason to think that we're out."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado

As FAs start to sign, where do Phils stand?

With Corbin, Happ off market, Philly could pursue Keuchel, Kikuchi
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- Could the Phillies really enter next season with the same rotation that finished last season? It seems more possible every day.

The Phillies prioritized free-agent left-handers Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ to boost their rotation this offseason, but Corbin last week signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Nationals and Happ agreed to a two-year contract with a vesting option for 2021 with the Yankees. The Phillies never considered a six-year offer for Corbin. It is unclear if they offered five. The Phillies never offered more than two guaranteed years for Happ, who turned 36 in October. It is unclear if they included a third-year option, but whatever they offered, it appears it was not enough.

LAS VEGAS -- Could the Phillies really enter next season with the same rotation that finished last season? It seems more possible every day.

The Phillies prioritized free-agent left-handers Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ to boost their rotation this offseason, but Corbin last week signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Nationals and Happ agreed to a two-year contract with a vesting option for 2021 with the Yankees. The Phillies never considered a six-year offer for Corbin. It is unclear if they offered five. The Phillies never offered more than two guaranteed years for Happ, who turned 36 in October. It is unclear if they included a third-year option, but whatever they offered, it appears it was not enough.

Hot Stove Tracker

"Our starting pitching was the strength of our team last year," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Wednesday afternoon at the Winter Meetings. "I know that it faltered at the end. I'm not trying to hide behind that. I know that they struggled late. But for most of the season, the starting rotation was the strength of the team. For us to make an acquisition, we have to be very confident that it is moving the needle and that it's a sound investment. I'm not certain we'll wind up on that, but we're going to continue to explore it."

Free-agent left-handers Dallas Keuchel, Yusei Kikuchi and Wade Miley are available. Keuchel and Kikuchi are clients of agent Scott Boras. They will not come cheap. In the case of Keuchel and Miley, the Phillies prefer starters that have high swing-and-miss rates. Kikuchi throws hard, but the Phillies might not view him as a significant upgrade over the team's current group that they will meet Boras' price.

Video: Dallas Keuchel enters free agency

The Indians are shopping former American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and right-hander Trevor Bauer. Kluber would "move the needle," but the price for him is understandably steep. The Phillies might not want to part with the players and prospects to land him. D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray makes sense, but he might not be available.

Other starters left the market Wednesday, further diminishing the Phillies' options. Right-hander Charlie Morton agreed to terms with the Rays. Lance Lynn did the same with the Rangers. The Nationals traded Tanner Roark to the Reds.

So yes, the Phillies' 2019 rotation might be Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez, with Jerad Eickhoff, Enyel De Los Santos and others in the mix. The Phillies' rotation last season posted a top-ranked 11.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. But after it compiled a 3.81 ERA and 3.57 FIP through July 31, it posted a 4.77 ERA and 4.04 FIP the rest of the way.

"It was more apparent last year that we needed to add to our rotation than it is now," Klentak said. "I'm not telling you that we're going to do something for sure or we're not going to do anything. I don't know. But our rotation was in pretty good shape last year. A lot of these guys now have a full season in the big leagues and learned a lot going through some growing pains. The depth behind them is a year more developed and ready to compete at the Major League level. We're going to continue to explore that market, and if there's an upgrade that makes sense, we will absolutely pursue it. We're not going to do it just to do it."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies

Shoot hot dogs with the Phanatic for charity?

Relish the experience by bidding in Winter Meetings auction
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- If you never got to fulfill your dream of being a big league ballplayer, perhaps you can fulfill your other childhood dream:

Shooting hot dogs into the Citizens Bank Park stands with the Phillie Phanatic.

LAS VEGAS -- If you never got to fulfill your dream of being a big league ballplayer, perhaps you can fulfill your other childhood dream:

Shooting hot dogs into the Citizens Bank Park stands with the Phillie Phanatic.

That is one of two Phillies auction prizes that will support the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, two important institutions that educate future generations of young people through honoring significant moments and individuals of baseball's past.

• Bid on Phillies experiences

The auction is live on MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction from now through Thursday, when it will conclude at 10 p.m. ET. Items include special baseball experiences, including meetings with some of the game's biggest stars, along with unique items donated by MLB and the 30 clubs.

One item is indeed shooting hot dogs into the stands with the Phanatic during a 2019 game. Another item is a special on-field photo session -- family photos, engagement photos, etc. -- at Citizens Bank Park by a Phillies' team photographer during a non-game day. The winners will be provided up to six personalized or favorite Phillies jerseys.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies

Agostinelli honored among Scouts of the Year

Quartet recognized by peers for impact on baseball
MLB.com @JonathanMayo

LAS VEGAS -- Each year at the Winter Meetings, the scouting industry gathers to celebrate some of their own at the Scout of the Year reception. The fact the recipients are chosen by their peers, scouts singling out other scouts, makes the honor even more special.

This year's quartet of honorees for the 35th edition of the event have made an unmistakable impact on the game, and they continue to do so. Awarded regionally, Damon Oppenheimer of the Yankees (West Coast Scout of the Year), Brad Sloan of the Red Sox (Midwest Scout of the Year), Danny Montgomery of the Rockies (East Coast Scout of the Year) and Sal Agostinelli of the Phillies (International Scout of the Year) have more than 120 years of combined scouting experience, have signed dozens of big leaguers across multiple decades and have helped their organizations reach the postseason many times.

LAS VEGAS -- Each year at the Winter Meetings, the scouting industry gathers to celebrate some of their own at the Scout of the Year reception. The fact the recipients are chosen by their peers, scouts singling out other scouts, makes the honor even more special.

This year's quartet of honorees for the 35th edition of the event have made an unmistakable impact on the game, and they continue to do so. Awarded regionally, Damon Oppenheimer of the Yankees (West Coast Scout of the Year), Brad Sloan of the Red Sox (Midwest Scout of the Year), Danny Montgomery of the Rockies (East Coast Scout of the Year) and Sal Agostinelli of the Phillies (International Scout of the Year) have more than 120 years of combined scouting experience, have signed dozens of big leaguers across multiple decades and have helped their organizations reach the postseason many times.

West Coast: Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees
Oppenheimer didn't have to go far to start his scouting career after his playing career was cut short by injury, with his first chance coming with his hometown team, the San Diego Padres, a team his mother worked for and for whom he had sold concessions as a high schooler.

"I always wanted to be a player, and I really thought that was going to be the path," Oppenheimer said. "If I wasn't playing, I was watching. Working for the hometown team, that was really exciting for me. I thought that might be where I worked forever. But things change, better opportunities happen. It's been a great career."

Video: Yanks' Oppenheimer named West Coast Scout of the Year

That career took Oppenheimer from the Padres to the Yankees to the Rangers and back to the Yankees, where he's been since 1996. Oppenheimer initially helped on the amateur and pro side, helping Gene Michael in his early stint as an advanced scout. When Oppenheimer came back from his year with the Rangers, he served as a national crosschecker and has overseen the Yankees' Draft in a number of vice president titles since 2004.

"You get into being the director and the contribution you can make by leading a group of scouts has been special, putting players into a system that's now year in and year out contending, or in 2009, winning the whole thing," Oppenheimer said. "I've never been part of the Yankees where we weren't at least .500. All those years, when people said we were on a down swing, we were still good. We've never been really bad."

As a result, Oppenheimer has become an expert at picking in the lower half of the first round. Even picking late, he's helped add talent to the Yankees' organization, or players who have been used in trades, perhaps none more notable than outfielder Aaron Judge, taken No. 32 overall in the 2013 Draft. One to quickly deflect credit, Oppenheimer offered some perspective.

"I love the kid, but we took Eric Jagielo ahead of him," Oppenheimer said about the Yankees' selection at No. 26 that June. "It wasn't like we nailed the whole thing, though we obviously did like [Judge] quite a bit."

Midwest: Brad Sloan, Red Sox
Sloan began his career in baseball in 1980 as an area scout, and outside of one year with the Mets as a crosschecker in 1993, he worked as part of the Padres' scouting staff from 1980-2003. Nearly all of it was on the amateur side, and he served as the team's scouting director from 1996-2000, helping to bring a ton of talent into the system, with Jake Peavy really standing out as a fantastic get in the 15th round of the 1999 Draft.

"I'm still a dirt scout; I'm still an area scout," Sloan said. "I'm on the pro side now, but I enjoyed the free-agent scouting the best. Travel gets hard when you get older, but that's what I like. I like scouting the kids."

Video: Brad Sloan honored as Midwest Scout of the Year

Sloan sees his craft as an heirloom to be handed down from one generation to the next. He looks around at his contemporaries being honored on Wednesday, and at those who preceded them, and he is awed to be in their company.

"There's a lot of experience here, signed a lot of players," Sloan said. "Just to be compared with some of the guys who have gone in before us? There are some legendary guys. That's why this is such a great honor.

"I started with San Diego in 1980, and one of the scouts there was Ken Bracey, and he's had this honor. He just passed away just about a year ago. We became very close. He really helped me with my development as a scout."

One thing Sloan didn't have after close to 40 years in scouting was a World Series ring, until this past season. He joined the Red Sox in 2016 as a special assignment scout, working on the pro side, and checked winning a title off of his checklist, something he wasn't sure would ever happen.

"You wonder about that," Sloan said. "When I was in San Diego, we got there twice, but we got beat both times. That was a big deal to me. Winning the World Series and winning this award, I've had a great year."

East Coast: Danny Montgomery, Rockies
Montgomery's scouting career started with the Dodgers in 1990. After two seasons as an area scout, he was hired by the Rockies, and he's been with them ever since, filling a variety of roles up to his current gig as the special assistant to the general manager. As he's moved up the ladder, he hasn't forgotten about his start.

"I did 10 years as an area guy," said Montgomery, who signed players like Quinton McCracken as an area scout and helped bring Charlie Blackmon to the organization as a crosschecker. "You have to understand, back in the '90s, it was a little different than it is now. We competed, we lied to each other, we did a whole lot of different things. ...

"We really competed against each other. I felt if I couldn't play, then I'm going to compete with you as a scout. That's what we did."

Video: Montgomery honored as East Coast Scout of the Year

At the core of everything he's done in baseball has been Montgomery's desire to help young people, both as players and beyond their playing days. His work as the vice president of the Buck O'Neil Professional Scouts & Coaches Association has helped create a place for networking, mentoring and professional development.

"To take that organization, along with Steve Williams of the Pirates and Fred Wright, who is one of my mentors, to take that and give back to the up-and-coming guys who are coming out of the game, giving them a chance to have a mentor like I had, helping one and teaching one is one of our mottos, it's a pleasure," Montgomery said. "Even though I work for the organization, they've been so committed to letting me do other things outside, because they know my heart has always been with trying to help other people get where they're going. It's been a blessing to be able to give back. A lot of guys have been hired through that organization, and that makes us feel good. It makes me feel like we're doing something right."

International: Sal Agostinelli, Phillies
After playing parts of 10 years in the Minor Leagues, the last four with the Phillies, Agostinelli stayed in the Phils' organization as an area scout. He started his post-playing career in 1993, and has been with the Phillies since, though how he got to his current job as international scouting director was almost accidental.

Agostinelli was on the field during Spring Training and assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle overheard him speaking with Latino players comfortably. Agostinelli had minored in Spanish in college and that, combined with his Italian roots, had made it easy for him to learn enough to converse with players. Arbuckle asked him if he'd ever thought about giving international scouting a try, and Agostinelli hasn't looked back.

"That was in 1997, and I'm glad I made that move," Agostinelli said. "International scouting is the essence of scouting, in my opinion. You have a budget and you can use the budget and you can sign players accordingly. It's different than the Draft. The Draft is very controlled. I love it. You're almost like a GM of your own department, that's why it's great."

With all of those years, Agostinelli has tremendous stories, including signing Carlos Ruiz for $8,000 and eventually seeing him catch the last out for a World Series-winning team. Or how he almost ended up with more than he bargained for when going to scout Carlos Carrasco.

"We were coming down the highway and first the bulls were running, and we had to stop for an hour to clear the bulls off the road," Agostinelli said. "A guy comes running over to the car, he has a monkey on his back and these parrots on a stick. He sticks the parrots in the car and the monkey jumps off his back and starts running around inside the car. I say, 'What am I going to do with a monkey, put him in my suitcase?' We ended up going down there, seeing Carrasco, and a week later we signed him."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Everything you need for Thursday's Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

LAS VEGAS -- Every year, the Winter Meetings unofficially conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. It might not be the headline-grabber of a blockbuster trade or free-agent signing, but every year, teams do find talent via this avenue. And recent history shows that many of the players selected are coming to a big league stadium near you next season.

This year's Rule 5 Draft takes place in Las Vegas today at noon ET, with a live audio stream on MLB.com. By virtue of finishing with the worst record in baseball in 2018, the Orioles get the first pick, followed by the Royals and White Sox.

LAS VEGAS -- Every year, the Winter Meetings unofficially conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. It might not be the headline-grabber of a blockbuster trade or free-agent signing, but every year, teams do find talent via this avenue. And recent history shows that many of the players selected are coming to a big league stadium near you next season.

This year's Rule 5 Draft takes place in Las Vegas today at noon ET, with a live audio stream on MLB.com. By virtue of finishing with the worst record in baseball in 2018, the Orioles get the first pick, followed by the Royals and White Sox.

:: 2018 Rule 5 Draft coverage ::

There are hundreds of eligible players, and teams are going through those lists and scouring past reports, as well as any from the Arizona Fall League or winter ball, to help determine whether they want to make any selections.

The Draft order
Below is this year's Rule 5 Draft order, based on the reverse order of the 2018 regular-season standings. A team must have room on its 40-man roster to make a pick, so each team's 40-man status is noted in parentheses.

2018 Rule 5 Draft order

Names to watch

As the Draft approached, several names were being mentioned as potential picks in the Major League phase. A's shortstop Richie Martin and Twins lefty Tyler Jay, two first round picks in the 2015 Draft, have come up often in conversations, though not necessarily in the Orioles' top spot.

How it works

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 Draft process. Players signed at age 19 or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2014 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the '15 Draft is in the same position.

The success rate of the Major League phase has gone up over the past four years. In that period, 42 of the 66 players taken in this phase have seen big league time with the team that acquired them. Some have attributed this to the rise of advanced analytics, which allow teams to know more about players who previously seemed more like needles in a haystack.

There is also a Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, with the costs rising from $12,000 to $24,000 for a Triple-A pick (anyone not protected on a big league or Triple-A roster is eligible). The Double-A phase has been eliminated. Players selected in this portion of the Rule 5 Draft aren't subject to any roster restrictions with their new organizations.

Recent gems
There were 18 players taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft last year, and 11 of them saw time in the big leagues with the team that drafted them or traded for them immediately following the draft. Another three players made it to MLB after they were sent back to their original team. In 2016, 18 players were taken, and 10 spent time in the big leagues.

Of last year's group, Brad Keller had the most success with the Royals, finishing with a Wins Above Replacement of 3.6, the only positive tally in that statistical category among the 11 who played in the big leagues in 2018. It's one of the best rookie seasons for a Rule 5 pick in recent memory. It's right up there with Odubel Herrera's rookie campaign with the Phillies in '15. The outfielder compiled a 4.0 WAR that year, made the All-Star team in '16 and signed a five-year, $30.5 million extension with the Phillies almost two years to the day after being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. He's been a big league regular for four seasons now.

Other recent success stories include reliever Joe Biagini, who landed on the Blue Jays' postseason roster in 2016 after a solid first year in the big leagues, and Matt Bowman, who had a strong '16 campaign after his Rule 5 Draft selection in '15.

All-time best picks
The way the Rule 5 Draft works has changed over time. So while everyone's all-time list would undeniably start with Roberto Clemente, it's almost as if a "modern era" type qualifier is needed. Looking at 1990 through last year, here's how Rule 5 Draft picks line up in a top five, ranked by career WAR.

1. Johan Santana, LHP, 50.7
2. Shane Victorino, OF, 31.2
3. Josh Hamilton, OF, 28.1
4. Dan Uggla, 2B, 17.5
5. Joakim Soria, RHP, 17.5

Keep an eye on Herrera, though. He's at 10.7 WAR already after four years. And Keller's rookie WAR was better than anyone on this list.

Top available prospects
There are 78 players on teams' Top 30 Prospects lists who were not protected and are thus eligible to be selected and given the chance to stick on a 25-man roster. There are nine first-round picks from the 2014 and '15 Drafts available this year, led by '14 No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek, the Marlins right-hander who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of '18. Jay, who was taken No. 6 overall by the Twins out of the University of Illinois, is the highest-drafted player from '15 who is available to teams on Thursday.

30 intriguing Rule 5 prospects

Here's a list of all 30 teams' Top 30 Prospects who are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft:

Arizona Diamondbacks
7. Marcus Wilson, OF
23. Alex Young, LHP
24. Cody Reed, LHP

Atlanta Braves
22. Travis Demeritte, OF
28. Josh Graham, RHP

Baltimore Orioles
29. Luis Gonzalez, LHP

Boston Red Sox
10. Josh Ockimey, 1B
21. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP
23. Roldani Baldwin, C
27. Roniel Raudes, RHP

Chicago Cubs
17. Trevor Clifton, RHP
20. Jhonny Pereda, C
26. Erling Moreno, RHP

Chicago White Sox
26. Spencer Adams, RHP

Cincinnati Reds 
22. Michael Beltre, OF

Cleveland Indians 
20. Oscar Gonzalez, OF

Colorado Rockies
19. Breiling Eusebio, LHP
23. Roberto Ramos, 1B
25. Brian Mundell, 1B
27. Dom Nunez, C

Detroit Tigers
19. Jose Azocar, OF
24. Tyler Alexander, LHP
29. Derek Hill, OF

Houston Astros
17. Riley Ferrell, RHP
24. Jonathan Arauz, SS

Kansas City Royals
23. Elvis Luciano, RHP
28. D.J. Burt, SS
29. Foster Griffin, LHP
30. Ofreidy Gomez, RHP

Los Angeles Angels
15. Leonardo Rivas, SS
18. Luis Pena, RHP
28. Joe Gatto, RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers
19. Drew Jackson, SS
24. Cristian Santana, SS
29. Andrew Sopko, RHP

Miami Marlins
18. Christopher Torres, SS
26. Brayan Hernandez, CF
30. McKenzie Mills, LHP

Milwaukee Brewers
10. Jake Gatewood, 1B
17. Cody Ponce, RHP
28. Carlos Herrera, RHP

Minnesota Twins
16. Lewin Diaz, RF
22. Tyler Jay, LHP

New York Mets
19. Luis Carpio, SS
21. David Thompson, 3B
25. Ali Sanchez, C
27. Patrick Mazeika, C

New York Yankees
27. Dermis Garcia, 1B/3B

Oakland A's
12. Richie Martin, SS
27. James Naile, RHP

Philadelphia Phillies
12. Daniel Brito, SS
16. Jose Gomez, SS
27. Tom Eshelman, RHP

Pittsburgh Pirates
19. Gage Hinsz, RHP
24. Brandon Waddell, LHP
28. Domingo Robles, LHP

San Diego Padres
None

San Francisco Giants
8. Sandro Fabian, OF
18. Juan De Paula, RHP
23. Jordan Johnson, RHP

Seattle Mariners
17. Art Warren, RHP
21. Rob Whalen, RHP
23. Ian Miller, OF
26. Anthony Jimenez, OF
27. Luis Liberato, OF
29. Ronald Rosario, OF
30. Anthony Misiewicz, LHP

St. Louis Cardinals
11. Max Schrock, 2B
14. Junior Fernandez, RHP
23. Wadye Ynfante, OF

Tampa Bay Rays
None

Texas Rangers
17. Pedro Gonzalez, OF
30. Edgar Arredondo, RHP

Toronto Blue Jays
25. Forrest Wall, OF
28. Jordan Romano, RHP

Washington Nationals
13. Telmito Agustin, OF
24. Tomas Alastre, RHP
25. Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF
29. Drew Ward, 3B/1B

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Kapler high on Harper, Manny as fits for Phils

Manager also weighs in on Segura, Kingery, Herrera at Winter Meetings
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- Gabe Kapler cannot say too much, but there is no question he would love Manny Machado or Bryce Harper in the Phillies' lineup next season.

It is hard to imagine the Phillies not landing one of them.

LAS VEGAS -- Gabe Kapler cannot say too much, but there is no question he would love Manny Machado or Bryce Harper in the Phillies' lineup next season.

It is hard to imagine the Phillies not landing one of them.

The Phillies are expected to meet this week with Harper's agent, Scott Boras, at the Winter Meetings. Harper lives in Las Vegas, too, so it would not be a surprise if they had an off-campus meeting. If the Phillies have not already met with Machado, they could meet with him, too. The Phillies want face time with the players who could sign record-shattering contracts in the coming weeks.

Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies still want Machado, even though they acquired shortstop Jean Segura last week in a trade with the Mariners. Machado famously said during the postseason that he is not "Johnny Hustle" after he didn't run hard on a ground ball in the National League Championship Series. Players that don't play hard are not treated kindly in Philly, but Kapler does not sound worried.

"I think wherever he goes, somebody's going to get an incredible baseball player," Kapler said.

Video: Kapler on Phillies' pursuit of Machado

And Harper? He is incredible, too. It is just what the Phillies value more.

"Bryce Harper does a number of things well, but one of the things I found most fascinating about him last year was even through the times of his struggles, he still worked an incredible at-bat," Kapler said. "Now when he's going good, he's one of the more difficult players to get out in the game. And I love the way he plays. I think there's so much to like about what Bryce Harper brings to the table. His play on the field and then also what he brings to a clubhouse environment."

Kapler touched on numerous other topics during Monday's media availability. Here are the highlights:

Mr. Positivity
Kapler spoke positively about his players last season, even as they struggled down the stretch. Phillies president Andy MacPhail said that Kapler needs to speak more candidly at times, otherwise he will lose credibility.

Message received.

"As much as I illuminate some of the things we're doing very well, I can be a little more assertive in illuminating the things that we need to work on," Kapler said. "And I'm committed to taking that step.

Video: Kapler on offseason preparations, improving the team

"Andy did say that he thinks that holding players, staff members and the entire organization to a very high bar publicly is something that he thinks will work well. I agree with him. I think it's an easy adjustment for me to make and it doesn't have to be anything dramatic or forced. I think it's just a small adjustment. It's the turning up of the volume of just kind of raising the bar, holding the club and the organization to a high standard."

Kapler's clubhouse also will have more rules next season. More structure could be a good thing for players, whom Kapler hoped would police themselves last year.

"I thought our clubhouse was in incredible shape for most of the season last year," Kapler said. "There were times when it wasn't perfect. But I think that's true for any locker room environment."

Segura and Kingery
Kapler sees Segura hitting second, although that could change. So what happens then to Scott Kingery, who played shortstop last season? He might not see much time at second base. The market is flooded with second basemen, so even if the Phillies wanted to trade Cesar Hernandez, it might be difficult.

Video: Kapler excited about Segura's presence in the lineup

Kingery could return to a super-utility role, perhaps sharing time at third base with Maikel Franco. Kapler believes Kingery can be a good third baseman.

"Scott Kingery is one of the toughest individuals I've ever been around," Kapler said. "When I called Scott and said, 'Hey, we just acquired this shortstop, you're most likely going to move around the diamond again,' he said, 'OK, I get it.' I think Scott Kingery can handle anything. I don't think it's too tough for him."

Video: Kapler says push for postseason starting now

Herrera in shape a must
Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera entered last Spring Training out of shape, but he hit like one of the best players in baseball through the middle of May (.353/.420/.558). Then he cratered, slashing just .216/.264/.365 the rest of the way. Kapler visited Herrera recently in Miami and is convinced he will enter Spring Training in shape and ready to perform.

"He was certainly inspired when I spent time with him," Kapler said. "He was certainly committed when I spent time with him. We're going to demand that [commitment] of Odubel."

An argument can be made that Herrera needs somebody to stay on top of him. Freddy Galvis and Andres Blanco held that role in previous seasons, but when the Phillies jettisoned them, nobody took their place. Herrera got to be himself, but perhaps to his detriment.

"I always believed that bringing the best out of a player is not one or the other," Kapler said. "It's not leave him alone and it's not stay on top of him. It's trial and error until you find the sweet spot. And I think that's still a work in progress. Like how do we motivate an especially talented, gifted individual that for six weeks was one of the best players ... how do we get that outcome for the entirety of a season?

"I take responsibility for him coming into camp in better shape this year than he did last year. I've demanded it of him. He knows that I will accept nothing less. He has suggested that he will accept nothing less. And I think we have a large group of people who are consistently reaching out to him. Not to stay on top of him, per se, but to demonstrate that there's nothing more important to us than him coming to camp ready to really dominate."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Bryce Harper, Odubel Herrera, Scott Kingery, Manny Machado, Jean Segura

Stark wins Spink Award for baseball writing

MLB.com @_dadler

Longtime baseball writer Jayson Stark has been honored as the 2019 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Tuesday.

The Spink Award annually recognizes a sportswriter who has made "meritorious contributions to baseball writing." Stark, who currently writes for The Athletic and works as an MLB Network studio analyst, will be recognized during Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., this coming July.

Longtime baseball writer Jayson Stark has been honored as the 2019 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Tuesday.

The Spink Award annually recognizes a sportswriter who has made "meritorious contributions to baseball writing." Stark, who currently writes for The Athletic and works as an MLB Network studio analyst, will be recognized during Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., this coming July.

Stark is the 70th winner of the Spink Award, which is voted on by BBWAA members who have been in the organization for at least 10 consecutive years. He received 270 votes out of the 463 ballots cast this year.

Video: Jayson Stark named 2019 Spink Award winner

Stark has covered baseball for more than four decades, both as a beat writer and a national writer. He wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than two decades from 1979-99, covering the Phillies and serving as a national baseball columnist. Stark then spent 2000-17 at ESPN as a senior national baseball writer before joining The Athletic.

This year's runner-up for the award was Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and baseball writer Jim Reeves. Minnesota baseball writer Patrick Reusse finished third in the voting.

The Spink Award was first given in 1962 and is named for its inaugural recipient, Spink, the publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 until his death in '62, upon which the award was established. Last year's winner was Sheldon Ocker, who covered the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal from 1981-2013.

Video: Stark talks about his days covering the '93 Phillies

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Phillies not looking to deal Hernandez

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAS VEGAS -- It sounds like Scott Kingery will have another go at being the Phillies' super-utility player in 2019.

Second basemen have flooded the free-agent market, so even if the Phillies wanted to trade Cesar Hernandez, they might not get much in return. And it does not sound like Phillies general manager Matt Klentak wants to trade Hernandez, anyway. If that holds true, it leaves Kingery without a position.

LAS VEGAS -- It sounds like Scott Kingery will have another go at being the Phillies' super-utility player in 2019.

Second basemen have flooded the free-agent market, so even if the Phillies wanted to trade Cesar Hernandez, they might not get much in return. And it does not sound like Phillies general manager Matt Klentak wants to trade Hernandez, anyway. If that holds true, it leaves Kingery without a position.

• Hot Stove Tracker

"I've never been that keen on trading Cesar," Klentak said Monday afternoon at the Winter Meetings. "We've been asked about him for the last couple years. I really like Cesar. I like the element that he brings to our team as a high-on-base, high-walk second baseman, table-setter type whose been very consistent over the last three years."

Hernandez fouled a ball off his right foot in early July, breaking the foot. He slashed .268/.379/.385 through July 6. He slashed .236/.329/.336 the rest of the way.

"I think on a healthy foot Cesar would have had a third straight year of numbers in that [2016-17] range," Klentak said. "He brings a dynamic to our team that we don't otherwise have. I'm not saying we'd never consider a trade of Cesar. We've been hit on him before, but he's not a guy that we're actively shopping by any stretch, no matter the market conditions."

If the Phillies do not sign Manny Machado to play third base, Maikel Franco could be the Phillies' third baseman in 2019, which means Kingery would have to move around the field, including the outfield.

"I think there's a lot of value in Scott Kingery playing multiple positions for us and taking down regular reps and continuing to grow as a Major League player," Klentak said. "At some point, he very well may gravitate toward one position for an extended period of time. It happened last year. We didn't go into last year expecting him to be our starting shortstop for most of the season, but it happened, and it made him a better player and it made us a better team.

"Our best lineup right now is with Franco playing third and Kingery moving around. I don't know exactly what our Opening Day 25 will look like this year, just like I didn't know exactly what it was going to look like last year. At this point, we certainly didn't think Scott Kingery was going to be on our Opening Day team last year. But the group that you break with and the group that you're putting on paper at the Winter Meetings is a nice starting point. It's a nice way of looking at things. But you know you're going to need depth to get through the year. You know you're going to have to make adjustments. And you have to construct your roster in a way that allows you to address the inevitable."

Outfield help
The Phillies remain in the hunt for Bryce Harper, but if they fall short, they could find help elsewhere. Currently, the Phillies have Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, Roman Quinn and Kingery as outfielders.

"Look, the [Jean] Segura trade projects to add several wins to our ledger next year relative to what we got from shortstop this year," Klentak said. "Moving Rhys [Hoskins] from left to first maintains Rhys' bat in the lineup and creates a better defensive look for us. What that opens up is the opportunity to replace Carlos [Santana's] offense and put in a corner outfield spot. It's still very viable that we can and will add an additional outfielder."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Cesar Hernandez

Phillies ready to make noise at Winter Meetings

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies never expected to open the Winter Meetings on Monday in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper or Manny Machado on their 40-man roster.

It takes time to cut a nine-figure check.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies never expected to open the Winter Meetings on Monday in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper or Manny Machado on their 40-man roster.

It takes time to cut a nine-figure check.

Hot Stove Tracker

But earlier this week, the Phillies made their first offseason move. They acquired shortstop Jean Segura and two relief pitchers from the Mariners for first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop J.P. Crawford. The trade upgraded the shortstop position, moved Rhys Hoskins to first base and gave the Phils more depth in the bullpen, which allows them to trade other relievers on the 40-man roster for help elsewhere, if they want.

Video: Phillies VP and GM Klentak on trade with Mariners

The Phillies still want Machado or Harper. Sources have told MLB.com that Machado remains the priority, even with Segura in the fold. But the Phils have more to do than just hand a superstar a $300 million contract. They still want to add a left-hander to the rotation. They still want to find a reliever or two to help the back end of the bullpen. Maybe they add another outfielder, if they sign Machado.

Philadelphia could accomplish some of those things in Vegas.

Here is a look ahead at the coming week:

Club needs 
The Phillies need to address an offense that did not slug enough last season. Harper or Machado would help fill that void. If they sign Machado, somebody like Michael Brantley or A.J. Pollock could still fit into the outfield. The Phils need to provide more balance to the rotation. They struck out on left-hander Patrick Corbin, who agreed to terms this week with the Nationals. But the Phillies have options in free-agent left-handers J.A. Happ, Dallas Keuchel and Yusei Kikuchi. They also could trade for D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray or Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Philadelphia remains interested in free-agent left-handed relievers Zach Britton and Andrew Miller. There is no reason the Phillies cannot find a big bat or two, a big rotation arm and a big bullpen arm in the coming weeks or months.

Video: Zolecki breaks down Phillies' interest in J.A. Happ

Whom might they trade?
The only two Phillies who will not be traded (unless Mike Trout becomes available) are Aaron Nola and Hoskins. Nobody else would be a surprise. That list includes Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, Nick Williams, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez. The Phils need to be creative to improve, so nobody can be taken off the table.

Prospects to know 
Take a quick look up and down Philadelphia's Top 30 Prospects list on MLB Pipeline. Pretty much anybody could be had in a deal. Don't believe it? Well, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Phillies and Mariners briefly discussed Phils top prospect Sixto Sanchez, who is the No. 21 overall prospect, in a discussed Segura-Edwin Diaz trade. If the Phillies entertained the thought of trading Sanchez for Diaz, it means they could entertain the thought again. And if they entertained the thought of Sanchez, it means they could entertain the thought of prospects like Adonis Medina (No. 3) and JoJo Romero (No. 5), too.

Video: Top Prospects: Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Phillies

Rule 5 Draft 
The Phillies are always looking for ways to improve the roster, so there is a chance they could select somebody in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. But the Phils are looking for significant upgrades this offseason. The idea of Philadelphia taking up a 40-man roster spot on a Spring Training flier is hard to imagine. The Phillies did not protect three top 30 prospects from the Rule 5 Draft: second baseman Daniel Brito (No. 12), infielder Jose Gomez (No. 16) and right-hander Tom Eshelman (No. 27), who was the organization's 2017 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Payroll summary 
The Phillies have more than $72 million committed to seven players, not including those eligible for salary arbitration. But the most important number here is three. Philadelphia has only three players under contract beyond 2020 (Segura, Herrera and Scott Kingery), which gives the club loads of payroll flexibility to sign Machado or Harper, Happ, Britton or Miller and maybe others.

The Phillies' offseason has been relatively quiet to this point, but it does not mean it will remain that way. They could make more noise than anybody else next week in Vegas.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies

Every team's Winter Meetings wish list

MLB clubs head to Las Vegas next week for annual summit
MLB.com @_dadler

Baseball's annual Winter Meetings are set to begin on Monday in Las Vegas, and that means Hot Stove season is about to really kick into high gear.

There have already been some big moves this offseason -- the Yankees' trade for James Paxton, the Mets' trade for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, the Nationals' signing of Patrick Corbin, the Cardinals' trade for Paul Goldschmidt -- but that's only the beginning.

Baseball's annual Winter Meetings are set to begin on Monday in Las Vegas, and that means Hot Stove season is about to really kick into high gear.

There have already been some big moves this offseason -- the Yankees' trade for James Paxton, the Mets' trade for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, the Nationals' signing of Patrick Corbin, the Cardinals' trade for Paul Goldschmidt -- but that's only the beginning.

When the industry gathers at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, it'll be a chance for teams to set deals in motion and maybe make a big splash or two. What might those be this year? MLB.com is previewing the Winter Meetings right here.

Here are the biggest needs for each of the 30 MLB clubs entering the Winter Meetings.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
A rotation with a lot of question marks beyond Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez means Toronto needs arms. And those two starters might even draw trade offers, as they're each under control for only two more seasons. More >

Orioles
New general manager Mike Elias has his work cut out for him, as there's a lot the O's need. Besides a new manager and coaching staff, the biggest needs include a middle infielder to pair with Jonathan Villar, a third baseman and multiple outfielders. More >

Rays
The Rays are casting a wide net this offseason in their search for potential impact acquisitions on the trade and free-agent markets. They're looking to add a veteran starter and a hitter to a young core that won 90 games in 2018. More >

Red Sox
The World Series champs have already brought back Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi. But Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly are also free agents, which leaves the bullpen as the top priority. Relievers like Adam Ottavino, David Robertson and Andrew Miller will be on the table. More >

Video: MLB Tonight on Eovaldi re-signing with Red Sox

Yankees
The Yankees want one more starter to go with Paxton and the returning CC Sabathia. They want to preserve their deep bullpen, too, with Robertson and Zach Britton being free agents. There's also the Didi Gregorius-sized hole at shortstop, as he'll be recovering from Tommy John surgery. Manny Machado, anyone? More >

AL CENTRAL

Indians
The Indians could be on the verge of some franchise-altering moves. They've traded All-Star catcher Yan Gomes and could deal starters Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber or some of their top Minor League prospects to address needs elsewhere on the roster, such as the outfield and their bullpen. More >

Video: Will the Indians trade a pitcher at Winter Meetings?

Royals
The Royals' weakest area in 2018 was the relief corps, so that'll be the focus entering the Winter Meetings. They need arms at the back end of the bullpen, and GM Dayton Moore will likely be looking for some veteran additions. More >

Tigers
The middle infield will probably be the Tigers' chief priority -- they want to add a veteran shortstop and maybe a second baseman, too, to give prospect Dawel Lugo time to develop. Detroit is also looking for bullpen help ... but then again, who isn't? More >

Twins
The Twins want a starter and a closer -- they need to fill that second role after trading Fernando Rodney in August. Plus, they could make a move for a corner infielder/outfielder to complement recent acquisition C.J. Cron. More >

White Sox
The White Sox are thinking big. Bryce Harper big. They have serious interest in the superstar free agent. Beyond that, a starter to bolster the rotation in Michael Kopech's absence may be on the list. More >

AL WEST

Angels
The Angels need more pitching, and they need it for both their starting rotation and bullpen. After a string of pitching injuries over the last few years, the club will likely prioritize durability in its search. Los Angeles could also seek an upgrade at catcher, particularly an experienced option. More >

Video: Guardado on the latest between Angels and Trout

Astros
The Astros' roster is still loaded, but they missed out on two players they were interested in: Goldschmidt and Eovaldi. That gives a clue about what Houston will be pursuing at the Winter Meetings -- a starter and an impact bat. More >

Athletics
The A's offseason agenda remains focused on filling out their rotation and finding a catcher. They have a decision to make on whether they want to bring back second baseman Jed Lowrie, while they also need to acquire multiple starting pitchers. Look for Oakland to ramp up its activity next week after a quiet start to the offseason. More >

Mariners
Jerry Dipoto's been making trades left and right, and his roster revamp isn't done yet. The M's might not swing another blockbuster, but they'll certainly be looking to add pitching, especially with both their ace Paxton and their closer Diaz now on new clubs. More >

Rangers
The Rangers have one thing on the mind: pitching. That means multiple inning-eating starters and depth for a depleted bullpen. Texas might not splurge on an expensive name, but they'll be seeking dependability to help take pressure off their younger pitchers. More >

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves
The Braves have already gone out and gotten Josh Donaldson and Brian McCann. What's next? Perhaps an ace for the pitching staff, and maybe even more. Atlanta might also look for an outfielder like Michael Brantley, or a late-inning reliever. More >

Marlins
The Marlins' burning question entering the Winter Meetings: Will they trade J.T. Realmuto? But that's not the only question. The rebuilding Marlins need to add offense, through short-term free agent deals or trades, all if the price is right. More >

Mets
Brodie Van Wagenen has already made waves with his trade for Cano and Diaz. What will the new Mets GM do at his first Winter Meetings? His next move could be for a catcher (Realmuto?), a right-handed-hitting outfielder (A.J. Pollock?) or another stud reliever (Miller?). More >

Nationals
The Nats didn't wait for the Winter Meetings to snatch the top free-agent starter on the market, Corbin. And that's only one of the additions they've already made. They won't wait on Harper to continue shopping, either -- they feel they might be an arm short in the rotation and the bullpen, and they'll want a left-handed bat, even if it's not Harper. More >

Video: Nats introduce free-agent acquisition Patrick Corbin

Phillies
The Phillies are going big. They want Machado, and they want Harper. They also want a frontline starting pitcher, especially after missing out on Corbin. It should be an exciting Winter Meetings for Philly. More >

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
The Brewers don't have much wiggle room within their payroll, but their most significant need is at second base after the club non-tendered Jonathan Schoop. The club may also seek an upgrade at catcher and depth for its bullpen, but those needs are less pressing than the vacancy at second. More >

Cardinals
The Cardinals just pulled off one of the biggest moves of the offseason with their blockbuster trade for Goldschmidt, but they still enter next week's Winter Meetings with a shopping list. The club's top priority of an impact bat has been resolved, so now the focus shifts to the bullpen, which needs a late-inning left-hander and a closer. They're also in the market for a reserve catcher. More >

Video: Cardinals introduce Paul Goldschmidt following trade

Cubs
The Cubs have been linked to Harper all offseason, and the former Nationals star's free agency will be in the spotlight next week. Besides a potential big splash -- which president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has said would require some payroll creativity to add "dollars of real significance" -- Chicago is seeking additional bullpen depth, a backup catcher and a utility infielder. More >

Pirates
The Pirates already re-signed Jung Ho Kang and added outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall. Expect them to keep an eye on the shortstop market, though GM Neal Huntington has said they're comfortable with rookie Kevin Newman and Erik Gonzalez at the position. They could also add another left-handed bullpen arm. More >

Reds
With a new manager in tow, the Reds project to be aggressive in moving beyond their rebuilding effort after four straight last-place finishes in the NL Central. They need more pitching, both in their rotation and bullpen. They're unlikely to be in the mix for a top free-agent arm like Dallas Keuchel, but could add someone from the tier below him. They also need to find a replacement for Billy Hamilton in center field. More >

NL WEST

D-backs
The D-backs addressed one of their top offseason priorities in acquiring starting pitcher Luke Weaver in the Goldschmidt trade. Now they need to fill the void in center field left by Pollock, who is unlikely to re-sign with Arizona, and may also add bullpen depth. More >

Video: After Goldy trade, how will D-backs fill first base?

Dodgers
The Dodgers have already been linked to a number of top free-agent and trade targets this winter, including Harper, Kluber, Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Abreu, so many will be looking to Los Angeles to see how it retools after a second consecutive World Series defeat. The Dodgers need a veteran catcher to pair with Austin Barnes, and will look to upgrade their bullpen. More >

Giants
New president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi enters his first Winter Meetings with the Giants looking to address needs in the outfield, rotation and bullpen. He could possibly deepen the club's talent pool by dealing one of its veterans, with Madison Bumgarner being the most valuable trade chip among them. More >

Padres
The Padres have many holes to address on their roster, including third-base and shortstop jobs that are wide open. Among their biggest priorities is acquiring starting pitching, as no rotation members are currently guaranteed spots for next season. The club could also look to deal from its surplus of Major League outfielders. More >

Rockies
With DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra all hitting free agency, the Rockies will prioritize offense this offseason. Their versatile roster affords them the luxury of not having limiting needs at specific positions in their search for run production. More >

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.