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Latest on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper

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As the hot stove barely takes the chill off of this frigid offseason, let’s check in on the two blue chip free agents who remain unemployed:

  • Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies are expected to make another offer to Manny Machado this week. We do not know what the previous offer was and, while one presumes that Machado countered or another team also made Machado an offer because only morons bid against themselves, we don’t know the terms of that stuff either. It all remains a mystery, but as Salisbury reports, the Phillies seem more jazzed for Machado than Harper;
  • The White Sox have reportedly made an offer to Machado. The Yankees too, though as Ken Davidoff writes today, it’s thought to be something of a lowball deal, at least in terms of contract length. Davidoff mentions five-years, $130 million, but it’s not clear if he’s just speculating or if that’s what someone has told him. Either way, it sounds like New York’s interest is good on the average annual value but poor on the length and guaranteed dollars;
  • Even if they are more jazzed about Machado, the Phillies have a meeting with Bryce Harper scheduled for this Saturday in Las Vegas. Unlike the Winter Meetings confab between Scott Boras and Philly GM Matt Klentak, this is an all-hands-on-deck thing, with the Phillies owner, team president Andy MacPhail, Klentak, Gabe Kapler and, most importantly, Bryce Harper himself. Know what? If I was interested in Harper, I’d probably let it slip to the media that I was more jazzed about Machado too for negotiation purposes. Just throwing that out there!

Given that there’s a Saturday meeting, it seems obvious that Harper won’t sign anywhere this week. No one knows with Machado, but given that there are offers out there, it could happen whenever.

Now if you excuse me, I’m off to have these third-degree hot stove burns treated. Just scorching stuff. Wear oven mitts, kids.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.