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Sunday, December 9, 2018

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL AT THE WINTER MEETINGS: LOTS OF BIG NAMES SHOULD FIND NEW HOMES

By Michael Wong

Las Vegas, NV.--Ready for some action?  The trades and signings should come fast and furious over the next five days as the much-anticipated Winter Meetings gets underway.  We will be here to provide all of the transactions as they occur and the thought is that some major movement will be seen in all directions.  With that said, let's check in on some key names before the moves get going:

Bryce Harper/Manny Machado:  These two will continue to be linked together due to the expected $300 million-plus price tags expected to be gleaned by both.  Right now the Machado market seems a bit more crowded than Harper's; with the New York Yankees interest in the former driving a lot of that.  The thought here is that since the Yankees saved so much money in losing out on Patrick Corbin, that they now have more to spend on a potential Machado deal. 

Complicating matters for both is that the St. Louis Cardinals appear to be out on both given their trade for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt so that takes some leverage away.  Additionally, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said publicly that his team is likely moving on from Harper.  Finally, the Yanks have no scheduled meeting with Harper will further limits his market.  It is currently unknown whether Harper erred in not taking $300 million from the Nats but as of right now, there doesn't appear to be many teams beyond the Phillies and maybe the Dodgers who seem inclined to take on such a mammoth deal for the outfielder. 

Starting Pitching:  With Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi off the board, the competition will heat up for remaining available arms Dallas Keuchel, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, Sonny Gray, Charlie Morton, and J.A. Happ.  The Yanks will likely move Gray sometime this week; with the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland A's serving as current favorites.  Meanwhile, Kluber is getting a ton of attention as the Indians seem very inclined to deal him after re-upping Carlos Carrasco through at least 2021. 

As far as the rest of the arms, almost everyone believes Happ and the Yanks will find common ground on a deal this week, while the Braves and Cardinals will be heavily in on Keuchel and Morton. 

-Relievers:  The bullpen market has yet to get going as the industry waits to see what closer Craig Kimbrel will receive.  Right behind him are Zach Britton, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Andrew Miller.  Once Kimbrel is signed, the rest should go quickly. 




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