Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper might not be the only $400MM free agent if he reaches the open market in 2018, says FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link), who reports that Orioles third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado could also exceed that total. Machado is a more valuable defender at third than Harper is in right, argues Rosenthal, and is just three months older than Harper (both will be 26 in 2018). Machado, who has slashed a videogamelike .323/.397/.634 with 13 home runs in 209 plate appearances this year, has outhit Harper (.243/.423/.537, 12 homers in 201 PAs) and leads all major leaguers in fWAR (3.4).
Here’s more inside info from Rosenthal:
- The Braves will only trade right-hander Julio Teheran if they can get a major league hitter of similar quality and age in return, general manager John Coppolella told Rosenthal. “The days of us trading players like Teheran for prospects are over. We need to get better at the major league level. We would have to be overwhelmed to move Teheran,” Coppolella said. Teheran, 25, is off to a strong start this year (2.57 ERA, 8.43 K/9, 2.43 BB/9 in 63 innings) and is signed to a reasonable contract through 2020.
- Although left-hander Rich Hill looks like an attractive trade candidate, the Athletics could elect to keep the 36-year-old and extend him a qualifying offer at season’s end if nobody makes a satisfactory offer for him. The A’s would then either retain Hill for at least another season at $15.8MM – a significant increase from his current salary of $6MM – or lose him in free agency and receive a first-round pick as compensation.
- Teams are contacting the Padres about southpaw Drew Pomeranz, per Rosenthal, who adds that GM A.J. Preller “remains open-minded” to the idea of moving any of his players. Acquired from the A’s for a pittance during the offseason, Pomeranz has somewhat quietly been terrific this season. With a stingy 1.70 ERA, the 27-year-old is behind only Clayton Kershaw and he ranks 12th among qualified starters in strikeouts per nine innings (10.19), though his lofty 4.25 BB/9 is 10th from the bottom. Pomeranz is currently on a cheap salary of $1.35MM and has two arbitration-eligible years remaining.