MLB rumors: Phillies planning Harper meeting in Vegas; White Sox not willing to offer 10-year contract

With the holidays behind us, things should begin to pick back up this week in baseball's offseason. We have plenty of big names on the board with 26 of our top 50 free agents still unsigned. We're going to keep track of the day's hot stove rumors and rumblings right here in this handy post, so make sure you check back for updates. Here's the latest from the second day of 2019.

Phillies to meet with Harper; Nats still in

The Philadelphia Phillies are planning to meet with Bryce Harper as they await Manny Machado's decision, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. A face-to-face meeting between Harper and Phillies officials is being planned for "the next week or so," in Harper's hometown of Las Vegas. 

Phillies officials met with Harper's agent, Scott Boras, at the winter meetings in Las Vegas last month. 

Machado visited the Phillies, along with the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, before the holidays. The three clubs -- and any mystery teams -- were told to submit offers before Jan. 1. Machado has reportedly said that his decision will come after the new year.

Later Wednesday, we got some very interesting information from the Washington Post and a few other outlets, which is that Harper and Boras met before Christmas with Nationals owner Ted Lerner and it was reportedly a good meeting (full story here). We've seen Boras bypass general managers and get deals done with owners in January multiple times in the past with big-name clients like Prince Fielder and Max Scherzer and this appears to be his play again. 

Also interesting here is that the Nationals are still the only team known to have made a formal offer. 

Tulo signing doesn't affect Yanks run at Machado

The Yankees agreed to terms with free agent infielder Troy Tulowitzki late Tuesday night, as reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan. According to Passan, the deal is pending a physical. Tulowitzki is expected to play shortstop for the Yankees while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery. Gregorius isn't expected back before June.

Tulowitzki, 34, missed all of 2018 after undergoing surgery on both heels and was released by the Toronto Blue Jays in December. The Yankees will land Tulowitzki for the 2019 major league minimum of $555,000 because he was still owed $38 million from his previous contract.

According to Passan, Machado still remains a top target for the Yankees after the Tulowitzki deal. By signing Tulowitzki, the Yankees could use him to fill in at shortstop for the first few months of 2019 while Gregorius completes his recovery and Machado could play third base if decides to head to the Bronx. But if the Yankees do sign Machado, then they'll have a crowded infield once Gregorius returns, and they could end up trading American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar.

White Sox not giving more than seven years for Harper, Machado

The Chicago White Sox, who have been linked to both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado this offseason, will not be giving contract offers of more than seven years for either superstar free agent, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR.

Harper already turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Nationals late in the 2018 season, which suggests it may take an even bigger deal to land him in free agency. Machado, meanwhile, met with the White Sox last month as part of a free agent tour that also took him to the Bronx and to Philadelphia.

Mariners make Kikuchi deal official

Reports broke Monday that the Mariners had signed Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi to a four-year deal and the club made it official on Wednesday. Full story here

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