Exhibition season is nearly upon us. In the meantime, we still have plenty of big names left on the board in free agency, including superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. That means we've got a healthy supply of hot stove buzz in February. To give you an idea of what's out there this Sunday, we're here to round up all the notable rumors. As always, our free agent tracker is a great way to catch up on what's already happened on that front.
Let's round up the activity for the day here.
Harper, Phillies nearing deal?
At some point soon, Bryce Harper is going to agree to terms with a new team. We think, anyway. Saturday on MLB insider Jim Bowden said that he keeps hearing the Phillies could be that team -- and that a deal is gaining momentum.,
Here's what Bowden said:
"I keep hearing there's a lot of momentum and traction with him going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. He could be rounding third and heading to home shortly. I'm hearing they're pretty well down the process here."
Andy Martino have since added that the Phillies are perceived to be the favorites. There's no telling if and when a deal will happen -- or for how much it will be -- but the Phillies have been one of the teams most associated with Harper throughout the winter.and
Davis wants to remain with A's
Impending free agent Khris Davis hopes to remain with the Athletics " ," he said Sunday. No one has hit more home runs than Davis over the last three years, but, as a DH on the wrong side of 30, his market could be limited next offseason. Something north of Mark Trumbo's three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Orioles seems more likely than a monster five-year, $110 million contract like J.D. Martinez's deal last year.
Brewers reunite with Moustakas
The Brewers have addressed their second base opening by signing a third baseman. Travis Shaw will presumably move to second base to accommodate Moustakas. The Brewers have an elite second base prospect in Keston Hiura. The Moustakas deal allows them to remain patient with Hiura in 2019 without blocking him in 2020 and beyond..
Mets sign Hechavarria
The Mets have signed infielder Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor league contract, reports Tim Healey of Newsday. He stands a good chance of making the Opening Day roster as a utility infielder given the uncertainty about Jed Lowrie being able to back up Amed Rosario at shortstop. Hechavarria, 29, hit .247/.279/.345 with three teams last season. He is a fantastic defender, however, and is a fine pickup on a low-risk contract.
Stroman says Jays haven't offered extension
Per Stroman, the Blue Jays have not yet approached him about an extension:
Stroman is coming off a rough season, in which he posted a 5.54 ERA and was limited to 19 starts. Still, it'd be a little surprising the Jays wouldn't have had precursory talks about an extension. Stroman is, after all, the most identifiable member of the roster, and has a track record of good performance -- even now, he has a career ERA+ of 108.
Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reported Sunday morning that team sources disputed Stroman and indicated the team offered the 27-year-old a long-term deal.
Stroman has two seasons of team control remaining, and is currently in line to become a free agent after the 2020 season.
Padres add Loup
The Padres have agreed to terms with southpaw Aaron Loup on a one-year deal with an option for a second, per the team.
Loup, 31, split last season between the Blue Jays and Phillies. His overall numbers aren't amazing in recent seasons (he has a 105 ERA+ since 2015), but he's held lefties to a .618 OPS for his career and should continue to provide value as a left-on-left specialist.