The month of February has been a crazy one for Major League Baseball. One superstar, Manny Machado, got signed. Another, Bryce Harper, is still waiting on his mega-deal. However, these were not the only moves that went down. There were two other signings that will surely impact the MLB in a big way.
The first of these new deals came with starting pitcher Wade Miley, signing with the Houston Astros on the first of the month. It was not a large deal, only a one-year, 4.5 million dollar contract. Last season, Miley pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers. He had a fantastic year, tossing 80.2 innings with an ERA of 2.57. He is a fresh face for a deep Houston rotation.
The next big trade came six days later, on Feb 7, when the Miami Marlins traded starting catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Philadelphia Phillies. In return, Miami received catcher Jorge Alfaro, Minor League pitcher Sixto Sanchez, pitcher Will Stewart and $250,000 in international bonus money. This is a really nice trade for both sides. Realmuto is one of the best catchers in the league hitting .277 with 21 homers and 74 RBI in 2018. Defensively, he is quick at preventing steals and has great pop time. Looking at it from the Marlins’ perspective, they got two promising pitchers who will aid their rotation. Sanchez, at just 20-years-old, is a particularly promising prospect.
Feb 19 is when the Machado deal went down. The infielder got signed to a ten-year, $300 million dollar deal by the San Diego Padres. This is the biggest and most important offseason signing by far. A superstar player, Machado is now the cornerstone for this growing Padres team. Last season, he batted .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI. Padres fans should be excited to have him on their team.
Another building block for this team is Machado’s new teammate Eric Hosmer, whom San Diego signed to an eight-year deal last offseason. With these two players locked down, the Padres now have the foundations in place to build up a dynasty in San Diego.
Bryce Harper is the second superstar dominating the grapevine this offseason. However, he still remains unsigned. Considering Machado and the deal he obtained, baseball fans should expect Harper to garner a similar deal. He has been linked to many teams, the most frequently mentioned ones being the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and even the team he left behind, the Washington Nationals.
The Nats wanted Bryce to stay, and they tried their hardest to resign him. They offered him another massive ten-year, $300 million dollar deal. However, Harper decided he wanted to test free agency waters, so he turned it down, hoping he could find something better.
As of late, it appears that Bryce Harper is most closely eyeing the Phillies. In fact, Philly owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas, Harper’s hometown, to speak with him personally last Friday. This seems to indicate that a deal might be in the works, but we will have to wait and see. San Francisco is still in the mix, but they are willing to offer only a short-term deal, and that does not appear to be what Bryce wants.
If the Phillies managed to ink Bryce Harper, they would become a contender overnight, having already signed Realmuto. For a franchise that has struggled over the past decade, Harper would be a metaphorical “home run.”