Hot Stove Rumors: Kimbrel, Harper, Machado

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

Rumors are starting to heat up across baseball as the General Managers Meetings continue this week in California.

First and foremost, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the Red Sox might not be willing to get into a bidding war over Craig Kimbrel.

If Kimbrel is willing to accept a three-year contract around the $13 million per year he makes currently, the Red Sox would be happy to bring him back in the fold. Otherwise, Cafardo suggested, the Red Sox might let their closer walk.

It would be hard to see Kimbrel accepting that type of deal, especially since his agent is claiming Kimbrel is the greatest closer of all-time.

Kimbrel is likely looking at a four-year pact in the neighborhood of $70-$80 million.

Oct 24, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) walks onto the field during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Bryce Harper is looking at much more money than that on the open market. Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reported the Nationals offered the 26-year-old star a 10-year, $300 million contract, which Harper turned down.

The Yankees don't need any outfield help, but could Harper potentially be an option for New York at first base? Harper's agent, Scott Boras, has suggested that his client could play first, where Luke Voit certainly wouldn't block the Yankees from putting Harper in pinstripes.

The Yankees are widely considered one of the main suitors for Manny Machado, who could also be in line for a $300 million contract. Bob Nightengale of USA Today indicated that New York is Machado's preferred destination as he hits free agency.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub's own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.