Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will be the crown jewels of free agency following the 2018 season.
Both players are expected to command contracts which could reach or exceed $300 million.
Both players will have plenty of suitors with deep pockets, including the Yankees and Phillies.
One way for a club to gain the upper hand in negotiations? Trade for one of the soon-to-be free agents before the July 31st non-waiver deadline.
According to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, that's exactly what the Cubs could do:
The Chicago Cubs will take a look at acquiring superstar shortstop Manny Machado, sources say. Machado was speculated by FRS Sports a few weeks back as a likely candidate for the Cubs, with Addison Russell seen as part of a possible package for the Orioles, and word now is that he is the Cubs' main target at the deadline.