MLB rumors, free agency and trade updates: Corbin officially signs with Nationals; Rays interested in Morton
It's expected to be a slow Friday, but some things are still happening as we gear up the winter meetings
The winter meetings are imminent, some major names have already changed addresses and the rumor mill is churning. Friday,heading to the winter meetings.
As for the rest, we'll be rounding up all the best rumors, transactions, news and notes from the day.
Nats say $300M offer for Harper 'best we can do'
The Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner joined a local radio station Friday after his team announced the signing of prized free-agent lefty Patrick Corbin. And it didn't take long until the questions started to focus on free agent right fielder Bryce Harper. Before the end of the 2018 season, reports indicated the Nationals offered Harper a 10-year, $300 million extension that Harper rejected.
"Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly," Lerner told 106.7 The Fan, a CBS station. "I love Bryce and he was a good teammate here. If he chooses to go some place else, I totally understand it, but we put one heck of an offer out there."
We'll have to wait and see if we gain any clarity on Harper's situation during the winter meetings next week. Otherwise, the situation could linger into January a total mystery, as we've seen with some recent high-profile Scott Boras free agents.
Corbin deal with Nationals official
Earlier this week, news broke that lefty starter Parick Corbin had agreed to sign a six-year, $140 million deal with the Nationals. As always with these big deals, there's generally a lag between when the deal is reportedly agreed to and when the team announces the deal as official due to the player needing to pass a physical. It's generally a formality, but it's a step where things can fall apart.
Nothing fell apart here.
Rays show interest in Morton
Morton, 35, was 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA (129 ERA+), 1.16 WHIP and 201 strikeouts in 167 innings last season. He made the All-Star team for the first time at age 35 and really put everything together once he landed in Houston. He has said he isn't sure how much longer he wants to pitch and that fits well with the Rays likely wanting a short-term deal out of a free agency starter.
The only traditional starters who are sure things in the Rays' rotation right now are Cy Young winner Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow. As things stand, the other three slots likely belong to "openers" while the likes of Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks would be the pitchers used to get length in relief of the opener -- at least until one of a young trio of starters (Brent Honeywell atop the list) returns from Tommy John surgery.
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