Philadelphia Phillies – MLB Trade Rumors Tue, 22 Jan 2019 05:26:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Latest On Josh Harrison’s Market Sun, 20 Jan 2019 18:38:38 +0000 The Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Phillies and Rays are all in on free agent Josh Harrison at the moment, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.

Reported interest from the Giants and Angels isn’t anything new for Harrison, but this is the first time the Dodgers, Phillies and Rays have been connected to him in any major way this offseason. The 31-year-old Harrison is available on the heels of a below-average season with the Pirates, who declined his $10.5MM club option in favor of a $1MM buyout afterward, but has typically been a decent offensive player and a solid, versatile defender during his career. Consequently, Harrison has drawn widespread interest on the open market.

A .277/.317/.408 hitter in 3,012 plate appearances, Harrison has posted a 98 wRC+ and a 97 OPS+, falling just shy of the league-average mark of 100. He has also accrued significant reps at second, third and in the corner outfield, though the vast majority of his 2018 playing time came at the keystone.

Harrison would provide the Dodgers yet another multi-position defender, and as a right-handed hitter, he’d give the lefty-heavy team some variety in its lineup. For Philly, Harrison may be a fallback option at third base in the event the club doesn’t sign free agent Manny Machado, though it’s debatable at best whether the former is superior to current starter Maikel Franco. The Phillies already have a quality starter at second in Cesar Hernandez, so it’s doubtful Harrison would see much action there. Unlike both the big-spending Dodgers and Phillies, the Rays operate with a bottom-of-the-barrel payroll. Still, they should be able to afford Harrison, who’d offer them further protection behind second baseman Joey Wendle, third baseman Matt Duffy and corner outfielders Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows.

Latest On Phillies, Bryce Harper Thu, 17 Jan 2019 03:57:59 +0000
  • The most recent chatter on Bryce Harper has focused on his ongoing dalliance with the Phillies, due in no small part to a recent, in-person meeting. Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets that Harper “hit it off” with Phils skipper Gabe Kapler, which perhaps represents a notable, though unquestionably secondary, factor in the still-developing situation. Though the word long has been that the Philadelphia organization has at least a slight preference for Manny Machado over Harper, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the latter may actually be a better match. Lauber ticks through a variety of ways in which that’s arguably the case, ranging from Harper’s fit in the lineup and on the roster to broader considerations such as marketing.
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    Phillies “Expected” To Make Offer To Bryce Harper Soon Tue, 15 Jan 2019 22:45:04 +0000 4:45pm: Machado was the Phils’ primary target at one point, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (Twitter links), but it’s now much more even between him and Harper — if not slightly tilted in Harper’s favor. The Phillies, according to Heyman, are expected to make a formal offer to Harper in the near future.

    Even if the Phillies won’t sign both Machado and Harper, Heyman notes that the goal is to sign one and then explore the market for other top free agents like Pollock, Keuchel and Kimbrel.  To that end, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale cites team executives with the Phils in tweeting that organization has “visions” of signing the trio of Harper, Keuchel and Kimbrel. Paired with the prior acquisitions of Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen, among others, that’d obviously be a seismic roster overhaul — the magnitude of which has been virtually unparalleled by any team in recent memory.

    Of course, striving to add that trio and actually signing all three are two entirely separate animals, and it remains to be seen how feasible it is that the Phillies could win the bidding on three of the market’s top remaining free agents.

    1:00pm: With a surprisingly small number of teams engaged on superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, it has at times seemed as if the big-budget Phillies are the favorites to land both players. Of course, even if the Philadelphia org is the likeliest single team to secure the services of each, that does not mean that it should be expected to come away with a pair of monster deals. Still, the possibility of hooking two free agent trophies has remained tantalizing to consider.

    In the course of an interesting breakdown of the current situation, though, Matt Gelb of The Athletic (subscription link) strikes a blow to the idea of the Phillies making successive strikes for both Harper and Machado. The Phils, he reports, have “made this much clear during negotiations: They will not sign both players.”

    Certainly, there was never anything approaching an expectation that the Phillies would land both, or even that they’d seriously consider taking on two huge salaries. But it’s still a notable bit of seemingly hard information in a market situation that has remained exceedingly fluid, so far as is known publicly.

    As Gelb explains, moreover, that stance is perhaps a notable aspect of the Phillies’ strategy in approaching both Harper and Machado. If the club’s money is only there for one of the two players, that conveys no small amount of leverage. Even if both players would rather end up elsewhere, they surely can’t ignore the presence of the Phils’ ample pocketbooks in navigating a surprisingly barren field of pursuers.

    Perhaps the best case scenario for the Philadelphia club would be for one of these two players to jump on a big but palatable offer to join on. Of course, their respective representatives — Scott Boras, for Harper, and Dan Lozano, for Machado — have played this game before. We’ve seen teams emerge from the woodwork in the past to land players of this quality with surprisingly massive contracts. As Gelb rightly suggests, the presence (or absence) of “mystery teams” — whether as active bidders or as conjured by the agents — may go a long way toward influencing the course of negotiations.

    Gelb says the Philly club intends to continue exercising confident patience in talks. The situation seems ripe for that approach, though surely the team would be better-situated if Harper or Machado had a stronger personal desire to end up in Philly. Really, there seem only to be a few risks here (beyond those that are inherent to such a major investment, which the team has already largely resolved in favor of action).

    Those risks seem manageable. One is simply that the team loses out on the player it prefers to land, which would appear to be Machado. Given that the roster is susceptible of upgrades at both the corner outfield and third base, that’s not a major worry. Another is that it ends up having to pay a bit more by allowing the bidding to get going in earnest. Paying a premium now to forestall that possibility seems unwise, when the Phillies can surely afford to cover a higher price if that ends up being required. (This is the point of the post where I quote owner John Middleton on his willingness to spend “stupid money” this winter.)

    Finally, the Phils could end up missing on both players. Gelb says the team is confident it will land one of the two, though surely there’s some possibility that they’ll both head elsewhere. That is perhaps the most concerning outcome, though even then there are alternatives. A.J. Pollock, Dallas Keuchel, and Craig Kimbrel are the leading three alternative remaining free agents; all would be hypothetical fits. And the trade market is all but sure to have some intriguing targets still available, even if it means coughing up more prospect capital than the team might wish. Losing the star power would hurt, but it seems reasonable to think the Phillies could still back-fill the missing talent.

    All things considered, there are still many ways in which things could shake out — with both Harper and Machado landing in Philadelphia evidently not among them. Today’s news may not be earth-shattering, but it does cabin the universe of foreseeable outcomes. With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, in a slow-moving and increasingly tense market setting, it’s a signpost that’s at least worthy of keeping in mind.

    Phillies Sign Lane Adams To Minor League Deal Mon, 14 Jan 2019 19:58:15 +0000 The Phillies announced Monday that they’ve signed outfielder Lane Adams to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training.

    Obviously, it’s not the free-agent outfield addition that Phils fans were hoping they’d hear about today, but Adams will give the club a useful depth piece and a potential bench option for the 2019 campaign. The 29-year-old is a career .263/.333/.467 hitter with seven homers and 11 steals in 154 Major League plate appearances — most of which have come with the division-rival Braves across the past two seasons.

    Adams struggled through an ugly season in Triple-A last year but, as noted above, have been fairly productive in the big leagues and did notch a quality .264/.320/.461 slash in 199 Triple-A plate appearances with the Braves in ’17. Adams is 11-for-11 in MLB stolen-base attempts and has four seasons with 30 or more steals in the minors under his belt — highlighted by a 44-steal campaign in 2016. He’s capable of playing all three outfield slots and has spent the bulk of his Triple-A time in center field in recent seasons.

    White Sox Have Made Eight-Year Offer To Manny Machado? Mon, 14 Jan 2019 05:53:15 +0000 11:53pm: In a contrasting report, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link) that the White Sox haven’t increased their original seven-year offer to Machado.

    11:25pm: The eight-year offer is worth $250MM, as per Z101Digital’s Hector Gomez (hat tip to’s Scott Merkin).

    9:58pm: The White Sox have offered an eight-year contract to free agent infielder Manny Machado,’s Jeff Passan reports.  We heard last week that Chicago had formally put an offer on the table for Machado, as per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, though it isn’t known if this eight-year pact is that same deal, or if the Sox have upped their offer.  That previous deal was “likely closer to $200 million than $300 million” in Nightengale’s words.

    The eight-year threshold seemingly represents a new step in the ongoing talks between Machado and the White Sox, as 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine had previously reported that the Sox were only willing to hand out seven-year deals to either Machado or Bryce Harper.  The White Sox now seem to be a bit closer to Machado’s desire for at least a decade-long contract, though if he is “sitting on” Chicago’s offer, as Passan writes, it indicates that Machado is still holding out to see if another team can top the White Sox with a longer and more expensive offer.

    There seem to be at least three suitors in play for Machado at this time, as Passan notes that the White Sox and Phillies (who are “still engaged” with Machado) have been told that a mystery team is also interested.  The Yankees have been linked to Machado this winter, though they might not be the third suitor, as recent reports seem to indicate a waning interest in Machado’s services.

    If the Yankees are indeed out, and the Phillies have now become the favorites to land Bryce Harper, Machado could find himself down to just two suitors.  It’s anyone’s guess, of course, about who the mystery team could be or what they might be willing to offer (or if the team exists at all, and isn’t just a negotiating tactic by Machado’s camp).  While Passan suggests that Chicago’s willingness to go to eight years could indicate some flexibility to add a ninth or even a tenth year to an offer, the White Sox might not feel such pressure if they perceive that they already have the highest bid.  The White Sox have already sailed well above their financial comfort zone in bidding on Machado — an eight-year deal in the $200MM+ range dwarfs the previous largest deal in franchise history, Jose Abreu’s six-year/$68MM pact.

    John Middleton, Matt Klentak Discuss Bryce Harper Meeting Sun, 13 Jan 2019 20:43:23 +0000 After meeting with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday, the Phillies are reportedly the No. 1 contenders to sign the six-time All-Star. On the heels of the Phillies’ summit with Harper, owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak shed some light on what the team accomplished by meeting with him and Scott Boras. “I think it was really positive,” Middleton told 6ABC (via Todd Zolecki of, and Klentak agreed. “We got to understand the man,” Middleton continued. “We got to understand what he’d be like in the dugout, the clubhouse and the community. He and his wife are really an impressive young couple.” The Phillies’ contingent made a long presentation to Harper’s camp, though they reportedly haven’t issued him an offer yet.

    Phillies Reportedly Favorites To Sign Bryce Harper Sun, 13 Jan 2019 18:40:27 +0000 SUNDAY: The Phillies are “clear-cut” favorites to sign Harper, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale hears from multiple sources. The Nationals, on the other hand, are fading in the sweepstakes, and team executives are calling it a “long shot” that he’ll re-sign with them. Nightengale reports. Washington isn’t prepared to pay Harper more than $25MM per year, Nightengale suggests. The Phillies, meanwhile, haven’t submitted a formal offer to Harper yet, but that should change during the upcoming week, according to Nightengale.

    SATURDAY: After conducting a face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday, the Phillies “remain optimistic” they’ll emerge from the offseason having signed him or free-agent infielder Manny Machado, Matt Breen of reports. At the very least, the Phillies will be finalists for both Harper and Machado, Breen adds.

    The Phillies entered the winter with owner John Middleton declaring that money wouldn’t stand in the way of upgrading a team which has missed the playoffs seven years in a row. And signing either Harper or Machado has always stood out as the clearest path to improving the Phillies’ roster, as the two 26-year-old superstars are easily the premier players on the open market. Given both the Phillies’ financial might and their need for at least one of those players, it’s “likely” they’ll put forth the richest offers for both Harper and Machado, according to Breen.

    If the Phillies are only able to pick one, it’d be Machado, whom they “seem to prefer,” Breen writes. However, the Phillies have “signaled” to him that they are also interested in Harper – a move that Breen posits could pressure Machado to accept an offer from them. Notably, since the Phillies met with Machado in December, they’ve added one of his confidants to their staff, having hired former Orioles infield coach Bobby Dickerson in the same role. Dickerson was with the Orioles during Machado’s entire run with the team from 2012-18. Meanwhile, the White Sox – who look like the only other team seriously pursuing Machado – may have helped their chances this winter by acquiring the shortstop/third baseman’s brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso,  and his friend Jon Jay. But if money, not personal ties, ends up being the deciding factor in where Machado goes, signs are pointing to Philadelphia. After all, the White Sox’s only known offer to date was reportedly worth closer to $200MM than $300MM, and it may take a proposal nearer to the latter amount to lure Machado.

    As with Machado, Harper has fewer franchises going after him than expected this offseason. Still, at least four teams – the Phillies, White Sox, Nationals and Dodgers – look to be in the running. It seems the Nationals, with whom Harper has spent his whole career since going first overall in the 2010 draft, are particularly strong in the derby. As of earlier this week, the Nats were reportedly upping their efforts to re-sign Harper, to whom they’ve already extended at least one offer worth well north of $300MM. Reports have indicated the Dodgers aren’t keen on making a long-term commitment, on the other hand, meaning Harper may have to choose among the Phillies, White Sox and Nationals if he has any hope of landing a record-setting contract.

    NL Notes: Kluber, Padres, Dodgers, Harper, Nats, Cubs, Boras/Phils Sat, 12 Jan 2019 21:24:06 +0000 The Padres persist in their dogged pursuit of Indians ace Corey Kluber, per’s JP Morosi, who notes that the club would prefer to hold on to each of its top five prospects. The Tribe reportedly “have interest” in lefty Adrian Morejon, who, despite his status as a consensus top 50-75 prospect, wouldn’t fall into the aforementioned category in a loaded Padre farm. Still, it’s tough to see a deal consummated without one of those players; Cleveland, after all, has been widely reported to be seeking a Chris Sale-esque return for Kluber, and wouldn’t likely settle for even high-grade chaff. If the club is still interested in dealing the 32-year-old ace, the Padres would be seem a perfect fit: the club is loaded not only with blue-chip prospects, but also sport a glut of young, if underperforming, outfielders at every position. Morosi lists Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe as options, though the Tribe may also have its eyes on Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero, in addition to the richly-paid Wil Myers.

    More from the Senior Circuit …

    • In the same article, Morosi reports that the Dodgers still “remain involved” in discussions for Kluber. The club certainly boasts its share of high-level farm talent – though it can’t match the San Diego riches – but thus far, under the tenure of Baseball Ops President Andrew Friedman, has been altogether opposed to dealing from the top of its farm. Multiple high-level departures would be an unequivocal sea change for the boys in blue, who may be feeling the pressure from a desperate fanbase after so many near-misses in the recent past. Adding Kluber to the top of the team’s rotation without a 25-man prune has to be tempting for even the most measured of front offices, but the slotted five (Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, and Rich Hill) already rival any in the game.
    • Though many executives questioned the veracity of the Nationals’ reported 10-year, $300MM offer to Bryce Harper on the last day of the season, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the offer was “indeed real,” and that the two sides continue to negotiate. Harper, it seems, would very much like to surpass the $325MM guaranteed to Giancarlo Stanton, though doesn’t appear to have the wind-ranging market he once envisioned. Some interested teams continue to disguise their intentions, but not the Cubs, who Rosenthal notes “would love” a shot at Harper, if only the front office could get the “unlikely” go-ahead from ownership.
    • Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia details the Fightins’ unique relationship with agent Scott Boras over the years, which reached a tipping point over 1997’s bitter dispute with number two overall pick J.D. Drew. The Phillies, of course, are set to meet with Harper today in Las Vegas, and have long been considered the near-favorite for his services. Per Salisbury, the club plans to address recent reports that the 26-year-old star is not fond of Philadelphia, which would seem to strike a death knell to the team’s chances. Among all potential suitors with near-term competitive ambitions, the Phils have the greatest need – and, perhaps, the most available cash – for Harper, and perhaps the team’s recent amenability with Boras could tip the scales in its direction.
    Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League Sat, 12 Jan 2019 20:19:32 +0000 The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed at 1pm ET yesterday, meaning over the next few hours, there will be a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track today’s minor settlements from the American League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Yankees 1B Greg Bird will make $1.2 MM next season, per Bob Nightengale on Twitter.
    • The controversial Roberto Osuna will make $6.5MM next season, per Feinsand. Teammate Jake Marisnick, who again scuffled in ’18 after a promising 2017, will make $2.2125MM.
    • Per Mark Feinsand on Twitter, A’s lefty Sean Manaea $3.15MM in what’s sure to be an injury-marred 2019.
    • Hard-throwing reliever Mychal Givens will make $2.15MM, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), with additional incentives for making the All-Star team or placing in the Top-3 for the Rivera/Hoffman Reliever of the Year Awards, added’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter).
    • The Mariners agreed on a $1.95MM deal with outfielder Domingo Santana, per’s Greg Johns (via Twitter). Santana is the second and last of the Mariners’ arbitration-eligible players.
    • The Angels agreed to contracts with a pair of players yesterday, per Maria Torres of the LA Times (via Twitter). Reliever Hansel Robles signed for $1.4MM. Robles threw 36 1/3 innings of 2.97 ERA baseball after the Angels claimed him off waivers from the Mets in June. Luis Garcia, acquired via trade from the Phillies this winter, signed for $1.675MM.
    • The Tigers and reliever Shane Greene settled on $4MM, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • The Yankees reached an agreement with Sonny Gray for $7.5MM, per Nightengale. Gray, of course, has been involved trade rumors most of the winter, but for the time being, he stands to play a role in the Yankee pen while providing insurance for the rotation.
    • Didi Gregorius has also come to an agreement with the Yankees on a one-year, $11.75MM deal in his final season before free agency, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links).
    • New Yankee James Paxton signed for $8.575, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Paxton is under contract for the 2020 season as well.
    • The Houston Astros came to an agreement with Collin McHugh for $5.8MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). McHugh could be moving back into the rotation after a stellar season in the pen, either way this will be his final season of arb eligibility before hitting the open market.
    • Jonathan Villar comes away with $4.825MM for what will be his first full season in Baltimore, per Nightengale (via Twitter).

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

    Players Avoiding Arbitration: National League Sat, 12 Jan 2019 18:15:47 +0000 The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed yesterday at 1pm ET, and there has been a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track those settlements from the National League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Rounding out contract numbers for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dominic Leone will take home $1.26MM, Chasen Shreve will make $900K, and outfielder Marcell Ozuna will earn $12.25MM in his last season before free agency, per’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Ozuna has the most high-impact potential as he looks to rebound from a still-productive season in 2018 that saw his power output hindered at times by a balky shoulder. He still managed 23 home runs and a .280/.325/.433 slash line while playing just about every day outside of a 10-day DL stint late in August.
    • The Diamondbacks came to terms with a slew of players, per Feinsand (via Twitter), including Matt Andriese for $920K, Steven Souza Jr. for $4.125MM, shortstop Nick Ahmed for $3.6625MM, and potential closer Archie Bradley for $1.83MM.
    • The Rockies and starting pitcher Jon Gray have come to an agreement on a $2.935MM deal, per Feinsand (via Twitter). Gray had an up-and-down 2018 that is generally considered to be more promising than the optics of his 5.12 ERA make it seem.
    • The Pirates have come to terms on one-year deals with both of their arbitration eligible players, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Left fielder Corey Dickerson signs for $8.5MM, and reliever Keone Kela takes home $3.175MM. It’s a small arb class for the Pirates, whose list will grow next season as players like Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, and Joe Musgrove, among others, reach their first season of eligibility.
    • The Dodgers signed a couple of their remaining arbitration-eligible players yesterday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links). Utility man Chris Taylor has a $3.5MM deal, while outfield Joc Pederson settled at $5MM.

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

    Unresolved 2019 Arbitration Cases Sat, 12 Jan 2019 15:15:14 +0000 Yesterday’s arbitration deadline wasn’t a firm date for agreeing to terms. Rather, it was the end of the period to negotiate before submitting numbers for possible hearings. Negotiations can continue thereafter, but teams and players will now have to defend their submission numbers if they can’t bridge the gap before a hearing. Baseball arb panels simply pick one side’s number; that aspect of the process is designed to force the parties to the bargaining table.

    [RELATED: MLBTR Arbitration Projections; MLBTR Arbitration Tracker]

    Here’s what we know thus far about the still-unresolved cases:

    Today’s Updates

    • The Yankees have yet to come to a deal with ace starter Luis Severino, and they may be heading to arbitration. The Yanks have submitted their bid at $4.4MM, while Severino has asked for $5.25MM, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Tommy Pham and the Rays have submitted their numbers for arbitration, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). Pham filed at $4.1MM while the Rays submitted a bid of $3.5MM. Pham has had no problem expressing his honest opinion about the Rays fanbase of late, and it will be interesting to see if he gets an equal portion of honest feedback in return in his arbitration hearing.
    • The Oakland A’s and their closer Blake Treinen have both submitted their numbers, with the team coming in at $5.6MM while Treinen files for $6.4MM, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). It’s not a shock to see these sides far apart, given Treinen’s remarkable 2018 and how far above his usual standard of production last season’s numbers fell.
    • Washington Nationals filed at $1.725MM for newcomer Kyle Barraclough, who counters at $2MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). The former Marlin was acquired in an uncommonly early offseason trade that sent international bonus pool money the Marlins’ way.
    • The Diamondbacks have only one player they did not reach an agreement with, lefty reliever T.J. McFarland. The Dbacks submitted a bid of $1.275MM, while McFarland is asking for $1.675MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Alex Wood submitted $9.65MM for his 2019 salary, while his new club the Cincinnati Reds countered at $8.7MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Wood will be a free agent at season’s end.
    • The Detroit Tigers reached agreements with all of their arbitration eligible players except for right-handed starter Michael Fulmer. Fulmer comes in at $3.4MM with the team countering at $2.8MM, the difference being 600K, per Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Ryan Tepera has filed for $1.8MM while the Blue Jays submitted their bid at $1.525MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Tepera has been a reliable bullpen arm for the Jays through his first four seasons. He has two more seasons of arbitration remaining, set to reach free agency in advance of the 2022 season.
    • Reserve outfielder Michael A. Taylor and the Washington Nationals are a 250K apart, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Seems like a rather small sum to quibble over in the grand scheme of things, but every cent counts right now in Washington, it seems. Taylor submitted a bid of $3.5MM, with the Nats countering at $3.25MM.

    Earlier Updates

    • Rockies star Nolan Arenado is headed for a record arb salary, unsurprisingly. The question is by how much. He has filed at a whopping $30MM, with the club countering at $24MM, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Even the lower figure would represent a record. It doesn’t seem as if the sides will go to a high-stakes hearing on this one; Jeff Passan of tweets that the odds are good they’ll find common ground. MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projected Arenado to earn $26.1MM, though he also explained that it’s not hard to see that number swaying in either direction based upon a close examination of the (few relevant) comps.
    • Despite a monster 2018 season, Phillies righty Aaron Nola isn’t seeking to set a record first-year arb starter salary. (That belongs to Dallas Keuchel, at $7.25MM, when he was coming off of a Cy Young season.) Nola did file at a hefty $6.75MM, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (via Twitter), while the club entered just $4.5MM. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. The Keuchel salary represented a sea change for young starters, but few others have tested the process since. MLBTR’s projection system spit out a $6.6MM figure for Nola.
    • Righty Gerrit Cole filed at $13.5MM, while the Astros countered at $11.425MM, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). Teammates Carlos Correa and Chris Devenski have also yet to agree to terms. MLBTR projected Cole to earn $13.1MM in his final arb season, Correa to check in at $5.1MM in his first arb year, and Devenski to take home $1.4MM his first time through the process.
    • Indians righty Trevor Bauer is seeking a $13MM payday, while the club will argue instead for $11MM, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (via Twitter). The Cleveland org has long utilized a file-and-trial approach on a case-by-case basis. It’s not totally clear whether that’ll be the approach here, but as Hoynes notes, the sides did go to a hearing already last year. (Bauer won.) MLBTR projected a $11.6MM payday; Swartz also explained why he thought the model was likely in the right ballpark for Bauer in a detailed post.
    • Passan provides a list of other players who have yet to agree to terms and who could therefore still end up before a panel. There are fifteen in total, including those already noted above as well as Kyle Barraclough and Michael Taylor (Nationals), Michael Fulmer (Tigers), T.J. McFarland (Diamondbacks), Tommy Pham (Rays), Luis Severino (Yankees), Ryan Tepera (Blue Jays), Blake Treinen (Athletics), and Alex Wood (Reds).
    Phillies Sign Andrew Romine, Gift Ngoepe Sat, 12 Jan 2019 05:41:30 +0000 The Phillies have inked infielders Andrew Romine and Gift Ngoepe, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Both are joining the organization on minor-league deals.

    Romine, now 33, has appeared in every one of the past nine MLB seasons, though only once has he surpassed three hundred plate appearances in a given campaign. Through 1,323 total trips to the dish at the game’s highest level, he’s a .235/.291/.301 hitter.

    Clearly, teams are more intrigued by Romine’s glovework than his bat. The same holds for Ngoepe, who is the first African-born player to play in the big leagues. Soon to turn 29, Ngoepe has yet to show that he can hit enough to command more than spot duty in the majors. In 902 career Triple-A plate appearances, he’s hitting .212/.297/.344.

    Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday Fri, 11 Jan 2019 02:51:58 +0000 The deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures is tomorrow afternoon at 1pm ET. With the vast majority of teams now adopting a “file-and-trial” approach to arbitration — that is, halting negotiations on one-year contracts once figures have been exchanged and simply going to a hearing at that point — there will be a deluge of arbitration agreements in the next 24 hours. It’s a minor deadline day in terms of newsworthiness — outside of the largest cases, at least — as few arbitration cases will have a significant impact on their team’s overall payroll picture. From a broader perspective, though, the exchange of arb figures is perhaps more notable. With most or all of their arbitration cases out of the way, teams can focus more heavily on the trade and free-agent markets.

    As always, it’s interesting to refer back to MLBTR’s annual arbitration projections. Here are the day’s deals:

    • The Tigers will pay Shane Greene $4MM for the coming campaign, Murray tweets. Entering his second year of eligibility, the 30-year-old had projected at $4.8MM, owing largely to his strong tally of 32 saves. Despite appealing K/BB numbers, though, Greene finished the season with an unsightly 5.12 ERA.
    • Righty Nick Tropeano settled with the Angels at $1.075MM. (That’s also via Murray, on Twitter.) That falls well shy of his $1.6MM projection. The first-year arb-eligible hurler was not terribly effective in his 14 starts last year and has just over two hundred career frames in the big leagues, due in no small part to a long rehab owing to Tommy John surgery.

    Earlier Updates

    • Newly acquired outfielder Domingo Santana will earn $1.95MM in his first season with the Mariners, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. That’s just a touch below the $2.0MM that MLBTR & Matt Swartz had projected. The 26-year-old Santana swatted thirty long balls and had a productive overall 2017 season, but only received 235 plate appearances in the ensuing campaign — over which he hit five home runs and carried a .265/.328/.412 slash — before being dealt to Seattle.
    • The Angels are on the hook for $1,901,000 to rehabbing righty J.C. Ramirez, Robert Murray of The Athletic tweets. Ramirez will receive a nominal raise on his 2018 salary after requiring Tommy John surgery after just two starts.
    • Phillies righty Hector Neris has settled at $1.8MM, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (Twitter links). He had projected at $2.0MM but will settle for a bit less in his first season of arb eligibility. Right-handed starter Jerad Eickhoff, meanwhile, is slated to receive $975K. His projected first-year salary was much higher, at $1.7MM, but Eickhoff presented a tough case since he missed virtually all of his platform season with arm troubles.
    • Southpaw Ryan Buchter has agreed with the Athletics on a $1.4MM deal, Nightengale of reports on Twitter. That lands just a smidge over his $1.3MM projection. Soon to turn 32, Buchter worked to a sub-3.00 for the third-straight season in 2018, but only threw 39 1/3 innings while working as a lefty specialist.
    • Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree will receive a $1,312,500 salary next year, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter link). Starter Steven Wright checks in just a shade higher, at $1.375MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Both players had projected in this range, with Swartz pegging $1.2MM for the former and $1.4MM for the latter. It’s Hembree’s first time through the process and Wright’s second.
    • First-time arb-eligible righty Scott Oberg settled with the Rockies for $1.3MM, according to Nightengale (via Twitter). It’s $100K over the projected rate for the 28-year-old hurler, who turned in far and away his most productive MLB season in 2018.
    • The Yankees have a $1.2MM deal in place with first baseman Greg Bird, Nightengale was first to tweet. Though he had projected a bit higher, at $1.5MM, Bird’s relatively robust number of home runs (31 total in 659 career plate appearances) were threatened to be overshadowed in a hypothetical hearing by his rough overall stats over the past two seasons. He’ll need to earn his way back into a larger share of playing time in 2019.
    • Infielder Travis Jankowski will earn $1.165MM with the Padres, per Murray (via Twitter). He projected at a heftier $1.4MM, but the Super Two qualifier will still earn a nice raise after his best season in the big leagues. Jankowski will be looking to crack 400 plate appearances for the first time in the season to come.
    • The Nationals have agreed to a $1MM contract with righty Joe Ross, Murray also tweets. Though Ross projected at $1.5MM for his first season of eligibility, that was based largely upon the innings he accumulated over the prior three seasons. Ross made it back from Tommy John surgery in time for only three outings in 2018.
    • A pair of backstops have also put pen to paper on new salaries. Curt Casali will earn $950K with the Reds, per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). John Ryan Murphy has a $900K agreement with the Diamondbacks, the elder Nightengale tweets. Casali, a Super Two, had projected for a $1.3MM salary, while Murphy projected at $1.1MM in his first arb year.
    Harper & Machado Rumors: 1/9/19 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:28:22 +0000 The free agent market as a whole is moving at a plodding rate. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, there also hasn’t been a ton of action surrounding superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Of course, with so much money at stake, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock that both players are taking some time to work out new deals.

    The latest …

    • Heyman now indicates that Machado’s camp is looking not only for a $300MM+ offer but is still seeking a total guarantee that tops Giancarlo Stanton’s $325MM record (Twitter links). Furthermore, he adds that while there’s been no indication from the Yankees that they’re formally out of the running for Machado, New York has not yet made an offer and isn’t willing to go anywhere all that close to $300MM in order to sign Machado. Obviously, all of that can change quickly with one decision from ownership, but it’s not an encouraging update for Yankees fans hoping to see Machado in the Bronx in 2019 and beyond.

    Earlier Updates

    • Machado is still looking for an offer in excess of $300MM, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). The White Sox and Phillies are the only two teams known to have made formal proposals, neither of which have reached that value. Of course, the Philadelphia organization is reportedly set to put in another offer, the details of which remain unknown. The Yankees have also still yet to officially put anything on the table for Machado, Heyman adds.
    • Will there be significant movement? If so, when and by what mechanism?’s Mark Feinsand hears that the markets for Machado and Harper are “heating up.” As his sources have it, the Phillies are “turning up” their efforts for the former, while the Nationals have “momentum building” to bring back the latter. Bruce Levine of also cites a sense of market movement, but he hears it’s the White Sox who are gaining “momentum” on Machado. Levine also mentions a fourth, unknown potential suitor for Machado, though Heyman claims there’s “still no word” of a shadowy pursuer.
    • Generally, there’s still a dearth of hard information on the various teams’ stances regarding these players. It’s still easy to imagine the negotiations evolving in any number of different ways. Still, it’s striking that so few teams appear to be involved. The entire situation is a “disgrace,” Jim Bowden of The Athletic argues (subscription link). He ticks through a variety of ballclubs that should be able to fit $30MM+ salaries and have cause to be involved, decrying a market situation in which “essentially just four teams [are] legitimately bidding for the game’s two best free agents.” On the same note, Jonah Keri of CBS Sports provides some anonymous opinions on the matter from well-placed league executives. There seems to be at least something of a consensus that teams are less interested than ever in exceedingly lengthy contracts, even for players of such relative youth, with a variety of other theories batted around regarding this duo in particular. The story also delves into broader market topics and is well worth a read.
    Phillies Could View Moustakas As Machado Fallback Wed, 09 Jan 2019 05:05:03 +0000
  • Both the Phillies and White Sox are looking at Mike Moustakas as a fallback option in the event that Manny Machado signs elsewhere, writes Jon Morosi of The 30-year-old Moustakas is a fairly logical fallback option for either club should it miss out on Machado, though Moustakas is a less concrete upgrade over either club’s top incumbent options. Morosi notes that the Phils will likely try to trade Maikel Franco in the event that either Machado or Moustakas signs in Philadelphia, and presumably the ChiSox would shift Yolmer Sanchez into a utility role should it land either free-agent target. Morosi lists the Padres as a potential landing spot for Moustakas as well, though with a preexisting logjam of corner options in San Diego, that fit seems more difficult to envision without some additional roster shuffling by general manager A.J. Preller.
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