LAS VEGAS -- The Phillies are on the verge of adding a former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner to their outfield, but his name is not Bryce Harper.
A source told on Tuesday that the Phillies and Andrew McCutchen have reached an agreement on a three-year, $50 million contract, pending a physical. The Athletic reports the deal includes a club option for a fourth season.
McCutchen's arrival does not remove the Phillies from the Harper and Manny Machado sweepstakes. The Phillies plan to meet with their agents this week at the Winter Meetings, and they very well could meet in person with Harper. It is unclear if Philadelphia has already met with Machado. But McCutchen's addition to the Phillies' lineup -- the organization believes he will hit well at Citizens Bank Park -- means Philadelphia might not feel as pressured to sign either Harper or Machado.
It could open other doors, too, allowing the Phillies to trade an outfielder like Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams, who could help them address another need. The Phillies remain in the market for a starting pitcher, although they prefer to sign free-agent left-hander J.A. Happ. He is seeking a three-year contract. The Indians continue to shop former American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Sources said the Phillies remain in the hunt for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, too.
It is not a stretch to see the Phillies making a trade to "move the needle," as Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has said is the team's offseason goal. The Phillies have been shopping top prospect Sixto Sanchez, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Sanchez is the type of talent that could pry somebody like Kluber or Realmuto away from a team, if other pieces make sense, too.
But saying that, the Phillies still believe they have upgraded their outfield with McCutchen, who turned 32 in October. He is not the player that won the 2013 NL MVP Award with the Pirates, but he continues to hit. McCutchen batted a combined .255 with 20 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .792 OPS last season with the Giants and Yankees. He posted an .892 OPS in 114 plate appearances with the Yankees.
McCutchen has posted a 121 OPS+ the past two seasons. No Phillies outfielder other than Rhys Hoskins posted league-average offense or better last season.
It is unclear if McCutchen will play left or right field. McCutchen posted two Defensive Runs Saved in right field last season. Statcast™, however, listed him at -11 Outs Above Average, which ranked 82nd out of 87 qualified outfielders.
Regardless of the metrics, if the Phillies put McCutchen in left field, he will be an upgrade over Hoskins, who will play first base in 2019. Hoskins posted -24 DRS and -19 OAA in left field.
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Longtime slugger Mike Napoli announced his retirement Saturday via a statement released through his Twitter account.
"After much thought and consideration with my family, I have decided to retire from the game of baseball," Napoli said. "I dreamed about playing baseball since I was a little kid growing up in Hollywood, [Fla.], and I was lucky enough to get paid to play a kids game for 18 years."
Napoli, 37, was a free agent, and he hadn't suited up for a big league club since 2017, when he hit 29 home runs over 124 games for the Rangers. The former first baseman and catcher signed a Minor League deal with the Indians last spring, but he tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee during a Triple-A game in April and underwent season-ending surgery.
Napoli began his MLB career with the Angels in 2006 and played for four franchises over a 12-year span.
"I was blessed to be mentored by great people at the beginning of my career with the Angels and was able to bring that winning attitude to each clubhouse that I was fortunate to be a part of," Napoli said. "I hope to be remembered as someone who always tried to keep the clubhouse atmosphere light and inclusive, making sure that everyone was respected by his peers while leading by example, both on and off the field.
"Most importantly, I am proudest of positively affecting people's lives and putting smiles on people's faces by simply being myself, reflecting the way I was brought up in South Florida."
Napoli's grit and professionalism endeared him to several fan bases, most notably in Cleveland where his powerful swings to the left-field seats inspired the "Party at Napoli's" catchphrase. The 2012 All-Star finishes his career with 267 homers and 744 RBIs while having played in three World Series, including Boston's championship run in '13.
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Nathan Eovaldi is returning to the World Series champions. The Red Sox have agreed to a deal with the free-agent right-hander, who was so critical to Boston's 2018 title run, a source told's Mark Feinsand on Thursday.
The deal, first reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, is pending a physical. The deal is for 4- years,  67.5 million.
Eovaldi was drawing plenty of interest on the free-agent market from teams other than the Red Sox, including the rival Yankees, Phillies and Padres. But the Red Sox appeared to be prioritizing bringing Eovaldi back to Boston, and they got their guy.
Considering his impressive return from Tommy John surgery this season, coupled with his high ceiling -- Eovaldi is just 28 years old and has electric stuff, starting with a fastball that routinely hits triple digits -- he was easily one of the top starters available, especially after Patrick Corbin agreed to a six-year deal with the Nationals on Tuesday.
Eovaldi had a 3.81 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 111 innings over 22 games (21 starts) in 2018, as he successfully returned from Tommy John surgery that had kept him out for all of 2017. After the Red Sox acquired him from the Rays on July 25, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), with 48 strikeouts in 54 innings.
But it was during the playoffs that Eovaldi really shined. He had a 1.61 ERA in six postseason outings -- two starts and four relief appearances -- with 16 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. He beat the Yankees in the Bronx in the American League Division Series and the Astros in Houston in the AL Championship Series, and he pitched three stellar relief outings against the Dodgers in the Fall Classic.
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Free-agent infielder Luis Valbuena and former Major League infielder Jose Castillo died in a car accident Thursday in Venezuela, according to their Cardenales de Lara team in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Valbuena, 33, batted .199 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 96 games for the Angels last season before being released in August. He was a career .226 hitter with 114 homers and 367 RBIs over 11 big league seasons, also playing for the Mariners, Indians, Cubs and Astros.
Castillo, 37, last appeared in the Major Leagues for the Astros in 2008. He also played for the Pirates and Giants in parts of five Major League seasons, batting .254 with 39 homers and 218 RBIs.
The Houston Chronicle, citing reports out of Venezuela, reported that the players' car hit a rock in the road. Both had played for Lara in Thursday night's game at Caracas.
Tributes from around the baseball community are pouring in following the tragic deaths of Valbuena and Castillo.
"The Astros family lost two young men yesterday, entirely too soon," the team said in a statement. "During his two seasons in Houston, Luis was an extremely popular player with his teammates and the Astros' staff. He was a productive player on the field and played a key role in the Astros' run to the postseason in 2015. Off the field, he was a warm and friendly presence to all who interacted with him. Jose's time with the Astros was brief, but he also had a positive impact on those around him. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends."
Indians pitcher Danny Salazar tweeted, "So sad for this news, God has a good place for you in heaven mi amigo, all My condolences to the Valbuena and Castillo's family #ripbrother."
Braves catcher Rene Rivera, who played with Valbuena briefly this past season, also tweeted, "Sad to wake up to the news of the loss of teammate Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo. Praying for their families to find comfort in such a difficult time. You will be missed ValBueeeeeena."
A teammate of Valbuena for two years, Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs wrote, "RIP Luuuuuu ... I will miss you brotha. Gone way too soon. Great teammate and great person. Every day he would have a smile that would light up the room."
The Angels and Phillies swapped veteran relievers Thursday in a deal that sent southpaw Jose Alvarez to Philadelphia and right-hander Luis Garcia to Anaheim.
Alvarez, 29, is coming off a stellar season in which he posted a 2.71 ERA, which ranked fourth among left-handed AL relievers, and struck out 59 batters through 76 appearances (63 innings). He allowed just three home runs all season and held left-handed hitters to a .206 average.
Phillies, Angels swap relievers in 1-for-1 deal
The six-year veteran owns a 3.69 career ERA through 284 games with the Tigers (2013) and Angels (2014-18). The Angels acquired him from Detroit in March 2014 in exchange for infielder Andrew Romine.
Garcia, 31, has spent his entire six-year Major League career with the Phillies after joining the club as a Minor League free agent in 2013. After a strong 2017 campaign, Garcia struggled this season, compiling a 6.07 ERA in 59 relief appearances. He has a 4.12 ERA for his career.
Both players are eligible for arbitration this offseason, and each is under team control until 2021.
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