Manny Machado is becoming the richest free-agent in the history of American team sports, by accepting a Contract of $ 300 million over 10 years Tuesday with the Padres.
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:: Manny Machado's contract with the Padres ::
The news from Machado had barely been digested as all eyes immediately turned to Bryce Harper, which remains available on the free agents market. The consensus in the industry is that Harper will sign more than the $ 300 million that Machado got from San Diego, but will it be Phillies, White Sox, Giants or Nationals – or from another team? – who signed the winner of the MVP 2015 National League Award?
Harper's future remains the focus of the game, but other prominent free agents are still looking for offers. With Machado off the board, the uncertainty surrounding the remaining stars should begin to resolve before too long. Here is an overview of what could happen to the four biggest names in the free agent market. (The ages are shown from the 2019 opening day.)
Bryce Harper, OF, age 26
The price of a contract with Harper is now $ 300,000,001, while the player and his agent, Scott Boras, have entered the off season in order to set a record for the biggest deal of independent agent of history. In truth, the magic number is probably $ 325,000,001, which eclipses Giancarlo StantonThe 13 year extension of The is the most important contract of all time, but Stanton was not a free agent when he signed it.
• Latest rumors about Harper's free agents
Will the Phillies be the team to show the money to Harper? Philadelphia has not hidden his desire to sign either Machado or Harper, although general manager Matt Klentak has stated that the final deal with Machado "will exceed our assessment and that sometimes it needs to be ready to go there. " Are the Phillies comfortable paying over $ 300 million to Harper? Otherwise, they will probably watch him sign elsewhere.
Once again, the White Sox said they could not spend $ 300 million on Machado, which could also make them lose money to Harper. The Giants seem unlikely to offer a market of this magnitude, but could the Nationals come back and bring back to Washington the longstanding face of the franchise? Harper would have had a $ 300 million offer on the table when the off-season started, so do not count them.
Video: Kapler, Franco and Hoskins on Machado joining the Padres
Dallas Keuchel, LHP, 31 years old
Formerly considered the cream of the free agent pitching crop, Keuchel watched Patrick Corbin A $ 140 million, six-year contract with the Nationals in early December was an agreement that many believe could be a bargain for the former Cy Young Award winner. of the American League.
More than two months later, the 31-year-old has still not signed, as no market has been clearly defined for his services. The Phillies remain the most reasonable game, although until Harper settles, Philadelphia is unlikely to turn to Keuchel or any other available player.
If the Phillies do not press for the left-handed, the Astros could act to bring him back to a short-term contract. In addition to Houston, several teams, including the Braves, Brewers and Rangers, have been attached to Keuchel at one point, although none of them seems inclined to sign a long-term contract in the United States. eight best figures.
Video: Could Astros bring back Keuchel or Gonzalez?
Craig Kimbrel, RHP, 30 years old
Like Keuchel, Kimbrel entered the off-season looking for a nine-digit contract, so even when substitutes, including Andrew Miller, Zack Britton, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino came out of the picture, it had little impact on Kimbrel's situation.
Kimbrel's dream of concluding a $ 100 million deal over six years is in the rear-view mirror, just as the hope of surpassing Aroldis ChapmanThe closest contract is $ 86 million (over five years). Unless the Phillies miss out on Harper and decide to switch to the other big free players – a scenario that the sources say is unlikely – Kimbrel's best landing spots seem to be the Braves or the Red Sox.
Boston's luxury tax situation makes reunion tricky, as the Sox would pay heavy penalties in addition to the deal that Kimbrel would get, while Atlanta was reluctant to shell out much money since signing the deal. This agreement Josh Donaldson. At this point everything is on the table and Kimbrel's contract could be creative. Maybe Kimbrel could get a deal similar to Yoenis Cespedes& # 39; first big deal with the Mets, which was a three-year contract with an opt-out after a year, that Cespedes exercised and traded in a $ 110 million contract from a four years.
Video: Craig Kimbrel is the first relief pitcher right now
Marwin Gonzalez, IF / OF, 30 years old
Gonzalez is one of the most interesting and versatile players this year. He plays all the posts on the field, except the pitcher and catcher. Like Keuchel, Gonzalez would be the perfect candidate to return to the Astros, where manager AJ Hinch had the luxury of using the flexible, soon to be 30, in the diamond.
Of course, the Machado and Harper situations should not have hindered such a meeting, so it was probably Gonzalez's contract applications that were the main obstacle. Gonzalez – another Boras customer – reportedly sought a deal similar to the $ 4 million deal Ben Zobrist signed with the Cubs in December 2015. This money has not really been there because only one player – Machado – has signed an agreement of at least $ 56 million.
Finding a fit for Gonzalez should not be difficult; Rival teams such as the Braves, Athletics and the Rockies would immediately improve with him on the roster. Finding a team to pay him what he's looking for seems to be Gonzalez's biggest problem. Once Harper has signed, the missing teams will give Gonzalez a new look.
Mark Feinsand, an executive journalist, joined MLB.com as a journalist in 2001.