It appears again that the Bryce Harper hot stove is connected to the Manny Machado hot stove.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the White Sox have made a formal offer to Machado. The former Orioles and Dodgers infielder is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal worth more than $300 million. Ironically, that is the same offer that the Nationals reportedly made to Harper and his agent when their negotiations began after the 2018 season.
Sports-talk radio station 670 The Score in Chicago reports that the White Sox are not too keen on offering Machado a deal of more than seven years. The White Sox likely have established those same parameters for any deal with Harper.
Meanwhile, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters that the team hopes to meet with Harper soon. That jibes with the report NBC Sports Philadelphia had that Philadelphia brass were expected to meet with Harper in Las Vegas in the next few days.
The Phillies made more news yesterday by agreeing to a two-year deal worth $23 million for former Yankees reliever David Robertson. Interestingly, Robertson was his own agent in the negotiations, saving $1.15 million in agent-related fees.
* With five catchers on the Nats’ 40-man roster, one would expect that one of them will be traded or moved. Most teams carry four catchers on their 40-man. It seems likely that Raudy Read or Pedro Severino would be the most likely to be moved.
Considering the difficulty that Severino had last season at the plate, and the acquisition of veterans Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki, he would most likely be a candidate to be traded as teams look for catchers with major league experience after venturing through the free agent market.
Further, Read seems like he would get a shot to stay with the club because the Nats remained loyal even through a performance-enhancing drug suspension forced him to miss most of last season. It also makes sense to have now experienced catcher Spencer Kieboom at Triple-A Fresno as insurance in case the Nats need him as the season progresses.
* Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers “like” free agent second baseman Brian Dozier, who also was drawing interest from the Nats. Dozier reportedly might have to settle for a one-year deal after hitting just .215/.305/.391 last season. But it seems the Nats usually like to go for a longer deal with a second baseman with a little more pop in his bat.
* There is a junior home run derby Feb. 2 in Fresno, Calif., at the baseball stadium where the Nats’ new affiliate, the Triple-A Grizzlies, play their home games.
Here is more information about how to find a baseball field closer to D.C. that might be a part of the competition. You might remember the national winners battled it out for the home run derby crown at Nats Park during All-Star week last season. The winners posed for pictures at home plate with Harper.