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Braves unlikely to make bids for Harper, Machado

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 set to become 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 set to become a free agent for the first time.

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

Braves unlikely to make bids for Harper, Machado
Oct. 19: While the Braves may have at least $60 million to address their multiple needs, which include a catcher, a corner outfielder, bullpen depth and a frontline starter, they may take a cautious approach to the free-agent market to avoid deals that hinder them down the road.

"We're not going to just walk in the store and buy because we have money in our pockets," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "If we don't find the right deal with something we like, there's still other opportunities to shop. There could be opportunities next season. If you start signing guys to big, long deals, if you feel good about the deal, you do it now. I wouldn't force a deal right now that would limit you in years from now."

As a result, the Braves are unlikely to make competitive offers for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Rather, the club is more likely to be aggressive on the trade market as it looks to take another step forward after winning the National League East in 2018.

"I don't think with our club, with what we have, that the value is going to be there in the free-agent market," Anthopoulos said. "It doesn't mean it won't. We'll certainly explore it. But if I could sit here in the middle of October, I'd say it's more likely we go the trade route. It's not ideal to give up young assets, but it's also not ideal to do a deal you don't believe in -- that may look good for a year or two, and then in years three, four and five, it does not." More >

Nats planning to make strong effort to retain Harper
Oct. 18: As fan bases and front offices around the Majors dream of having Bryce Harper in the fold next season, the only team Harper has ever played for is holding out hope that the impending free agent will be back.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports, the Nationals plan to make a strong effort to retain Harper this offseason, though they are also formulating an alternative plan in case he opts to sign elsewhere.

This comes after Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported last week that the consensus within the Nats organization is that the club does not want to eclipse the competitive balance tax threshold after doing so in each of the past two seasons.

If Harper is signed for roughly $30 million annually, it could considerably hinder the Nationals' ability to address other needs on the roster. However, it doesn't sound like that will prevent Washington from making a major push to re-sign its homegrown star.

Janes also reports that if Harper signs, it could mean center fielder Adam Eaton goes on the trade block. Eaton has only played in 118 games during two seasons with Washington due to injury, hitting .300/.394/.422.

Phillies set to make run at Harper, Machado
Oct. 18: Will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado join forces in Philadelphia? According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an appearance on "The Rundown" on Thursday, the Phillies are prepared to pursue both players, and many expect them to come away with at least one.

"People around baseball are going to be surprised if [the Phillies] don't get at least one of these two players, and maybe both," Heyman said.

Heyman had a similar report back in September, writing for Fancred Sports that multiple rival executives believed that the Phillies could land both superstars.

However, as Heyman pointed out Thursday, it could ultimately be tough for any team to pull that off, as both players are looking to break the bank in free agency. Furthermore, any club looking to sign either player will have plenty of competition.

Video: Heyman on Mariners, Phillies free agent rumors

Will Yankees chase Harper, Machado in effort to catch up to Red Sox?
Oct. 11: After spending much of the season chasing the Red Sox in the American League East and then losing to Boston in the ALDS, the Yankees will be looking to close the gap with their offseason moves.

One way they could do it? A spending spree that results in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado wearing pinstripes, as Newsday's Anthony Rieber wrote Wednesday.

That type of plan isn't as outrageous as it sounds, especially after the Yankees stayed under the luxury-tax threshold in 2018 -- which means they won't be subject to the repeat-offender penalty next season. Without that restriction, the Yankees will likely look to significantly increase their payroll.

Of course, the rotation is arguably a greater area of need for New York than the offense, with Luis Severino struggling in the second half and CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn hitting free agency. Adding a starter such as Patrick Corbin, who is expected to be one of the Yankees' free-agent targets, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, may be the club's top priority.

Rizzo: Harper 'in our plans' for future
Sept. 30: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed Sunday before the season finale that the club wants impending free agent Bryce Harper back.

"Of course he's in our plans," Rizzo said. "He's a guy we would love to have. He's a part of our family. He's a big part of this roster, performance-wise. Like I've always said with these type of deals, you're not betting on the baseball player, you're betting on the person. He's a person we'd like to have with us."

Rizzo's comments came in response to Harper saying he would "absolutely love to be" with the Nats long term, provided the club was interested in re-signing him.

"Am I in the [Nationals'] plans, you know? I don't know," Harper said. "It's hard to think about ... It's like, 'Well, it could all be over in a second.' It's kind of crazy.

"I've always said, 'If I'm in those plans, I'd absolutely love to be here.' But if I'm not, there's nothing I can do about it. There's nothing I can do. I would love to play next to Victor Robles or Juan Soto or Adam Eaton. I'd love to. But am I in those plans? I have no idea." More >

Harper expresses desire to remain with Nats
Sept. 25: As Bryce Harper prepares to become a free agent for the first time this offseason, the outfielder told the Washington Post that he would "absolutely love to be" in Washington long term.

"I think about other cities, but I love it here," Harper said.

"When I talk about D.C., I get giddy. I get happy. Because it's me. It's what I know," Harper said. "I don't know anything else. I don't know what it feels like to play for the Dodgers. I don't know what it feels like to play for the Yankees. I don't know what it feels like to play for anybody that you look at." More >

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves
Key free agents: RHP Brad Brach, 1B Lucas Duda, 3B Ryan Flaherty, OF Nick Markakis, C Rene Rivera, RHP Anibal Sanchez, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Jonny Venters

Markakis was a valuable member of a youthful Braves club in 2018, providing veteran leadership and making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Atlanta has a stellar farm system that is loaded with pitching prospects, which is one of the reasons why Sanchez is unlikely to be back after his impressive rebound campaign. But without an obvious replacement for Markakis in right field, the door remains open for the soon-to-be 35-year-old to return. Suzuki has formed a productive catching tandem with Tyler Flowers over the past two seasons, but the 35-year-old may be too expensive to bring back for a part-time role.

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: None

The Marlins' roster is replete with players who are at the early stages of their big league careers, putting them years away from free agency. After trading multiple big-name players last offseason, Miami will likely now look to deal veterans Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, as they are owed nearly $27 million combined in 2019.

New York Mets
Key free agents: LHP Jerry Blevins, OF Austin Jackson, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP AJ Ramos, INF Jose Reyes

There's a chance the Mets won't bring back any of these players after they combined for -1.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2018, per FanGraphs. With Travis d'Arnaud, T.J. Rivera and Juan Lagares returning from injuries, the Mets have obvious replacements for Mesoraco, Reyes and Jackson next year. Blevins is more likely to be back than Ramos, whose recovery from right shoulder surgery is expected to extend into next June and possibly longer.

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos

All four players on Philadelphia's list were acquired late in the 2018 campaign as the Phillies made a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Instead of bringing back Ramos, who is sure to fetch a sizable multi-year deal, the Phils may give 25-year-old Jorge Alfaro another chance to show he can handle starting duties behind the plate. Cabrera could be a fallback option if the Phillies are unable to land Manny Machado in free agency.

Washington Nationals
Key free agents: OF Bryce Harper, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, 1B Mark Reynolds, C Matt Wieters

Harper will be one of the top free agents available this offseason, and the Nats will likely make a major push to keep him in Washington. The club might also be interested in bringing back Holland and Hellickson, but the two righties are sure to draw interest from other clubs after boosting their value with the Nats. Washington is expected to try to upgrade at the catcher spot, which could leave Wieters looking for a new home.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Key free agents: RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, LHP Jaime Garcia (club option), LHP Cole Hamels (club option), OF Jason Heyward (can opt out of his contract), RHP Brandon Kintzler (club and player options), 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Pedro Strop (club option), LHP Justin Wilson

The Cubs have many decisions to make this offseason, most notably regarding the $20 million club option for Hamels, who was acquired from the Rangers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and recorded a terrific 2.36 ERA over 12 starts. They also have a bevy of bullpen arms that are set to depart or have club options. The Cubs could try to retain Chavez and Strop, and Murphy could also be back (particularly given Addison Russell's suspension), as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke highly of the second baseman's contributions after his acquisition from the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

Cincinnati elected to keep Harvey at the non-waiver Trade Deadline instead of flipping him to a contender, and now face a decision about the right-hander, given that he has expressed openness to returning and the Reds will be seeking starting pitching depth this offseason. Outside of Harvey, the Reds don't have any key departures or options to worry about this winter, though Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton are due for free agency following the 2019 season.

Milwaukee Brewers
Key free agents: LHP Gio Gonzalez, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Jeremy Jeffress (club option), LHP Dan Jennings, C Erik Kratz, RHPJordan Lyles (club option), LHP Wade Miley, 3B Mike Moustakas (mutual option), IF Eric Sogard, RHP Joakim Soria (club option)

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Soria, a key piece of the Brewers' bullpen in their playoff run, has a $10 million team option for 2019, while closing option Jeffress has a much cheaper $3.175 million team option. The 38-year-old Kratz and 37-year-old Granderson are also bound for free agency. Given their security all over the roster, the Brewers are set to contend again in 2019 even if they don't make a big offseason splash.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: IF/OF Josh Harrison (club option), IF Jung Ho Kang (club option), SS Jordy Mercer

After making a splash by trading for Chris Archer in 2018, the Pirates appear to be mostly set with their pitching staff but will be looking for a bat in the offseason, likely at shortstop, especially if they don't end up bringing Kang back after his late-season cameo. Even if they don't make a Manny Machado-sized splash at shortstop, the market is deep this offseason, with Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis and Adeiny Hechavarria among the names that will be in play. It seems unlikely that the Pirates will pick up Harrison's $10.5 million option.

St. Louis Cardinals
Key free agents: 1B Matt Adams, RHP Bud Norris, C Francisco Pena, RHP Tyson Ross

Adam Wainwright already avoided free agency by agreeing to a one-year deal to return for his 15th season with the Cardinals. Improving the bullpen to build around Jordan Hicks will be a priority for the Cardinals, especially with the departure of Norris, who provided stability at closer for much of the season. Though Adams likely won't be on the Cardinals' radar again, St. Louis is thought to be looking for an impact left-handed hitter, with needs at outfield and third base.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
Key free agents: RHP Clay Buchholz, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekman, 3B Eduardo Escobar, 1B Paul Goldschmidt (club option), OF Jon Jay, C Jeff Mathis, OF A.J. Pollock, C Chris Stewart, OF Yasmany Tomas (player option)

The D-backs could lose two key contributors this winter, with Corbin and Pollock likely to exceed Arizona's price range, but Buchholz, Descalso and Mathis are strong candidates to return. Neither Goldschmidt nor Tomas is expected to hit the open market. The D-backs are sure to pick up Goldschmidt's $14.5 million club option for 2019, and Tomas will undoubtedly exercise his player options for '19-20, valued at $15.5 million next year and $17 million in '20, after spending all of '18 in the Minors.

Colorado Rockies
Key free agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B DJ LeMahieu, RHP Seunghwan Oh (club option), RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra

The Rockies will have to decide whether they want to compete for LeMahieu this winter or if they're ready to turn the reins at second base over to one of their middle-infield prospects, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. They also face decisions in the outfield, where Gonzalez, Parra and Holliday are impending free agents, and in the bullpen with Ottavino and Oh, who has a $2.5 million option for 2019 with a $250,000 buyout.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key free agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Clayton Kershaw (opt out), SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Machado is among the headliners in this year's star-studded free agent class, and longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could add his name to the mix if he opts out of his contract. The Dodgers will try to retain Machado, whom they acquired from the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but they'll have stiff competition as he's likely to cash in for a big payday. The oft-injured Ryu posted a 1.97 ERA through 15 regular season starts in 2018 and pitched well in the playoffs to improve his stock heading into free agency.

San Diego Padres
Key free agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis

The Padres' 2018 roster will remain mostly intact with only Galvis and Ellis entering free agency, and both are candidates to return. Ellis is less likely to be re-signed, however, with young catchers Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the mix. San Diego may also let Galvis walk if he wants a multi-year deal, with Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) nearing big league readiness and Luis Urias (San Diego's No. 4 prospect) likely to take over as the club's starting second baseman in 2019.

San Francisco Giants
Key free agents: OF Gregor Blanco, RHP Madison Bumgarner (club option), LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, RHP Mark Melancon (can opt out of his contract), OF Hunter Pence, 3B Pablo Sandoval

The Giants are expected to pick up Bumgarner's $12 million option, and Melancon is almost certainly staying put for the final two years of his four-year, $62 million deal, but the club will likely part ways with veterans Pence and Blanco. The Giants may try bring back Holland, who enjoyed a bounceback campaign and anchored an injury-riddled Giants rotation in 2018, and Hundley, who capably backed up Buster Posey.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Key free agents: OF Adam Jones

The O's list has just one man on it, as they traded nearly every player on an expiring contract, including Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, during their 2018 roster purge. Baltimore would have dealt Jones as well, but he was unwilling to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Jones may be interested in returning, but he would likely need to accept a significantly reduced role as the Orioles look to the future.

Boston Red Sox
Key free agents: RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Joe Kelly, RHP Craig Kimbrel, 2B Ian Kinsler, IF Eduardo Nunez (player option), 1B/OF Steve Pearce, 2B Brandon Phillips, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP David Price (can opt out of his contract), LHP Chris Sale (club option)

Even if the Red Sox pick up Chris Sale's $15 million club option for 2019, which they likely will, and David Price doesn't opt out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract, they still have a number of important players hitting free agency. Kimbrel is the biggest name among them, though it's unclear if Boston will be willing to hand out a big contract for a player who regressed some from '17 to '18 and was shaky in the playoffs. The Red Sox will probably look to re-sign Eovaldi, who excelled after joining the club in a July trade (3.33 ERA, 2.88 FIP).

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, OF Brett Gardner (club option), LHP J.A. Happ, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Lance Lynn, OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP David Robertson, LHP CC Sabathia, 2B/OF Neil Walker

The Yankees have a busy offseason ahead of them, especially on the pitching side of the ledger. Even if prospect Justus Sheffield is ready to claim a rotation spot behind Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, that still leaves two open starting jobs. Meanwhile, the Yankees' vaunted bullpen could lose two key pieces in Robertson and Britton. Gardner was New York's longest-tenured player in 2018, but the club may pass on his $12.5 million club option ($2 million buyout) after the veteran outfielder posted a .690 OPS this past season.

Tampa Bay Rays
Key free agents: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Sergio Romo

Romo was an integral member of the Rays' pitching staff for much of the 2018 season, racking up 25 saves and making five appearances as an "opener." However, he recorded a 10.00 ERA in September and will be 36 years old on Opening Day in '19. The cost-conscious Rays may opt to move on and give an opportunity to a younger alternative. As for Gomez, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to be back after posting a .634 OPS over 118 games in 2018.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key free agents: RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Marco Estrada, 1B Justin Smoak (club option), INF Yangervis Solarte (club option)

Much like Baltimore, Toronto dealt many impending free agents during the 2018 season, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Curtis Granderson and John Axford. With Rowdy Tellez looking ready for an expanded role at first base, the Jays could pick up Smoak's reasonable $8 million club option and then trade the veteran this offseason. Estrada is likely gone after recording a 5.27 ERA with a 4.97 FIP in 61 starts over the past two years, as the Blue Jays can likely get similar production from a younger and cheaper pitcher.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Key free agents: RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Nate Jones (club option), LHP Hector Santiago, RHP James Shields (club option)

The White Sox are close to emerging from their rebuild, and the club could look for more pitching help this offseason, since Michael Kopech is now sidelined for 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. They have a $4.65 million option for Jones that they could exercise, but it seems unlikely that they'd exercise Shields' $16 million club option.

Cleveland Indians
Key free agents: RHP Cody Allen, OF Michael Brantley, OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Carlos Carrasco (club option), OF Lonnie Chisenhall, OF Rajai Davis, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Brandon Guyer (club option), LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Oliver Perez, IF Adam Rosales, RHP Josh Tomlin

Miller headlines a productive crop of prospective free agents departing Cleveland this season, with outfield and the bullpen being the two areas that stand to be hit hardest by the departures. Allen, Brantley and Miller are eligible for the $17.9 million qualifying offer. The Indians do have some security in the bullpen with midseason acquisitions Brad Hand and Adam Cimber both controllable for several more seasons, but bolstering the relief corps will be an offseason priority for the Tribe, who got subpar seasons from both Allen and Miller in 2018. Outfield is also an area of need, especially if Brantley departs, with no clear-cut starter at any of the three spots entering the offseason.

Detroit Tigers
Key free agents: SS Jose Iglesias, LHP Francisco Liriano, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Iglesias, Liriano and the retiring Victor Martinez are the key departures for the rebuilding Tigers, who also dealt impending free agent Mike Fiers to the A's in August. The Tigers will likely be in the market for a shortstop, as they don't have an immediate heir lined up in the event of Iglesias' departure, and will likely look to add to the rotation.

Kansas City Royals
Key free agents: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jason Hammel (mutual option), RHP Wily Peralta (club option)

After trading Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas this season, the Royals figure to let Escobar walk, as Adalberto Mondesi is now their starting shortstop. The Royals will almost certainly pay a $2 million buyout to get Hammel off the books instead of exercising his $12 million mutual option for 2019, but they could bring back Peralta, their closer, on a cheaper $3 million team option, especially since they'll likely be looking for bullpen help this offseason.

Minnesota Twins
Key free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, 2B Logan Forsythe, C Chris Gimenez, 1B/DH Joe Mauer, 1B/DH Logan Morrison (club option), RHP Ervin Santana (club option)

The most pressing offseason question for the Twins will be at first base with the possible departure of Mauer to either free agency or retirement and Morrison's disappointing performance in 2018, after which the Twins are not expected to pick up his $8 million option for 2019. The departures of Forsythe, Brian Dozier (traded to Dodgers) and Eduardo Escobar (traded to D-backs) also leave openings in the middle infield for the Twins. The Twins need lots of help in the bullpen and could always use more starting depth, with Santana's option unlikely to be picked up.

AL WEST
Los Angeles Angels
Key free agents: RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Junichi Tazawa, OF Chris Young, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP Blake Wood

The Angels will retain much of their core. Johnson will likely draw interest on the open market for clubs in need of dependable bullpen arms. Richards pitched well in 16 starts this season, but will be out of action until 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Young also suffered a season-ending injury (labral tears in both hips) but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Houston Astros
Key free agents: DH Evan Gattis, UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, LHP Dallas Keuchel, C Martin Maldonado, RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Tony Sipp

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Morton also figures to draw considerable interest coming off his first All-Star season at age 34. Maldonado will be part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

Oakland A's
Key free agents: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Edwin Jackson, OF Matt Joyce, 2B Jed Lowrie, C Jonathan Lucroy

The A's looming free agents are headlined by a pair of veterans in Lucroy and Lowrie. Lucroy is more likely to return with Franklin Barreto ready to take over as Oakland's everyday second baseman. Joyce is likely the odd man out in a crowded A's outfield. It's unclear if the A's will try to retain any of their veteran starting pitchers.

Seattle Mariners
Key free agents: 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Nelson Cruz, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP David Phelps, UTIL Andrew Romine, OF Denard Span (mutual option), RHP Adam Warren

Cruz represents the biggest free agent choice for the Mariners this winter. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, but Seattle must decide whether it wants to commit to a multi-year deal with the 38-year-old slugger or utilize that money elsewhere, with needs on the pitching staff and in center field. Span has a $12 million mutual option with a $4 million buyout. Iwakuma left the Mariners in September to pursue pitching opportunities in Japan.

Texas Rangers
Key free agents: SS Elvis Andrus (can opt out of his contract), 3B Adrian Beltre, C Robinson Chirinos (club option), RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Doug Fister (club option), RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Matt Moore (club option), LHP Martin Perez (club option)

The Rangers are awaiting Beltre's decision on his baseball future, and if the third baseman opts to continue playing, they could re-sign him. Andrus could opt out of his contract, leaving four years and $58 million on the table, but is more likely to stay put. The Rangers will likely pick up Chirinos' option, and decline their options on Moore and Fister. Perez's option is for $7.5 million and it remains to be seen what Texas will do with the left-hander coming off a down year. Colon and Gallardo aren't expected to return.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

2018-19 free-agent class position by position

MLB.com

By now, you probably know the big names due to become free agents this offseason.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the headliners. There's also Patrick CorbinDallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. But what about the rest?

By now, you probably know the big names due to become free agents this offseason.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the headliners. There's also Patrick CorbinDallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. But what about the rest?

Below is a list of notable players who are on an expiring contract or have an opt-out clause, grouped by position -- using a player's most-played position in 2018 -- and ranked by '18 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Each player's 2019 seasonal age and '18 regular-season WAR total are included in parentheses next to his name. (WAR totals are from FanGraphs.)

Note: This doesn't include players with 2019 club options that are very likely to be picked up, such as Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner and Cole Hamels, meaning the list could grow if options aren't exercised.

Catchers
Yasmani Grandal (30 years old, 3.6 WAR)
Wilson Ramos (31, 2.4)
Kurt Suzuki (35, 2.0)
Martin Maldonado (32, 0.9)
Nick Hundley (35, 0.9)
Matt Wieters (33, 0.9)
A.J. Ellis (38, 0.8)
Devin Mesoraco (31, 0.7)
Jonathan Lucroy (33, 0.6)
Rene Rivera (35, 0.3)
Drew Butera (35, -0.3)
Jeff Mathis (36, -0.5)

First basemen
Steve Pearce (36 years old, 1.6 WAR)
Joe Mauer (36, 1.0)
Matt Adams (30, 0.8)
Mark Reynolds (35, 0.1)
Lucas Duda (32, 0.0)
Hanley Ramirez (35, -0.2)

Second basemen
Jed Lowrie (35 years old, 4.9 WAR)
Asdrubal Cabrera (33, 2.7)
Ian Kinsler (37, 2.3)
DJ LeMahieu (30, 2.0)
Daniel Descalso (32, 1.6)
Brian Dozier (32, 0.8)
Daniel Murphy (34, 0.8)
Andrew Romine (33, 0.1)
Neil Walker (33, 0.1)
Sean Rodriguez (34, 0.0)
Logan Forsythe (32, -0.2)

Third basemen
Eduardo Escobar (30 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Josh Donaldson (33, 1.3)
Adrian Beltre (40, 1.2)
Pablo Sandoval (32, 0.1)
Chase Headley (35, -0.4)
Danny Valencia (34, -0.4)
Jose Reyes (36, -0.9)
Luis Valbuena (33, -0.9)

Shortstops
Manny Machado (26 years old, 6.2 WAR)
Jose Iglesias (29, 2.5)
Elvis Andrus (30, 1.2) -- Can opt out of the four years and $58 million remaining on his contract.
Freddy Galvis (29, 1.2)
Jordy Mercer (32, 1.0)
Adeiny Hechavarria (30, 0.4)
Alcides Escobar (32, -0.3)
Eric Sogard (33, -0.8)

Left fielders
Michael Brantley (32 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Marwin Gonzalez (30, 1.6)
Curtis Granderson (38, 0.9)
Craig Gentry (35, 0.6)
Cameron Maybin (32, 0.5)
Matt Joyce (34, 0.2)
Gregor Blanco (35, -0.7)
Hunter Pence (36, -0.9)

Center fielders
A.J. Pollock (31 years old, 2.5 WAR)
Leonys Martin (31, 2.4)
Adam Jones (33, 0.5)
Rajai Davis (38, -0.2)
Austin Jackson (32, -1.0)

Right fielders
Bryce Harper (26 years old, 3.5 WAR)
Andrew McCutchen (32, 2.6)
Nick Markakis (35, 2.6)
Jason Heyward (29, 2.0) -- Can opt out of the five years and $106 million remaining on his contract.
Carlos Gonzalez (33, 1.7)
Jose Bautista (38, 1.0)
Jon Jay (33, 0.8)
Lonnie Chisenhall (30, 0.8)
Melky Cabrera (34, 0.4)
Carlos Gomez (33, -0.5)
Chris Young (35, -0.5)

Designated hitters
Nelson Cruz (38 years old, 2.5 WAR)
Evan Gattis (32, 0.0)
Pedro Alvarez (32, -0.2)

Starting pitchers
Patrick Corbin (29 years old, 6.3 WAR)
Dallas Keuchel (31, 3.6)
Clayton Kershaw (31, 3.5) -- Can opt out of the two years and $65 million remaining on his contract.
J.A. Happ (36, 3.2)
Charlie Morton (35, 3.1)
Lance Lynn (32, 2.9)
David Price (33, 2.7) -- Can opt out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract.
CC Sabathia (38, 2.5)
Anibal Sanchez (35, 2.4)
Nathan Eovaldi (29, 2.2)
Gio Gonzalez (33, 2.0)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (32, 2.0)
Trevor Cahill (31, 2.0)
Derek Holland (32, 2.0)
Clay Buchholz (34, 1.9)
Wade Miley (32, 1.5)
Matt Harvey (30, 1.4)
Jeremy Hellickson (32, 1.2)
Garrett Richards (32, 1.0)
Tyson Ross (32, 1.0)
Brett Anderson (31, 0.9)
Edwin Jackson (35, 0.7)
Adam Wainwright (37, 0.5) -- Reached agreement on one-year contract with Cardinals. (Oct. 11, 2018)
Marco Estrada (35, 0.5)
Francisco Liriano (35, 0.3)
Bartolo Colon (46, 0.2)
Jaime Garcia (32, 0.0)
Drew Pomeranz (30, -0.3)
Miguel Gonzalez (35, -0.3)
Chris Tillman (31, -0.4)
Hisashi Iwakuma (35, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

Relief pitchers
Adam Ottavino (33 years old, 2.0 WAR)
Jeurys Familia (29, 1.8)
David Robertson (34, 1.5)
Craig Kimbrel (31, 1.5)
Jesse Chavez (35, 1.2)
Oliver Perez (37, 1.1)
Tony Sipp (35, 0.9)
Zach Duke (36, 0.9)
Brad Brach (33, 0.7)
Joe Kelly (31, 0.7)
Sergio Romo (36, 0.5)
Jake Diekman (32, 0.5)
Justin Wilson (31, 0.5)
Tyler Clippard (34, 0.5)
Shawn Kelley (35, 0.5)
Andrew Miller (34, 0.4)
Kelvin Herrera (29,0.4)
Mark Melancon (34, 0.3) -- Can opt out of the two years and $28 million remaining on his contract.
Greg Holland (33, 0.3)
Tony Barnette (35, 0.3)
Aaron Loup (31, 0.3)
Jonny Venters (34, 0.3)
Adam Warren (31, 0.3)
John Axford (36, 0.2)
Bud Norris (34, 0.2)
Ryan Madson (38, 0.2)
Jeanmar Gomez (31, 0.2)
Zach Britton (31, 0.1)
Santiago Casilla (38, 0.1)
Cody Allen (30, 0.0)
Jorge De La Rosa (38, 0.0)
Fernando Salas (34, 0.0)
Zach McAllister (31, 0.0)
Blake Wood (33, 0.0)
Daniel Hudson (32, -0.1)
Jerry Blevins (35, -0.1)
Matt Belisle (39, -0.2)
AJ Ramos (32, -0.2)
Hector Santiago (31, -0.2)
Jim Johnson (36, -0.3)
Randall Delgado (29, -0.3)
Boone Logan (34, -0.3)
Peter Moylan (40, -0.4)
Junichi Tazawa (33, -0.5)
Blaine Boyer (37, -0.9)
Josh Tomlin (34, -1.3)
David Phelps (32, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.
Joaquin Benoit (41, N/A) -- Didn't appear in the Majors in 2018.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Nats get Barraclough in deal with Marlins

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals began revamping their bullpen on Wednesday, one of the vital keys for trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season. The team acquired reliever Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins in exchange for international bonus money in their first step toward solidifying their relief core.

Barraclough had emerged as a strikeout artist in the Miami bullpen over his four big league seasons, with a 3.21 career ERA and an overall mark of 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He has made at least 60 appearances in each of the past three seasons and struck out 60 batters in 55 2/3 innings in 2018, although his ERA jumped to a career-high 4.20, largely the product of a rocky second half.

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals began revamping their bullpen on Wednesday, one of the vital keys for trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season. The team acquired reliever Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins in exchange for international bonus money in their first step toward solidifying their relief core.

Barraclough had emerged as a strikeout artist in the Miami bullpen over his four big league seasons, with a 3.21 career ERA and an overall mark of 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He has made at least 60 appearances in each of the past three seasons and struck out 60 batters in 55 2/3 innings in 2018, although his ERA jumped to a career-high 4.20, largely the product of a rocky second half.

Barraclough allowed 19 runs in 8 2/3 innings in his first 12 appearances out of the All-Star break before settling down over the last couple of weeks of September. In the first half, Barraclough was dominant, however, posting a 1.28 ERA and being named June's National League Reliever of the Month. That's the form the Nationals hope they'll be getting.

Video: MIA@NYM: Barraclough strands the winning run on third

At some point this past summer, the Nats had one of their most formidable relief corps in team history, pairing four pitchers -- Sean Doolittle, Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler -- with vast high leverage experience who could still perform. They built a bullpen that would help carry them in the postseason; however, the team failed to even reach the goal. Kintzler and Madson were traded away midseason to the Cubs and Dodgers, respectively, while Doolittle and Herrera spent much of the second half on the disabled list.

Doolittle, who has a team option almost certain to be picked up, will likely be the only significant veteran reliever to return. That could put Barraclough in a position to play a major role in the bullpen if he can return to his form of the first half.

One thing is for certain -- this move is a signal that the bullpen will be a major point of emphasis for Washington this offseason.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Kyle Barraclough

Reds claim catcher Graterol off waivers

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds claimed catcher Juan Graterol off waivers from the Twins on Wednesday.

Graterol, 29, has appeared in 61 Major League games since his 2016 debut and has a .217 career average and 308 1/3 innings caught. In 2018, he appeared in four games with the Angels and Twins.

CINCINNATI -- The Reds claimed catcher Juan Graterol off waivers from the Twins on Wednesday.

Graterol, 29, has appeared in 61 Major League games since his 2016 debut and has a .217 career average and 308 1/3 innings caught. In 2018, he appeared in four games with the Angels and Twins.

Over 58 games at Triple-A this season, Graterol batted .301/.330/.354.

Cincinnati previously claimed Graterol on Nov. 28, 2016, from the Angels but he never played a game for the Reds. The move began a whirlwind of transactions that saw the catcher claimed by the D-backs, the Angels and the Blue Jays before being traded back to the Angels in January 2017.

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, Juan Graterol

Marlins trade Barraclough to Nats, eye Cuban stars

Miami deals reliever for international bonus-pool value
MLB.com

MIAMI -- The Marlins continued to get a head start on the Hot Stove season on Wednesday, dealing right-hander Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money. It was the Marlins' second trade in four days to build up more international dollars for their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-handed prospect Ryan Lillie to the Reds, also for international pool money, on Saturday. Before the two deals, the Marlins had $4.3 million in their international allotment, the second most of any team. Only the Orioles, at $6.7 million, have more. How much that gap has narrowed isn't yet known.

MIAMI -- The Marlins continued to get a head start on the Hot Stove season on Wednesday, dealing right-hander Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money. It was the Marlins' second trade in four days to build up more international dollars for their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-handed prospect Ryan Lillie to the Reds, also for international pool money, on Saturday. Before the two deals, the Marlins had $4.3 million in their international allotment, the second most of any team. Only the Orioles, at $6.7 million, have more. How much that gap has narrowed isn't yet known.

Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and Victor Jr., 18, are both outfielders. Gaston is a 16-year-old right-hander. Victor Victor Mesa is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top international player on the market, and Gaston is ranked 16th. Major League Baseball recently cleared the three players as free agents, and on Friday they had a showcase in front of about 75 scouts at Marlins Park.

Barraclough, 28, had an uneven and perplexing 2018, going 1-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 61 appearances. He saved 10 of 17 chances. The right-hander became the Marlins' closer in the first half and had a 1.28 ERA in 42 1/3 innings before the All-Star break. In June, he was named the National League Reliever of the Month, not allowing a run and allowing just two hits in 11 2/3 innings. But in the second half, his ERA ballooned to 13.50 in 13 1/3 innings and was 1-for-5 in save chances.

The Marlins acquired Barraclough from the Cardinals in 2015, and in four seasons, he is 15-12 with a 3.21 ERA with 11 saves in 27 chances. The Marlins entertained trade possibilities for him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July. The 28-year-old is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this offseason.

With Barraclough's departure, right-hander Drew Steckenrider is the Marlins' projected closer heading into the Hot Stove season.

Ziegler retires
Former Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler announced his retirement on Wednesday, his 39th birthday. The right-handed submarine-style pitcher opened the season as Miami's closer, but was dealt to the D-backs in July for right-hander Tommy Eveld, who currently is pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Ziegler signed a two-year contract with the Marlins in December 2016.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Kyle Barraclough

Hembree replaces Wright on Red Sox roster

Cora opts to start Nunez at third base over Devers
MLB.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox were forced to make a significant adjustment to their unpredictable bullpen Saturday prior to Game 2 of the American League Division Series, as knuckleballer Steven Wright had to be taken off the roster due to injury. He was replaced by righty reliever Heath Hembree.

The move is effective for the remainder of the series. Major League Rule 40(a) dictates that Wright will also be unavailable to pitch in the AL Championship Series should Boston make it that far, though he could return if Boston qualifies for the World Series.

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BOSTON -- The Red Sox were forced to make a significant adjustment to their unpredictable bullpen Saturday prior to Game 2 of the American League Division Series, as knuckleballer Steven Wright had to be taken off the roster due to injury. He was replaced by righty reliever Heath Hembree.

The move is effective for the remainder of the series. Major League Rule 40(a) dictates that Wright will also be unavailable to pitch in the AL Championship Series should Boston make it that far, though he could return if Boston qualifies for the World Series.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

Wright felt soreness in his left knee during pregame warmups on Friday and underwent an MRI, which revealed inflammation and a loose body. In May of 2017, Wright underwent a cartilage restoration procedure on that same knee.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said it's too early to know if Wright will be back for a potential World Series.

The development is stinging for this series, as Cora planned on leaning on Wright heavily. The righty was dominant after coming back from the disabled list in September, giving up just one earned run in 10 outings.

In fact, Cora admitted Saturday that Wright likely would have been the first one out of the bullpen when Chris Sale came out of the Game 1 victory on Friday night. Sale left with a 5-0 lead, and Boston barely hung on, 5-4.

Without Wright, the Red Sox had to scramble and use Game 3 starter Rick Porcello to get the first two outs in the eighth. In fact, Cora said he would use Porcello again if necessary in Game 2. If that's the case, the righty would likely have his start pushed back to Game 4.

Another pitcher who will likely get more responsibility in light of Wright's absence is lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who spent most of the season in the starting rotation, going 13-5 with a 3.82 ERA. Though consistency has always been an issue for Rodriguez, he has some of the best pure stuff on the staff.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm2: Wright on injury, removal from roster

"He was important anyway," said Cora. "Now we have to map it out to see how we're going to use him, because obviously he can give us multiple innings if something happens, you know? We've got to be smart. We only have one long guy in the bullpen. How we're going to maneuver that, it's going to be very important for us."

Hembree was essentially the last cut when the Red Sox submitted their original roster for the ALDS on Friday. After being an invaluable setup man for Boston for the first few months of the season, particularly in stranding inherited runners, Hembree struggled in the second half, recording a 5.03 ERA while blowing three saves.

Hembree also allowed five home runs in 19 2/3 innings after the All-Star break, and he could now be called upon to face a Yankees lineup that knocked an MLB-record 265 homers in the regular season.

Video: BOS@ATL: Hembree K's Albies, gets out of jam in 7th

"Although he struggled with his slider, we feel his fastball can make a difference," said Cora. "We'll see how we use him. Obviously throughout the season, he was coming in with situations with runners on. I don't know where we're going to go, but we still feel like 97 mph with life up in the zone is OK with this team."

Boston's bullpen remains the biggest question mark in the series. Cora said that closer Craig Kimbrel, who got four outs on Friday, will generally be a "full go" by the eighth inning.

Video: Must C Conclusion: Kimbrel's 4-out save closes Game 1

Devers sits against righty

A day after Cora said he was leaning toward starting third baseman Rafael Devers against righty Masahiro Tanaka for Game 2, he instead went to Eduardo Nunez for the second straight game. Interestingly, Devers is 4-for-10 lifetime against Tanaka while Nunez is 4-for-17.

Defense played a factor. Though Devers has superior range to Nunez, he also led the Majors with 24 errors.

"Offensively [Devers has] been swinging the bat well, but as far as what we have, it's not like a big difference the way Nuney is swinging the bat. He's been putting up good at-bats," Cora said. "Tanaka, reverse splits but not that much. Actually, righties are hitting better. Then, obviously, we feel pretty good about Nuney at third base.

Video: BOS@NYY: Nunez makes a diving stop, nabs Stanton

"I know the kid has more range and he can make the great play, but there's something with the routine play that throughout the season, we didn't see it, obviously. With David pitching, there's a lot of ground balls to that side so I just went with him."

Bird is the word

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was quite amused by the bird that was making the rounds in the outfield throughout Game 1.

"Yeah, he befriended quite a few of us," Bradley said. "I honestly don't think he cared where we were. He was just going to enjoy the grass seeding that was down there. He mixed it up -- he went from left, center to right. He enjoyed himself."

Video: NYY@BOS Gm1: A bird gets in on the action at Fenway

When Bradley tried to make a diving catch on a sinking liner by Aaron Judge, the bird was within a few feet of him.

"I'm just glad that on that -- I actually thought about it before the inning even started; he was directly in front of me. I'm like, 'What are you doing?' I just got a feeling it's going to be a ball hit right there, and I'm going to have to dive," Bradley said. "I'm telling you, four plays later -- actually, it was two batters later, Aaron hits a ball right there. And I'm like, the first thing off the bat I can think about is, man, that bird is about to get hit."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers, Heath Hembree, Eduardo Nunez, Steven Wright

Mets activate David Wright from disabled list

Captain: 'To say it's a good feeling is an understatement'
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Throughout the past month, as he watched the Mets' games in Flushing and elsewhere, David Wright typically sat on the dugout bench in a blue hooded sweatshirt. He did not put on his uniform top because he was not technically a member of the team; since May 28, 2016, Wright has spent each of the Mets' 433 games on the disabled list.

That changed Tuesday, when the Mets activated their captain from the 60-day DL for the final six games of his career. For the first time in more than two years, Wright slipped a Mets jersey over his shoulders for a game.

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NEW YORK -- Throughout the past month, as he watched the Mets' games in Flushing and elsewhere, David Wright typically sat on the dugout bench in a blue hooded sweatshirt. He did not put on his uniform top because he was not technically a member of the team; since May 28, 2016, Wright has spent each of the Mets' 433 games on the disabled list.

That changed Tuesday, when the Mets activated their captain from the 60-day DL for the final six games of his career. For the first time in more than two years, Wright slipped a Mets jersey over his shoulders for a game.

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"To say it's a good feeling is an understatement," Wright said. "It's been a long time coming … a lot of time, a lot of hard work, so to be able to suit up and go out there, and just the opportunity to get the chance to play means the world to me."

15 stats that explain Wright's greatness

It is a chance that, for at least parts of the past two years, Wright was not sure he would have again. Since his last big league game, Wright has undergone neck, back and shoulder surgeries, beseeching his body again and again to do things it refused to do. Only recently, as he played in a dozen rehab games for two Mets Minor League affiliates, did Wright acknowledge privately that his condition is not going to improve.

Video: ATL@NYM: Wright activated from the 60-day DL

That prompted him and the Mets to reach an agreement in which they would activate him this week for six final games, including a start at third base Saturday against the Marlins. In that contest, Wright will play alongside Jose Reyes, his constant companion on the left side of the Mets' infield from 2004-11.

Top 10 moments of David Wright's career

What Wright does before then remains in question. While team officials have noted they would like to give him at least one pinch-hit opportunity during the week, assistant general manager John Ricco said on Tuesday that, out of respect for the Braves' pursuit of home-field advantage in the National League playoffs, the Mets will not use Wright in any game that is close. That could mean Wright's first appearance in a game will not occur until Friday against the Marlins.

If the Mets do use Wright before Saturday, he said he "would like a little bit of a heads-up just because it takes me a little while to get going, and I want to make sure I'm prepared physically."

"I'm going to be so nervous about just trying to make the plays and make some contact that I hope there's not any time for anything else," Wright said, referring to his emotions. "I'm real nervous, I'll tell you that. I'm real excited. I've already got the butterflies going. So it's going to be a weird, yet really fulfilling feeling."

Video: MLB Central on David Wright starting his final game

The Mets will open the Citi Field gates a half hour earlier than usual on Saturday, at 4:30 p.m. ET, to allow fans to watch Wright take batting practice.

"I'll take it all in while I'm out there as much as I can, and try to savor these emotions and savor these feelings," Wright said. "I've never really allowed myself to do it, and I'm going to try to do it as best as I can."

The Mets' all-time leader in hits (1,777), RBIs (970) and runs (949), and a career .296/.376/.491 hitter, Wright ranks in the Top 10 in franchise history in just about every meaningful offensive category. Since he returned to the clubhouse earlier this month, he has received accolades from the Red Sox -- Dustin Pedroia gave him a No. 5 panel from the Green Monster scoreboard -- the Phillies and the Nationals. Assuredly, the Mets have a significant tribute planned for Wright, who became the fourth captain in franchise history in 2013.

It will be, in Wright's estimation, a "unique" end to his career.

Video: The Rundown: David Wright's career as a Met

"Unique because it's been so long since I've played," Wright said. "Unique because I've understood the work and the time and the effort that's gone in to trying to get my body as good as it's going to get, knowing that there are some things that just aren't going to be right. … You think you can play forever and with me, unfortunately, my body is just not allowing that to happen. That is a unique feeling.

"All in all, it's nice to accomplish … being activated, but at the same time I want to put on as good of a show as I possibly can."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, David Wright

McCullers returns from disabled list

MLB.com

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday, and the club also recalled lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A.

The 24-year-old will be available to pitch out of relief in Houston's series against Toronto. McCullers completed his third and final simulated game on Friday at the club's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

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Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday, and the club also recalled lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A.

The 24-year-old will be available to pitch out of relief in Houston's series against Toronto. McCullers completed his third and final simulated game on Friday at the club's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

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"I felt good over the three times I was out there," McCullers said. "There were some ups and downs, but that's part of getting back into pitching shape. I was happy with the way my body responded each time, and the way I looked and felt the last time [on Friday]. I want to pitch again."

On Friday, McCullers threw around 25 pitches, amounting to 1 1/3 innings. He said he was pleased with his breaking ball, worked on his fastball and changeup, and he was landing the pitches in the zone to both right-handed and left-handed batters. No Major League starting pitcher throws his curveball at a higher rate than McCullers.

McCullers, a 2017 All-Star, had been on the disabled list since Aug. 5 with a muscle strain in his right forearm. He is 10-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 22 starts with Houston, and he has 138 strikeouts in 126 innings.

Houston Astros, Lance McCullers Jr.

Twins call up Graterol to bolster catching depth

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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"I was a little surprised, to be honest with you," Graterol said. "You never know what's going to happen in this game. I think my wife is even more excited than me. I'm really happy. It's a new chapter in my career, having fun with these guys."

Graterol, 29, has Major League experience, hitting .222/.225/.283 with six doubles and 13 RBIs in 58 games with the Angels from 2016-18. He was released by the Angels on June 24, only to sign with Minnesota four days later. Graterol hit .284/.317/.336 with six doubles and 10 RBIs in 34 games with Rochester.

He's not expected to see much action over the final week of the season, but the Twins are down to two healthy catchers in Willians Astudillo and Chris Gimenez and have a doubleheader Friday.

"It's just a bit of protection on the bench in terms of numbers more than anything," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You hopefully don't have to get in that spot, but we're limited. Just having another body that could go out there if needed I thought was worthwhile. He's scheduled to go play in Venezuela this winter, so he's been doing some baseball things, and we got him here, so that's a good thing for us."

Graterol had actually planned to fly to his native Venezuela on Monday to get ready for the winter ball season, but will now push that back until after next week. For now, Graterol is happy to have an opportunity to be in the big leagues, even if it's only for the final nine games of the year.

"I'm just here to help the team and do my job," Graterol said. "I want to show these guys I can still play baseball. In the future, you never know what's going to happen. In this business, sometimes it's crazy, you know. You could be playing in Triple-A and then up in the big leagues the next day. After three years with the Angels, it's kind of different with all the new people and everything. But I'm just trying to get to know everybody."

Worth noting

Miguel Sano underwent an MRI exam on his left knee Friday, but it revealed no structural damage. He suffered the injury on a slide Sept. 4 and returned to the lineup Tuesday, only to head back to Minnesota on Wednesday to get his knee checked out. There's a chance he could return this season but the Twins are still trying to find out more about the injury.

"We didn't learn anything new," Molitor said. "We tried to eliminate things that might be sources or causes of the aggravation that he continues to feel. A little bit of a puzzle that we haven't been able to solve yet in terms of the discomfort he continues to experience. We're hoping with treatment and maybe a little bit more rest, we'll be in a better place come Tuesday."

• Second baseman Logan Forsythe's sore left knee is improving, but he wasn't able to return to the lineup Saturday. He's likely to remain out of action until the Twins return home to Target Field on Tuesday.

"Improved today," Molitor said. "Obviously not to the level that he's in the lineup. But it was a good step forward compared to how he felt yesterday."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Juan Graterol