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A new suitor for Cease has reportedly emerged

We’re keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors.

Jan. 28: Mariners reportedly talking to White Sox about trade for Cease

The Mariners have reportedly been discussing a trade for Dylan Cease with the White Sox, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who reports that Chicago is seeking a package centered around Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo.

The Mariners’ rotation is currently led by Luis Castillo and George Kirby — the third- and eighth-place finishers in the 2023 AL Cy Young Award voting, respectively — with Logan Gilbert in the No. 3 spot. Adding Cease would give the club another potential ace for the upcoming season, with the right-hander placing second in the AL Cy Young race two years ago.

That said, it would be surprising to see Seattle part with Miller or Woo in a deal for Cease, considering both hurlers are controllable through 2029. Cease has two years of team control remaining before free agency.

Cease seemed likely to be traded earlier this offseason, but his chances of being dealt before Opening Day have dwindled due to the White Sox lofty asking price. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman recently heard from one general manager that Chicago has been asking for “the sun and the moon” in exchange for the 28-year-old.

Jan. 28: Mets looking for lefty reliever, interested in Peralta (report)

Adam Ottavino, who returned to the Mets on a one-year deal (per a source) Saturday, might not be the last reliever the team adds in free agency this offseason. According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, New York is looking for a left-handed arm, with Wandy Peralta among its targets. More >

Jan. 28: Who are the Red Sox targeting in search for pitching help?

Although the Red Sox are continuing their search for pitching help prior to the start of Spring Training in February, a move for one of the top arms left on the free-agent market is not expected to happen.

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (subscription required) wrote Saturday that “every indication remains that the Sox won’t be pursuing long-term deals for [Jordan] Montgomery or [Blake] Snell,” which is not exactly surprising after Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy told reporters prior to the team’s annual Winter Weekend event earlier this month that Boston’s 2024 payroll would “probably” be lower than it was last year.

Instead, the Red Sox are looking for lower-cost arms to fill out their depth. According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, Boston’s targets include swingman Jakob Junis and reliever Ryne Stanek. More >

Jan. 27: Do Cubs have a big move in store to address their offense?

The Cubs have made multiple moves to address their pitching staff this month, signing Japanese lefty Shōta Imanaga to a four-year deal on Jan. 11 before reportedly reaching a one-year deal with reliever Hector Neris on Saturday. However, Chicago still has work to do before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in mid-February.

While they traded for infielder Michael Busch (MLB Pipeline’s No. 44 overall prospect), the Cubs have yet to add a proven bat to their lineup, which has a huge hole after Cody Bellinger became a free agent. Some Cubs have already voiced their desire to play with Bellinger again in 2024. Chicago has been connected to free-agent third baseman Matt Chapman as well and was also linked to first baseman Rhys Hoskins before he signed with the rival Brewers. More >

Jan. 27: Will Yanks add one of these relief pitchers?

The Yankees have made significant additions this offseason to address their lineup (Juan Soto), outfield depth (Alex Verdugo, Trent Grisham) and starting rotation (Marcus Stroman). They haven’t, however, added a relief pitcher on a Major League contract — yet. 

One of New York’s potential relief targets came off the board on Saturday when Hector Neris reportedly reached a one-year deal with the Cubs, but there are still a number of possibilities left on the market.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, writing for the New York Post on Thursday, mentioned several relievers with whom the Yankees have spoken this winter in addition to Neris: Wandy Peralta, Keynan Middleton, Ryan Brasier and Phil Maton. More >

Jan. 25: Angels reportedly showing interest in Votto; Reds not planning to pursue reunion

The Angels have yet to make a major addition to their lineup after losing Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers in free agency, but they are continuing to explore offensive targets to go with the quartet of pitchers they’ve added (Robert Stephenson, Matt Moore, Zach Plesac and Adam Cimber). The latest name to emerge as a possibility? First baseman Joey Votto.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman connected the Halos and Votto in an appearance on Bleacher Report on Wednesday, reporting that the Angels are one of the teams showing interest in the free-agent first baseman.

The Angels currently have youngster Nolan Schanuel penciled in as their starting first baseman, but they have an opening at the DH spot following Ohtani’s departure. The club was also recently linked to outfielder Adam Duvall, with Heyman reporting on Jan. 18 that Duvall was likely to pick either the Angels or the incumbent Red Sox.

At age 40, Votto is likely to be the more cost-effective option of the two. After 17 seasons with the Reds, the former MVP became a free agent when Cincinnati declined his $20 million club option for 2024, opting to pay him a $7 million buyout instead.

The Reds are not planning to pursue a reunion with Votto at this point, according to president of baseball operations Nick Krall. As for who else might be in the mix for Votto’s services, Heyman isn’t ruling out the slugger’s hometown team, the Blue Jays.

Jan. 25: O’s in on Lorenzen

The Orioles are still looking to add starting pitching, and Michael Lorenzen is one name they have their eye on. 

MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi reported Thursday that the O’s have expressed interest in the free-agent right-hander. 

Lorenzen reportedly threw a bullpen session in California earlier this week (along with Noah Syndergaard) with about 16 MLB teams in attendance, per FanSided’s Robert Murray.

Baltimore has been seeking a frontline starter, and Lorenzen is probably more of a mid-rotation type, but he would still bolster the pitching staff of an Orioles team looking to build on last year’s 101-win season.

The 32-year-old was one of the better pitchers moved at last season’s Trade Deadline as the Phillies acquired him from the Tigers after he posted a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts. Lorenzen threw a no-hitter during his home debut in Philly, but he struggled after that night and ended up posting a 5.51 ERA in his 11 outings for the Phillies. Lorenzen finished the season in Philadelphia’s bullpen and made two scoreless relief appearances during the postseason.

Jan. 25: Royals looking to add a closer (report)

The Royals have been one of the most active teams in baseball this offseason, already having added veteran starters Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha, among others. According to Ken Rosenthal and Levi Weaver of The Athletic (subscription required), Kansas City may not be done bolstering its roster in a wide-open AL Central division. The report suggests that the Royals are “open to adding one more piece — a closer.”

While the free agent market for closers is thin, Rosenthal notes that Kansas City is looking to acquire one via trade. The trade market isn’t very deep, either, though names like Devin Williams, Emmanuel Clase and Kenley Jansen have been floated in rumors this offseason.

Jan. 23: Syndergaard drawing interest

FanSided’s Robert Murray reports that “about 16 teams” watched free-agent starter Noah Syndergaard throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in California. (Michael Lorenzen also threw a bullpen session there.) 

Murray specifically mentions the Padres and Pirates as two clubs that are interested in Syndergaard.

The 31-year-old Syndergaard is far removed from being the electrifying hurler known as Thor who overpowered hitters with his flamethrowing right arm from 2015-19. Last season, he had a 6.50 ERA, served up 22 homers and struck out only 56 batters in 88 2/3 innings split between the Dodgers and Guardians.

However, perhaps he is regaining a little bit of that lost velocity. Murray writes that Syndergaard consistently sat between 93-95 mph during the session. His four-seamer and two-seamer each averaged about 92 mph last year.

Jan. 20: ‘Widespread belief’ that Bellinger will re-sign with Cubs

Several teams have been connected with Bellinger so far this offseason, including the Blue Jays, Giants and Mariners. But according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, there is “widespread belief within the industry” that Bellinger will re-sign with the Cubs, though “only if/when his asking price comes down.” More >

Jan. 18: Duvall ‘likely’ to choose Red Sox or Angels (report)

Veteran outfielder Adam Duvall is coming off a strong, albeit injury-limited season in 2023, and according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the 35-year-old slugger will “likely” return to the Red Sox or sign with the Angels unless other clubs join the mix late.

Duvall posted an .834 OPS with 21 home runs in 92 games for Boston last year, and he’s only two seasons removed from a 38-homer campaign in which he led the NL with 113 RBIs. The Red Sox would like to avoid losing that type of production and the Angels are trying to replace some of the power lost when Shohei Ohtani signed with the Dodgers.

Jan. 18: Front-runner emerging for Soler?

Jorge Soler is one of the leading hitters remaining on the free agent market, and according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for the New York Post, his market is gaining steam. Heyman reports that the Blue Jays are emerging as a front-runner for the slugger, who turns 32 next month. He adds that the D-backs and Red Sox are also showing interest.

Jan. 18: Marlins willing to listen to offers on Luzardo, Cabrera (source)

Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber and Corbin Burnes. Those three aces have been frequently mentioned in the trade rumor mill this offseason, but with only a few weeks left until Spring Training, the chances that any of those pitchers are moved soon appear to be falling. Club executives have told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that they don’t anticipate Cease or Bieber being traded before the season begins.

However, that doesn’t mean the trade cupboard is completely bare. A source told Feinsand that the Marlins have been open to discussing deals involving starting pitchers Jesús Luzardo and Edward Cabrera.

The Yankees have reportedly talked to the Marlins about a handful of their controllable starting pitchers, including Luzardo and Cabrera, but MLB Network insider Jon Heyman recently wrote in the New York Post that there is “no evidence of any real traction there yet.” Miami also discussed a deal with the Royals during last month’s Winter Meetings that would have sent Luzardo to the Royals for first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required).

Luzardo, 26, struck out 208 batters in 178 2/3 innings last season. The left-hander is under club control for three more seasons. The 25-year-old Cabrera has yet to top 100 innings in any of his three MLB seasons and has posted an extremely high 14.0% walk rate during his career. However, opponents had an expected batting average of .199 against him last year, and his 55.7% ground-ball rate ranked in the 91st percentile. Cabrera has five years of club control remaining.

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