MLB Rumors: Manny Machado sets meetings with Yankees, Phillies; Dodgers, Rays strong candidates to land Realmuto
Let's have a look at Sunday's offseason MLB rumors
The offseason marches on, and thanks to a relative slow winter meetings we've got plenty of big names still on the board. To give you an idea of the buzz that's out there on Sunday, we're here to round up all the notable trade and free agency rumors. As always,. Now let's jump in ...
ChiSox not willing to go big on Machado, Harper
The White Sox have been fairly active this offseason, adding Yonder Alonso, Ivan Nova, James McCann, and Manny Banuelos to the fold in recent days and weeks. As the Sox emerge from a deep rebuild, they're also expected to be players for one or both of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Now, though, ESPN's Buster Olney reports that such tantalizing buzz comes with a qualifier. Per an Olney source, the Sox likely aren't willing to offer either generational free agent a record contract. A record contract in essence would mean something in excess of the $325 million extension that Giancarlo Stanton signed in his Marlins days. It seems unlikely that both Machado and Harper would fall short of that figure, which in turn means the Sox may be players for them only if the market falls well short of expectations.
Yankees' Machado backup plans
The Yankees are of course heavily interested in Manny Machado to fill their need on the left side of the infield. If they sign Machado, then he could man shortstop at least until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery (likely in June). Also, Gleyber Torres could pin down second base, and incumbent third baseman Miguel Andujar remains the heavy subject of trade rumors. Whatever the specifics, the Yankees will make it work if it means landing Machado.
And what if they don't? They still need help in the infield. One option is targeting a veteran second baseman via trade or free agency (it's a buyer's market for second basemen this offseason) and letting Torres man short until Gregorius gets back. Another option, per George A. King III of the New York Post, is to go after free agent Freddy Galvis. Galvis, 29, spent last season for the Padres, where he batted .248/.299/.380 in the full 162 games while seeing time at short and second. As King notes, though, the Yankees aren't alone in having designs on Galvis.
Another option, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, is veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo was recently cut loose by the Blue Jays despite having a lot of money left on his contract. The Jays will pick up that tab, which means Tulowitzki's new employer will owe him only the minimum salary for 2019. He missed all of last season with heel injuries, and he'll be going into his age-33 campaign. Peak Tulo is probably gone forever, but even a rebound to something like his 2017 form (102 in 131 games) would make him a very worthwhile addition. Little wonder, then, that the Yankees are interested.
Machado to visit Yankees and Phillies this week
And speaking of the Yankees and Machado ...
The Yankees visit isn't the only one on Machado's calendar next week. Machado will head south the following day and meet with the Phillies on Thursday, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Machado also reportedly has plans to meet with the White Sox, in addition to at least one "mystery team." As noted above, the Yankees have a clear need for Machado. As well, they've prioritized him to the extent that they're barely even on the Bryce Harper radar this offseason.
Braves out on Realmuto
For a while now, the Braves have been rumored to be among the many teams with interest in trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. That, however, appears to have changed ...
It's worth noting that this could be coming from the Braves in an effort to sway discussions (i.e., lower Miami's asking price), but it of course could be a genuine change in approach. The Braves right now plan to platoon Brian McCann and Tyler Flowers at catcher, and that's not a bad arrangement, assuming McCann still has something left. In other words, plenty of other teams have a bigger need for Realmuto, and the Braves may have come to that recognition.
Mets agree to sign Ramos
The Mets continued their aggressive offseason by agreeing to sign free agent catcher Wilson Ramos to a reported two-year, $19.5 million deal.. Obviously, this takes the Mets out of the running for J.T. Realmuto, so ...
L.A., Tampa in on Realmuto
Now the hottest teams in on Realmuto are the Dodgers and Rays, per Joe Frisaro of marlins.com.
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