Generally, during this time of year the big-name free agents are on rosters, moved into a new city, and are preparing for spring training. This year is different, though, as there are still a few key free agents who have yet to sign with a team. Whether they are holding out for more money or wanting to choose a team or a combination of both, these few have managed to stay free agents through mid-February.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key free agents who are not yet part of a roster:
Moustakas, the power-hitting third baseman who won the World Series in 2015 with Kansas City, looks to be headed to Milwaukee. Nothing is finalized yet, but it has been reported anonymously that there is $10 million guaranteed on the table pending a physical. Also, the deal they are nearing includes a mutual option for 2020. Moustakas has a .251 career batting average and hit 147 home runs. He has driven in 474 runs.
There have been rumors connecting Harper to a few teams, with the Phillies being the most notable. There have been more recent rumors practically guaranteeing that Harper will be playing in the city of brotherly love this coming season. Whether you believe these rumors or not likely depends on what sources you trust. On Sunday, it was reported by Jim Bowden that Harper and the Phillies were “rounding third” regarding an alleged $300 million deal. Jim Bowden also, however, reported in January that the Nationals offered Harper “much more than $300 million” to try to keep him there.
There have been several teams in the mix for Machado’s services, with the Phillies, White Sox, and Padres especially prominent. The Padres have been the most aggressive in their pursuit as of late, with an executive reportedly having flown to Florida to meet with Machado and his wife. The White Sox were aggressive in their own right, having signed one of his best friends and his brother in law in hopes of bringing Machado to Chicago. Most reports have been that the offers range from $220 million to $260 million. The Yankees reportedly offered $220, with the White Sox offering $250. Some reports have the Padres offering more than that, but nobody will know until he signs on the dotted line.
All in all, these free agents hold great significance for the upcoming season. Any team—even a rebuilding one—will become a quality play against the best teams in their respective leagues, depending on the odds.