I don’t self-promote often, but I am going to do my civic duty and link to my CBS post ranking the top 50 players in baseball five years from now. Who’s No. 1? You probably already know! Anyway, there’s that. Now here are the latest offseason rumblings as the hot stove continues to run cold.
Machado’s agent is “barely engaging” teams
According to Ken Rosenthal (subs. req’d), neither Manny Machado nor Bryce Harper appear close to signing, and in fact Machado’s agent Dan Lozano is “barely engaging” teams right now. He’s remaining patient and waiting for either an interested team to up their offer, or another team to jump into the mix. These things can change in a hurry, but, right now, it doesn’t sound like Machado is close to picking a team. His market is reportedly down to the Yankees, Phillies, and White Sox.
Earlier this week I said it seems Machado is holding up the rest of the offseason. My thinking was that, once he signs, interest in Harper will pick up, and teams that miss out on Machado will begin to look at other free agents. That was probably overly optimistic on my part. It reminds me of last offseason when we were all saying things would pick up once Shohei Ohtani signed and Giancarlo Stanton was traded. It never really happened. When a 26-year-old on a Hall of Fame track doesn’t have teams falling all over themselves to sign him, you know baseball is broken.
Yankees now “focused” on Britton
With David Robertson having signed with the Phillies, the Yankees are now “focused” on re-signing Zach Britton, report Jon Heyman and Brendan Kuty. Other teams are involved and Jayson Stark says Britton and Scott Boras are holding out for a four-year contract. They’ll probably settle for a three-year deal (with an option?), which is still one year too long for my liking, but what I think doesn’t matter.
Britton turned 31 last month and he had a 3.10 ERA (4.22 FIP) in 40.2 total innings after returning from Achilles surgery last year. He was at his best late in the season, as he got further away from the surgery, but he still wasn’t peak Orioles Zach Britton. The Yankees’ infield defense is pretty sketchy as currently constituted and that doesn’t seem to be a good fit for such a ground ball reliant pitcher. Strikeouts are the way to go.
Yankees, Braves, Rangers talked three-way trade with Gray, Profar
According to Jeff Passan, there was “traction” at one point on a three-way trade that would’ve sent Sonny Gray to the Braves and Jurickson Profar to the Yankees. Atlanta would’ve sent a prospect(s) to Texas. We heard the Yankees had interest in Profar and the Braves had interest in Gray earlier this winter, so that makes sense. Alas, the Rangers sent Profar to the Athletics in a three-team trade with the Rays. Texas received four prospects in the deal.
We’ll see what the Yankees get in the inevitable Gray trade, but I have a hard time thinking it’ll be better than Profar. He was my ideal Didi Gregorius replacement. Profar appears poised to finally take off and become one of the game’s top players. Of course, the Braves and Rangers had a say in this as well, and it sounds like the potential three-team trade fell apart because those clubs weren’t satisfied. So it goes. For what it’s worth (nothing), I acquired Profar in a three-team trade involving Gray in my 2018-19 Offseason Plan. Loved him as Gregorius fill-in and super utility guy.