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MLB Rumour Roundup: deGrom, Rangers showing mutual interest


After a five-day quiet period came to an end on Thursday, MLB free agents can now sign with any of the 30 teams.

While free agency in baseball doesn’t have the immediate rush of signings like other sports, the speculation is already running rampant. Here are some of the rumours from around MLB now that moves can officially be made.

Rangers targeting top arms

After signing two of the top free agents a year ago — Corey Seager and Marcus Semien — the Texas Rangers have made contact with the agents of starting pitchers Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon and Kodai Senga, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman said Wednesday that “deGrom has let the Rangers know he is interested in them.”

In addition to targeting external options, the Rangers extended the qualifying offer to their own free agent Martín Pérez.

Pérez made his first all-star game in 2022, posting a 2.89 ERA in 32 starts for Texas. Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today also reported that the club offered a two-year contract with an option for a third year to the 31-year-old left-hander.

Mariners looking to add ‘one or two outfielders’

In speaking with Morosi at the GM meetings on Thursday, Seattle Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto said “there are big needs” in the team’s outfield. With Mitch Haniger becoming a free agent, Seattle will try to find impact in the corner outfield spots.

One name to watch in that search is Brandon Nimmo, formerly of the New York Mets. Morosi reported that the Mariners have shown “formal interest” in the left-handed outfielder. Nimmo hit .279 with a .367 on-base percentage in 2022 and is arguably the second-best outfielder on the free-agent market.

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Judge potentially to be ‘first domino’

Thursday morning on MLB Network, Mark Feinsand said he doesn’t think “this is going to be a situation that’s wrapped in the next week or two” when talking about Aaron Judge‘s free agent decision.

He added that the consensus from Las Vegas was that the “Yankees and Giants are probably favourites and the Dodgers are right behind them.”

“I think from a financial standpoint, there’s nobody that would be out of our capability,” San Francisco’s President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters Wednesday. “And then it’ll just be a question of whether there’s mutual interest.”

As far as returning to the Bronx, Brian Cashman said Wednesday that if he had a “magic wand,” Judge would already be signed back with the Yankees.

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Starting pitching abundance

While deGrom, Rodon, and Justin Verlander may headline the class of free-agent pitchers, the middle tier of Senga, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Bassitt and Tyler Anderson will likely garner just as much attention.

According to Morosi, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels are two teams showing interest in Anderson, who received a qualifying offer from the Dodgers.

In addition to the open market, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that “a number of starters, from the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes to the Marlins’ Pablo López to the Guardians’ Zach Plesac, are expected to be in play for trades.”

Burnes is projected to make $11.4 million in 2023 and Rosenthal said the Brewers “might believe that Burnes might never match his Cy Young season in 2021.”

President of Baseball Operations and General Manager David Stearns stepped down from his position in Milwaukee on Oct. 27. New GM Matt Arnold is “virtually certain to be active,” Rosenthal said.

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Will the Blue Jays move a catcher?

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday that teams are “extremely interested” in all three of the team’s MLB level catchers per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.

Alejandro Kirk, Danny Jansen and Gabriel Moreno form what may be the best collection of backstops across the majors.

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After Morosi initially reported that the Blue Jays are expected to move a catcher this off-season, he listed the Detroit Tigers as a potential fit.

“Toronto is willing to trade a catcher in the right deal, and Detroit has the swing-and-miss relievers coveted by the Jays,” he said.

Nicholson-Smith identified teams with whom the deal may be beneficial for both sides. Those teams include the Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Guardians, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Brewers.

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Kershaw — likely — headed back to Dodgers

Rosenthal reported Thursday night that three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are closing in on a one-year deal.

Heyman added to the reporting Friday afternoon, saying that the signing is for close to $20 million.

The 34-year-old has spent his entire career with the Dodgers and re-signed with the team last off-season on a one-year $17 million contract.

Another move that was finalized after 5 p.m ET saw the Padres and breakout reliever Robert Suarez come to terms Thursday night. Morosi reported that the two sides agreed on a five-year $46 million deal with an opt-out after three years.

Suarez posted a 2.27 ERA in 45 appearances in his debut campaign with San Diego and threw nine innings in the Padres’ run to the NLCS.

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