MLB rumors: Yankees still checking in on Manny Machado; Corey Kluber unlikely to be traded

Spring training has arrived. The first set of pitchers and catchers reported Sunday and throughout this week teams will open their spring camps across Arizona and Florida. Hooray for that. Here are the reporting dates for all 30 teams.

Even with spring training opening, 13 of our top 50 free agents remain unsigned, including the top two and three of the top seven. We should begin to see some signings very soon, maybe even significant ones. We're going to keep track of the day's hot stove rumblings right here in this handy post, so make sure you check back often for updates.

Yankees still in on Machado

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Manny Machado LAD • 3B • 8
BA.297
R84
HR37
RBI107
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The Yankees have taken an already crowded infield situation and made it more crowded with the offseason additions of Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu. As such, they've for a while been presumed to be out on star free agent Manny Machado. Recently, though, there have been rumblings that the Yankees may not be out on the 26-year-old infielder after all, now that his market has presumably taken a hit (he's unsigned in mid-February, after all). 

Speaking of which, here's the latest from SNY's Andy Martino

As Yankees players trickle into spring training, the front office continues to check in with Machado's camp, according to major league sources. The Yankees are not the frontrunners for Machado -- both the White Sox and Phillies have been more aggressive -- but they are not out on him, either.

To be sure, the Yankees aren't the frontrunners, and as Martino points out it's highly unlikely that they'll offer up the most money to Machado. If, however, Machado is swayed by the lure of pinstripes, the opportunity to play in New York, and the promise of contention for years to come, then perhaps the Yankees aren't out of this thing. 

Kluber unlikely to be traded

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Corey Kluber CLE • SP • 28
ERA2.89
WHIP.99
IP215.0
BB34
K222

The Indians are unlikely to trade ace Corey Kluber at this point, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Cleveland discussed Kluber with several teams this offseason (Brewers, Dodgers, Padres, Reds, Yankees) but talks have quieted down considerably. No team is willing to meet their asking price and Kluber is expected to remain with the Indians at least until the start of spring training, and more than likely until opening day.

Kluber, 32, finished third in the Cy Young voting last season and is working on one of the most team friendly contracts in baseball. He has already maxed out his awards based salary escalators and will still earn only $17 million in 2019 with a $17.5 million club option for 2020 and an $18 million club option for 2021. A pitcher of this caliber at that price is a steal. It's no wonder so many teams wanted him and it's no wonder why the Indians will happily hang on to him.

A's ink Anderson

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Brett Anderson OAK • SP • 30
ERA4.48
WHIP1.28
IP80.1
BB13
K47

In addition to locking up catcher Nick Hundley (see below), the Athletics on Monday also reportedly added veteran lefty Brett Anderson to the fold ... 

ESPN's Jeff Passan later reported that the deal was done. According to Passan, it's a one-year pact pending a physical. Anderson, 31, owns an ERA+ of 100 across parts of 10 big-league seasons. He's battled an array of injuries over the years, but when healthy he can be effective. He's expect to contend for a spot at the back of the Oakland rotation. 

Blue Jays after Romo

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Sergio Romo MIA • RP • 54
ERA4.14
K/910.0
WHIP1.26
S25
BS8

On the Sergio Romo front, here's the latest ... 

Romo, who turns 36 next month, is coming off a season in which he occasionally worked as the Rays' "opener." Thanks in large measure to his slider, Romo remains a weapon against right-handed batters. At this stage, though, he's definitely a spot reliever who shouldn't be exposed to the opposite side in meaningful situations. 

Indians not pursuing Jones, Gonzalez

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Adam Jones BAL • CF • 10
BA.281
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HR15
RBI63
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Carlos Gonzalez COL • OF • 5
BA.276
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HR16
RBI64
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According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the Indians are not aggressively pursuing veteran free agent outfielders Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez. Cleveland is keeping an eye out for outfield help, however. Right now they have Leonys Martin penciled into center field, with guys like Greg Allen, Tyler Naquin, Jordan Luplow, and Matt Joyce set to compete for corner spots. Jake Bauers could also be in the corner outfield mix.

Neither Jones nor CarGo, both 33, are the players they were in their prime. Jones hit .281/.313/.419 with 0.2 WAR last season. Gonzalez authored a .276/.329/.467 line and 0.4 WAR. Fellow mid-30s outfielder Curtis Granderson recently signed a minor league contract and it's possible both Jones and Gonzalez will have to do the same. If that is indeed the case, the Indians (or any other team) could sign them and assume zero risk since they won't be on the 40-man roster.

Royals looking for bullpen bargains, have interest in Storen

The Royals are bargain shopping for bullpen help and have interest in free agent righty Drew Storen, reports Jayson Stark of The Athletic. Storen has not pitched since September 2017, when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament and required Tommy John surgery. The 31-year-old threw 54 2/3 innings with a 4.45 ERA and 48 strikeouts for the Reds that season before getting hurt. Storen is nearing the end of his rehab and is expected to be ready for opening day.

At this point Craig Kimbrel is far and away the best reliever on the free agent market. He is certainly not what Kansas City has in mind for a bargain signing. Possible free agent targets include John Axford, Xavier Cedeno, Tyler Clippard, Dan Jennings, Jim Johnson, Bud Norris, Tony Sipp, and Adam Warren, among others, though that is only my speculation. The Royals recently signed Brad Boxberger to a low-cost one-year contract.

A's sign Hundley

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Nick Hundley OAK • C •
BA.241
R34
HR10
RBI31
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The Athletics have signed veteran catcher Nick Hundley to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, the team announced. Oakland lost Jonathan Lucroy to free agency this offseason and Hundley joins Josh Phegley and Chris Herrmann in the team's backstop mix. They're all just biding time until top catcher prospect Sean Murphy reaches the big leagues. MLB.com recently ranked Murphy as the 45th best prospect in baseball.

Hundley, 35, spent the last two seasons with the Giants, so at least he'll be already familiar with the Bay Area should he make the A's roster. He hit .241/.298/.408 with 10 home runs last season and took over as San Francisco's starting catcher and regular cleanup hitter in September after Buster Posey had season-ending hip surgery. The minor league deal means Hundley is not on Oakland's 40-man roster at the moment.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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