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When will Bryce Harper, Manny Machado sign?

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after flying out during the tenth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Manny Machado will meet with the Phillies’ brass in Philadelphia next week. George King of the New York Post, meanwhile, says that he may very well meet with the Yankees next week as well, in what is apparently an east coast tour. Beyond those two teams, the White Sox have expressed an interest in Machado and are expected to meet with him as well.

The other big star free agent is Bryce Harper, or course. He reportedly held court in a hotel suite a bit father north up the Las Vegas Strip from the Winter Meetings with his agent, taking meetings with officials from various teams. Proof, I guess, that meetings are not an immediate precursor to a signing.

At this point one wonders if the top two talents on the market will sign before Christmas. If they don’t, it’ll be fairly unusual. Not unheard-of, of course. Last year’s infamously slow free agent market meant that its top two players -- Yu Darvish and J.D. Martinez -- waited until February to ink deals. One other in recent years -- Max Scherzer -- did not sign until January.

For the most part, however, we’re at about the time the big free agents sign. See, for example, the signing dates of the top two free agents, per MLB Trade Rumors’ ratings, over the past six offseasons:

  • 2017-18: Yu Darvish (2/13/18), J.D. Martinez (2/26/18)
  • 2016-17: Yoenis Cespedes (11/30/16), Aroldis Chapman (12/15/16)
  • 2015-16: David Price (12/4/15), Jason Heyward (12/15/15)
  • 2014-15: Max Scherzer (1/21/15), Jon Lester (12/15/14)
  • 2013-14: Robinson Cano (12/12/13), Jacoby Ellsbury (12/7/13)
  • 2012-13: Zack Greinke (12/10/12), Josh Hamilton (12/15/12)

December 15 is a popular date! Last year that was on the Friday after the Winter Meetings, in fact, which is . . . today!

Any chance you wanna cancel those meetings for next week and cut to the chase, Manny?

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