A few notes from the East Coast, where the first day of 2019 is nearing an end…
- Free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper raised eyebrows on social media last month when he “liked” an Instagram post relating to the Dodgers. Not to be outdone, fellow superstar free agent Manny Machado may have hinted about his own future plans on Instagram, as Jon Heyman of Fancred point outed out on Monday. Machado began following the YES Network, which broadcasts most Yankees games and which the franchise owns a portion of, only to quickly unfollow it when people took notice. Machado’s apparent interest in YES may be much ado about nothing, but for the moment, it has added a bit of intrigue to what looks like a three-horse race for his services.
- Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen “remains engaged” on the trade market, according to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, who reports the team is seeking an outfielder, a reliever (preferably a lefty), starting pitching depth and a backup infielder. Signing free-agent outfielder A.J. Pollock would address one of those needs, though Van Wagenen implied last month that wouldn’t happen, and Puma hears the Mets are leery of giving the 31-year-old a big contract. Similarly, the Mets are “unlikely” to go after lefty reliever Zach Britton in free agency, Puma writes.
- With the Nationals gearing up for the arrival of prospect Carter Kieboom, they may not sign a free-agent second baseman to anything more than a one-year deal, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic suggests (subscription required). The Nationals have shown interest in free agent DJ LeMahieu, but because he’s seeking a multiyear deal, there might not be a match between the sides. Free agent Brian Dozier, who could be in line for a one-year pact, would be a better fit, Ghiroli posits. The club has also expressed interest in Dozier this winter.