We're only four weeks until spring training, give or take. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training camps across Arizona and Florida about a month from now. Cactus League and Grapefruit League games are less than six weeks away., including four of the top seven. There is still some time to go until spring training, for sure, but usually all the top free agents are signed by now.
Anyway, we're going to keep track of the day's hot stove rumblings right here in this roundup post. Make sure you check back often for updates.
Machado's agent shoots down White Sox rumor
We Chicago White Sox reportedly made a staggering offer to free-agent shortstop Manny Machado -- just not in a good way. The White Sox have offered Machado $175 million across seven years, ESPN's Buster Olney reported Wednesday afternoon., but the
The White Sox offer to Machado is for $175 million, over seven years. In some ways, their approach is like Boston's w/ J.D. Martinez last winter -- the Red Sox offered $100 million and waited for two months. If CWS offer emerges as best, a big ? is: Would Machado/NYY re-engage?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 16, 2019
However just a few hours later, Machado's agent called the rumor "completely wrong." Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group released the following statement regarding the recent reports about potential offers for his star client:
Lozano expressed his concerns about the validity of the sources: "I don't know if their sources are blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement by intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons. The truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong."
Maddon: Harper to Cubs 'not going to happen'
Earlier today, we noted that the Chicago Cubs are either pulling off a dazzling misdirection play when it comes to Bryce Harper, or they're genuinely, sincerely, really out on the free-agent outfielder. The latest bit of news concerning that front has manager Joe Maddon .
Whether or not the Cubs are out on Harper, the Phillies are definitely in. That's good news for Harper, who apparently took a liking to manager Gabe Kapler during a recent meeting:
Word is, Harper and Kapler really hit it off during the Las Vegas meeting, which could be another factor in Phillies’ thinking. Easy to see that: both quite intense— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2019
There's no telling what Harper and Kapler bonded about. (Frankly, it's probably best for this to remain a mystery.) Still, it's another point in favor of the Phillies landing either Harper or Machado. The biggest point, it would reason, is a willingness to spend money.
Mets not done making moves?
The Mets have been one of the offseason's busiest teams. They might not be done, either -- at least if general manager Brodie Van Wagenen's words are to be trusted:
BWV says they're excited with what the Mets have done so far, but will not say the Mets are done. They do feel good with what they have right now.— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) January 16, 2019
The Mets have added Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, and Jeurys Familia to their roster this winter. They've also acquired a few depth pieces as of late, including J.D. Davis and Keon Broxton. The Mets had been known to be sniffing around for veteran rotation depth. It's unclear whether they're still in pursuit of any -- think the likes of Josh Tomlin.
Still, give the Mets credit for trying. That's more than what many teams seem interested in doing.
D-Backs nearing Flores deal
Flores' contract with Arizona guarantees him $4.25 million, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports. Wilmer will earn a $3.75 million base salary in 2019 and have a $500,000 buyout on a $6 million option for the 2020 season.
Wilmer Flores’ one-year deal with the Diamondbacks will guarantee him $4.25 million, league sources tell ESPN. He’ll make a base of $3.75 million with a $500,000 buyout on a club option in 2020 worth $6 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 16, 2019
Flores was non-tendered earlier this winter. He profiles best as a right-handed platoon player at first base, though he has experience all over the infield and could ostensibly take assignments at third base from time to time.
The Diamondbacks are expected to use third baseman Jake Lamb at first base -- albeit not necessarily on an every day basis -- but otherwise lack a great most-days option at the cold corner. Flores, then, could be in line for more playing time than anticipated. At minimum, he should get ample looks against southpaws.