MLB Free Agency: Who Are the Top-3 Players Remaining?

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The Major League Baseball “hot stove” still is warming up, as a few moves have been made–Zach Britton, David Robertson, and Patrick Corbin have all found where they will call home next year–but the big names on the market still remain. Players like Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Craig Kimbrel are still available for teams to sign, and while all of them have seen a lot of interest, they have yet to decide where they will play next year. While all of these players are going to get big paydays, the longer they wait, the less likely they are to get those huge contracts that are so sought after.

Bryce Harper

Interested teams: Phillies, Nationals, Dodgers

Getting a generational talent like Bryce Harper is certainly on a lot of teams’ wish list, but the question still remains: who can afford him? There have been talks of him returning to the Washington Nationals, despite members around the team expecting him to leave this offseason. There is also the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have cleared space for him to go to LA. But the team that makes the most sense is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have been in talks with the best infielder on the free agent market, Manny Machado (We will get to him later.), but they have competition for him in the form of the Yankees and the White Sox. Harper has much less competition to deal with. The Phillies are in desperate need for a star, to go with a very good pitching staff and young stud Rhys Hoskins. Harper would fit that preference and would get plenty of money this offseason in the process. The Phillies have been said they are willing to spend “stupid money,” and what better way to spend that stupid money than to get a young, former MVP and generational talent like Bryce Harper?

Prediction: Harper signs with the Phillies, 8 years, $275 Million.

 

Manny Machado

Interested teams: Yankees, White Sox, Phillies

Machado is in a very similar situation as Harper. He is a generational talent that could get a $300 million contract, but the longer he waits, the less likely it is going to happen. However, where Machado differs from Harper is that he has much more legitimate interest. The Yankees, Phillies, and White Sox all believe they have a reasonable chance at getting Machado. Both the Phillies and the White Sox are looking to add a superstar to put them over the top, while the Yankees are looking to improve a team that won 100 games last year. All of the teams have a spot for Machado, but mutual interest is what will likely be the deciding factor in this decision. This gives the Yankees the best chance at Machado, as he and his wife both love New York, and Machado’s idol is former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Machado will play third base and shortstop for the Yankees, as they await the return of Didi Gregorius, and have uncertainty regarding the newly signed Troy Tulowitzki. The Yankees would also be able to make Miguel Andujar available for trade, where he would garner serious interest and would probably get the ace the Yankees so desperately want and need in return. Machado signing with the Yankees would be a win-win for everyone and would make the Yankees even more dangerous then the 100-win team was last year.

Prediction: Machado signs with Yankees, 8 years, $250 million.

 

Craig Kimbrel

Interested teams: Red Sox, Braves

For a closer of his magnitude, this offseason has been a disappointment for Craig Kimbrel, as very few teams have showed any legitimate interest. The two teams that are interested in the all-star closer are both former teams of his; the Atlanta Braves, with whom he started his career, and the Boston Red Sox, where he most recently played. The Red Sox have been very quiet this offseason, but they have stalked around Kimbrel, and if he doesn’t receive more interest in the next few weeks, they can easily retain him at a decent price. However, the Braves are still very much a possibility for Kimbrel, as they seek bullpen help to help a young, newly contending team. A big weakness of the Braves has been their bullpen, and bringing back a familiar face like Kimbrel can get them closer to the World Series championship they so desperately want. If the Braves add one more starter and reliever to go along with Kimbrel, they could see themselves as contenders next season.

Prediction: Kimbrel signs with Braves, 4 years, $60 million.

The so-called biggest offseason in recent memory has been very dormant so far, but when any of these three players sign, madness will ensue. It will open the floodgates for another one of these players to sign, and more players after that. Although the offseason has been quiet so far, just wait; things will be getting very exciting very soon.

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