Sport: Harper, Machado, other stars remain free agents. What's going on? - PressFrom - US
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SportHarper, Machado, other stars remain free agents. What's going on?

09:15  11 february  2019
09:15  11 february  2019 Source:   latimes.com

Report: White Sox, Phillies respective 'heavy favorites' for Machado, Harper

Report: White Sox, Phillies respective 'heavy favorites' for Machado, Harper With Spring Training fast approaching, the top two free agents in baseball still don't have a team. But both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have drastically narrowed down their list of suitors. According to MLB insider Bob Nightengale, it's more of a matter of when the pair will sign than where they will end up, as Manny Machado is likely to land with the Chicago White Sox and Bryce Harper is most likely destined to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Three weeks remain until position players report to spring training and little has changed the last month.

Ken Rosenthal joins Hot Stove to discuss the biggest continuing storylines of the offseason, including Bryce Harper and Manny Machado .

Harper , Machado still on the table. The Yankees are likely out on Machado after signing a pair of former Rockies in infielder D.J. LeMahieu and reliever Adam Ottavino, but the Padres have reportedly entered as a late potential suitor for him as San Diego looks for a long-term solution at third base.

Neither Bryce Harper nor Manny Machado plies his trade as a pitcher or a catcher, so this week's milestone is imprecise but still significant. As battery mates report to Arizona and Florida during the next few days, to be followed by the rest of the rosters next week, the central mystery of this bleak baseball offseason remains unsolved. Neither Harper nor Machado has found a home for the 2019 season, and neither appears particularly close to finding one.

Report: Padres leaning toward Bryce Harper over Manny Machado

Report: Padres leaning toward Bryce Harper over Manny Machado As the long winter of MLB free agency rolls along without any real indication on where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will land, the San Diego Padres reportedly have honed in on the former. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Saturday that, “Padres ownership is said to view Bryce Harper as a business/marketing opportunity.” Heyman also noted the Padres “may now lean toward Harper over Machado” despite having a need at third base. Of course, the overriding issue is whether the Padres have deep enough pockets and are willing to land such a big fish.

Harper , Machado and coveted center fielder A.J. Pollock all remain unsigned in a second straight sluggish The buzz on the biggest names. For the second straight offseason, the free agent market has The contracts for both players will have direct effects on the contracts of the next-best available

Free agents can begin signing as soon as 5 p.m. Saturday, but the market will take longer than that He has the money to do it. Or he could go all-in on one of the two big bats, Harper or Machado . But the Phils remain open-minded on Machado and will be in on him. His talent mandates that the team

The same can be said for Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, seven-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, five-time All-Star outfielder Adam Jones, two-time All-Star third baseman Mike Moustakas and dozens of other qualified major league players. Yet, Harper and Machado were supposed to be different, the two-man tandem expected to thaw the spending freeze that has overtaken the sport in the last three years.

"What team out there wouldn't want a Bryce Harper, a Manny Machado or a lot of the free agents out there?" San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey said at the team's recent FanFest in San Francisco.

Harper, 26, was the 2015 National League most valuable player and is a six-time All-Star. Machado, 26, is a four-time All-Star who hit 37 home runs in 2018 and can play shortstop or third base.

Report: Phillies still expect to sign Harper or Machado

Report: Phillies still expect to sign Harper or Machado The Philadelphia Phillies were expected to have an extremely active offseason.

Harper ' s career on-base percentage is .388, some 21 points higher than Machado ' s best OBP in any season. Harper ' s power is more prodigious. His plate selection is so, so much better than Machado ' s . It' s not going to matter much here, at least not right away.

A handful of the offseason' s top MLB free agents remain preoccupied with World Series aspirations. The hot stove, however, never stays off entirely. Before joining a stacked crop of stars on the open market, Manny Machado , Clayton Kershaw Phillies in Mix for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper .

The answer to Posey's question, it turns out, is the overwhelming majority of the industry, at least not at the prices the players desire and that precedent suggests they deserve. Harper and Machado aimed to exceed the $325 million deal handed to Giancarlo Stanton by the Miami Marlins in 2014. Neither may reach that mark.

Posey was asked about Harper because the Giants met with Harper in Las Vegas last week. The meeting leaked because Larry Baer, the Giants' chief executive, took a photograph with a fan inside the Bellagio and "it's kind of hard to deny when your CEO gets made in the casino," said Farhan Zaidi, the team's president of baseball operations. And the meeting happened only because Harper was unsigned in February, which presented an opportunity for the bargain-seeking Zaidi and the deep-pocketed Giants.

San Francisco can afford Harper. The team has spent a relative pittance, about $8.5 million, on major league free agents this offseason. That puts the Giants in line with the overwhelming majority of the industry. Only seven teams have spent more than $50 million on big league free agents: the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Washington Nationals, the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers.

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado still seeking $300M deals

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado still seeking $300M deals Bryce Harper and Manny Machado somehow remain on the free agent market with spring training looming, but it’s possible the deals the two superstar sluggers reportedly are seeking are bogging things down. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, both Harper and Machado are still waiting on $300 million deals — with Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract setting the bar — despite the fact that even the teams said to be interested in signing them have balked at such exorbitant contracts.

More here on what Keuchel could cost, what he still does well and the ways he' s declined. 3. OF Michael Brantley. After Machado and Harper , Brantley is the free - agent hitter I like the most. Would love to see Ramos back here but don't think it happens. The Phillies have other fish to fry, want even

I’ll admit it – I have no idea what is going on , and I’m here to enjoy the ride. With that being said The early rumors of the White Sox being connected to Harper and Machado lend some additional I feel like the relief market might move faster than the others as negotiations with Harper and Machado

Which begs the question: What is the rest of the sport doing?

Free agency is not the only way to improve a roster. The Cincinnati Reds improved their team through trades, acquiring Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Matt Kemp from the Dodgers and swung a deal with the Yankees for All-Star pitcher Sonny Gray. The St. Louis Cardinals netted star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks. As the Seattle Mariners tore down their roster, the Mets grabbed closer Edwin Diaz and second baseman Robinson Cano, and the Yankees augmented their starting rotation with James Paxton.

All those trades cost teams assets in the form of prospects. To sign a free agent requires only money. In 2013, the Red Sox rose from a last-place finish the year before to a championship after signing seven free agents. That approach feels like a relic from another lifetime, rather than a strategy employed by a World Series winner this decade.

The concept of trying to spend to vault into playoff contention has fallen out of favor with this generation of risk-averse, depth-conscious executives. So Zaidi has focused on the lower tier of the 40-man roster in his first offseason running the Giants. The Mariners and Diamondbacks joined the Marlins among the ranks of teams selling off crucial assets. The Chicago White Sox have engaged with Machado, but have not persuaded him to sign. The San Diego Padres continue to kick the can down the road in their perpetual rebuild.

Verlander rips MLB over free agency season without Harper, Machado deals

Verlander rips MLB over free agency season without Harper, Machado deals ​Baseball fans are rejoicing this week that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, bringing us one step closer to Opening Day. 

As Harper and Machado remain unsigned, Steinbrenner not ruling out another big addition Feb. 7: Although Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tweet from @JonHeyman: Even with weeks going by and more teams checking in on the two mega star free agents ��� Bryce Harper and Manny

MLB free agent predictions: Where will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado end up? Fans have had their eyes on this winter for years, with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado both hitting the Scott Boeck – Yankees: Manny and the Bronx are made for each other . And with Didi Gregorius recently

Even for teams with October hopes, free agency now serves as a vehicle for augmenting a roster instead of reshaping it. So Milwaukee signed former Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal and otherwise stood pat. Similar patterns appeared with Colorado and infielder Daniel Murphy, Houston with outfielder Michael Brantley and Atlanta with third baseman Josh Donaldson.

None of those players received longer than a two-year contract. Teams are willing to spend, but on their terms. The Yankees have flirted with Machado, while still doling out nearly $140 million on the market to players such as reliever Zach Britton and second baseman DJ LeMahieu. The Phillies struck a deal for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto last week, and have stayed engaged on Harper and Machado. But that didn't stop them from signing outfielder Andrew McCutchen and trading for shortstop Jean Segura. The Dodgers opted for outfielder A.J. Pollock at $55 million rather than a nine-figure commitment to Harper.

Fans in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles may clamor for star power. But at least their teams made an effort to improve. More troubling is the behavior of the Chicago Cubs, who have sat out of the free-agent market after a series of expensive misses. Jason Heyward has been an offensive liability through the first three seasons of his eight-year, $184 million deal. Yu Darvish made eight starts in the first year of his six-year, $126 million deal. And the availability of reliever Brandon Morrow, signed last offseason to be the team's closer, is uncertain as the spring begins.

The opening of spring training usually serves as a metaphor for renewal. Yet, this year it will function more as a reminder that the two brightest lights on the free-agent market have not yet found employment, and the industry is not exactly clamoring to change that.

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Related slideshow: Offseason moves (provided by imagn)

Harper, Machado, other stars remain free agents. What's going on?

Padres reportedly 'have not ruled out' signing Bryce Harper.
On the same day the San Diego Padres officially signed Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal, a report has surfaced that the team is not pulling out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. The belief was that the Padres would no longer be pursuing Harper after locking up Machado, but Fancred’s Jon Heyman suggests that may not be the case, although San Diego managing to sign the other remaining superstar still on the free-agent market is “not seen as a likelihood.” hard as it is to believe, the padres have not ruled out signing bryce harper, too.

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