Tuesday was great because baseball had big news with Manny Machado to sign with the Padres for 10 years and $300 million. Hopefully the remaining big-name free agents come off sooner than later and we can start concentrating the upcoming season instead of the offseason.
Until then, let's keep rounding up all the rumors du jour.
The latest on Bryce Harper
Heading into the offseason, there were two prime megastars available in free agency. With one off the board, it's time to focus on the other. Wednesday kicked the rumor mill into overdrive.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network predicted that Bryce Harper is going to the Phillies, but Andy Martino of SNY reports that the Giants remain a real threat to land the 26-year-old outfielder and Philly faces a "tough road" to get a deal done. Martino further noted that the Phillies could likely get the job done for 10 years and $326 million.
This makes a lot of sense. Harper's agent, Scott Boras, will want a record here. He knows Machado set the record for a free agent deal at $300 million, but there's a bigger number and that's Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million deal that was signed as an extension. Getting 10 and $326M tops the highest value ever while having a bigger average annual value than Stanton and easily tops Machado.
Jon Heyman has a report saying Harper has turned down "multiple offers over $300 million in recent weeks" and names the Phillies, Giants and Nationals in on him with the Padres and White Sox on the periphery. He also says the Giants are "trying hard" for Harper but "aren't necessarily overly optimistic."
Meanwhile, MLB.com reports the Nationals do not have plans to give Harper a deal similar to Machado's 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres, despite making a similar offer before the end of the 2018 season. In the same report, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki noted the Phillies had a face-to-face meeting with Boras last week and Florida and have talked to Harper's agent again since.
Yankees lowballed Machado
What world is this? The Padres did what it took to sign a marquee free agent while the mighty Yankees didn't go all out? Jon Heyman has the details:
no evidence NYY ever made official offer to Machado, but word is that at their dinner dec. 19 at Morini on Madison he was given the idea he could get in $220M-$240M range from them. while belief was he wanted to be in NY, ultimately he preferred to go for $. & obvs he got the $.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 20, 2019
He doesn't have the years listed here, but the guess is in that dollar range it was eight years. Machado to the Yankees seemed like a really good fit, but they appear content to go with Luke Voit at first, Gleyber Torres at second, Troy Tulowitzki at short and Miguel Andujar at third until Didi Gregorius is back from Tommy John surgery.
Tigers sign Harrison
Infielder Josh Harrison has agreed to a one-year deal with the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Harrison, 31, previously spent his entire eight-year career with the Pirates and is a two-time All-Star. Last season was marred by injury, as he managed only 97 games played. He hit .250/.293/.363 (80 OPS+) and stole three bases. Look for him to be the Tigers starting second baseman, alongside Miguel Cabrera giving them an experienced right side of the infield. Also of note, the Tigers signed Jordy Mercer earlier in the offseason, so the part-time Pirates' double play combo is back together.
Clippard signs minor-league deal with Indians
Right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard has a new home, as Heyman reports the Indians have signed him to a minor-league deal that would be worth $1.75 million if he makes the big-league club. Clippard turned 34 earlier this month. The two-time All-Star put together a decent season in 2018 after a rough 2017. The Indians will be Clippard's ninth team in the last six years.