As expected, much of the buzz in the lobbies, hallways and bars in Mandalay Bay for the winter meetings has revolved around the free agency of young superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
For years, we gazed at Harper's coming free agency, envisioning a bidding spree that would net him $500 million. All the megamarket teams would be in on him, right? The Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox and surely the Nationals would do anything to retain him.
Instead, the Nationals seem content to leave their 10-year, $300 million offer on the table. They haven't ruled out bringing him back publicly, but it sounds like they've already said their goodbyes. The Yankees view their outfield as being full and won't move Harper to first base. On Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he was surprised people were even still asking him about Harper. The Red Sox have no need and, in fact, are looking to trim payroll. Unless the Cubs are playing possum in a major way, they reportedly need to clear money in order to jump into the sweepstakes.
The Phillies seem to be in, though signing Andrew McCutchen gives off the appearance they are more serious about Machado. The White Sox are definitely in and the Dodgers seem to be lying in the weeds here.