It's Hot Stove season, and MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.
• Free agents, by position
• Free agents, by team
Do rival execs think Syndergaard can be had?
Dec. 10: Last week, at the press conference welcoming Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to Flushing, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said it would take a "very special circumstance" to even think about trading Noah Syndergaard.
As the Winter Meetings begin Monday in Las Vegas, it seems that other teams think the same.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman writes that executives from potential suitors who have spoken to the Mets about Syndergaard believe it would take an "extraordinary" return to land him. According to Sherman, the current sense is that the Mets are highly unlikely to part with Thor.
Teams that have inquired about Syndergaard include the Padres, Rockies, Brewers, Dodgers and Astros, according to Sherman. The 26-year-old would be a fit for nearly any team thanks to his elite talent and years of control -- Syndergaard won't be a free agent until 2022.
But the Mets want to contend now, and having Syndergaard in their rotation in 2019 is probably the best avenue toward that goal. Sherman points out that if New York ends up being out of contention come July, they could always put him on the market before the Trade Deadline. Thanks to Syndergaard's three years of control, he could still impact several playoff races, and Sherman thinks his value might even be higher in July if he pitches well during the first half of 2019 and there aren't a lot of other top-end starting pitching options available.
Which contenders might pursue Greinke?
Dec. 10: The D-backs have already traded Paul Goldschmidt. Will Zack Greinke be next?
The veteran right-hander's 15-team no-trade list might make it difficult for Arizona to find a trade partner. But there are also some notable teams who have shown interest in Greinke before, and aren't on the list.
Two of those teams: the Astros and Nationals, per a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Monday. On the other hand, teams like the Phillies, Cardinals and Dodgers are on Greinke's no-trade list -- with the list seen as a "major impediment" to a deal.
The Astros could be a good fit for Greinke, if the interest is still there. That's both from a need standpoint, as Houston could lose both Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton in free agency, and from a philosophy standpoint -- the studious Greinke and the data-driven Astros seem like they'd mesh. The Nationals wouldn't be as clear a match, since they've already signed the top free-agent starter on the market (and Greinke's former teammate), Patrick Corbin.
Which teams might be in on Keuchel?
Dec. 10: The market for free agent Dallas Keuchel is still a bit hazy as the Winter Meetings get underway in Las Vegas.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Monday that the Braves, Phillies and Reds are the top three teams in on the left-hander, but MLB.com's Mark Bowman has heard something different. Per Bowman, the Braves have not had discussions regarding Keuchel. And MLB.com's Mark Sheldon previously reported that the Reds' interest in Keuchel was being overblown.
It's possible the connection between Keuchel and the Braves was floated by Keuchel's representatives to get the Phillies to up their offer. Philadelphia is reportedly in on the 30-year-old after missing out on Patrick Corbin, who signed with the Nationals.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are focusing their attention on J.A. Happ rather than Keuchel, but Heyman speculates that the club could jump in on Keuchel if they miss out on Happ.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, there is "industry buzz" that the Yanks would like to sign Happ to no more than two years, while the left-hander is believed to be looking for three.
New York was also unwilling match the lengthy contracts given to Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi, causing those pitchers to sign elsewhere. It's possible the same could happen with Happ.
Video: Braves remain heavily interested in Keuchel
Nats on the hunt at the keystone
Dec. 10: The Nationals need a second baseman, and they're casting a wide net across the free-agent market.
Among the names on their list: DJ LeMahieu, Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Monday.
That's interesting, because it means the Nats could either go after a prototypical second baseman like LeMahieu, or more of a versatile, super-utility type to fill the position like Gonzalez or Harrison.
The Washington Post's Chelsea Janes notes that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has said the team has made contact with LeMahieu's agent. She adds that Washington also loves Gonzalez, who became a key cog for the Astros playoff teams of the last two seasons, and has likely also contacted his agent, Scott Boras.
Is Gennett available in a trade?
Dec. 10: While sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the Reds are looking to trade second baseman Scooter Gennett, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon has heard differently. Per Sheldon, Cincinnati is not actively shopping the 28-year-old.
After being claimed off waivers by the Reds in March 2017, Gennett has become an All-Star in Cincinnati, slashing .303/.351/.508 with 50 homers over the past two seasons. But Gennett projects to earn a sizable raise in arbitration this year and can become a free agent next offseason, making a trade conceivable.
As Rosenthal notes in his latest story for The Athletic (subscription required), moving Gennett would open up a spot for top prospect Nick Senzel (No. 6 overall, per MLB Pipeline) to play and allow the club to pursue other possibilities, including signing utility man and Cincinnati native Josh Harrison. It would also free up more money for the team to spend on the rotation, its primary area of need.
However, the return for Gennett could be limited at a time when veteran second basemen such as Jed Lowrie, DJ LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier and Ian Kinsler are all available.
Angels more active than anticipated on free-agent market
Dec. 10: The Angels are seeking rotation upgrades and have been more engaged than anticipated on the top free agents, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required).
Major League sources told Rosenthal that the club made "quiet runs" at Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi before they signed with the Nationals and Red Sox, respectively.
The Angels could now turn their attention to Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, J.A. Happ and Yusei Kikuchi, among others, according to Rosenthal.
Keuchel's reliability could be especially enticing for the team, given the injury histories of its current rotation options, which include Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano and JC Ramirez, but not Shohei Ohtani, who won't pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.
Yankees reportedly unwilling to offer Machado $300 million
Dec. 10: With a need at shortstop, the typically deep-pocketed Yankees have been linked to Manny Machado all offseason. The club may not, however, be willing to spend what it takes to sign him.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Sunday that the Yankees plan to meet with Machado, but won't offer him the $300 million contract he's been rumored to seek. Bryce Harper, whom Heyman says the Yankees will meet with, too, is also reportedly seeking a deal in excess of $300 million. It's not yet clear if any clubs are willing to meet that number for either player.
New York is among the few teams with the financial means to sign Machado to a long-term deal, and it has an immediate need at shortstop, where Didi Gregorius will miss much of next season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Heyman lists the Phillies, White Sox and potential mystery clubs as the Yankees' primary competitors for Machado.
As for Harper, Heyman says the club is questioning his fit in a crowded outfield that already features Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. And even after trading for James Paxton, the Yankees are still looking to add to their rotation, which has been said to be their priority over pursuing Harper or Machado.
Rosenthal: Indians will trade Kluber or Bauer
Dec. 10: After the Indians signed Carlos Carrasco to a three-year contract extension this past week, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the club was "increasingly motivated" to move either Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal spoke more definitively on the Tribe's plans Saturday, reporting that Cleveland will trade one of the two hurlers this offseason, though it's unclear which one is more likely to be dealt.
Bauer and Kluber are arguably more attractive than any of the remaining starters on the free-agent market. Bauer is two years away from free agency, while Kluber is signed for $17 million in 2019 with club options for 2020 ($17.5 million, $1 million buyout) and 2021 ($18 million, $1 million buyout). To put the value of Kluber's deal in perspective, the Red Sox just signed Nathan Eovaldi for roughly $17 million per year over four years.
Per Rosenthal's latest article for The Athletic, a rival executive who has been in contact with the Indians said Cleveland is open to trades in which it would attach Kluber or Bauer to a highly paid player such as Jason Kipnis or Edwin Encarnacion as a way to shed another inflated contract.
Red Sox exploring bullpen options besides Kimbrel
Dec. 10: The Red Sox would like to have free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel back, but given the right-hander's contract demands -- he's reportedly seeking a six-year deal -- the club is exploring other options. According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino are believed to be high on Boston's bullpen wish list.
Joe Kelly is also a free agent, which could leave the Red Sox's relief corps without two key contributors from the club's championship run. Much like Nathan Eovaldi, Kelly bolstered his free-agent stock with a strong postseason, recording a 0.79 ERA with 13 strikeouts and only one walk over 11 1/3 innings.
Kimbrel had his share of struggles during the playoffs, but he's been one of the top closers in the game for eight years and is poised to cash in this offseason, even if he doesn't get six years.
The Red Sox certainly aren't strapped for cash, but they need to keep an eye on 2019, when Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Xander Bogaerts can become free agents, and 2020, when Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are set to hit the open market. Bringing back Kimbrel could make it tough to re-sign some of those other players.
Robertson and Ottavino should cost less than Kimbrel, and Boston could comfortably insert either one into the closer's role in 2019.
That said, the Red Sox will have fierce competition for both pitchers, with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reporting that at least a half-dozen teams are showing interest in Robertson, including the rival Yankees -- with whom Robertson has spent the majority of his career. Per Feinsand, the Yanks are also believed to be interested in Ottavino, a New York native.
Yankees, Padres discussing Gray trade
Dec. 9: With the Winter Meetings kicking off in Las Vegas, the Yankees and Padres reportedly remain engaged in discussions about New York right-hander Sonny Gray, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
Gray would fit the Padres' need to fill out their rotation, which doesn't have any spots guaranteed for next season. San Diego has also been linked to Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard and were reportedly in on Nathan Eovaldi before he re-signed with the Red Sox.
The Yankees acquired Gray from Oakland prior to the 2017 non-waiver Trade Deadline with hopes of him solidifying their starting rotation. But now they're looking to deal the 29-year-old after he struggled in 2018 with a 5.56 ERA through 21 starts before he was pulled from the rotation and left off the Yankees' postseason rosters.
Gray is up for arbitration this offseason and is scheduled to hit free agency in 2020. A change of scenery could benefit the righty, who only three years ago turned in a stellar All-Star campaign. In 2015, he won 14 games, posted a 2.73 ERA and hurled three complete games (two shutouts) in 31 starts with the A's, finishing third in American League Cy Young Award voting.
Mets' pursuit of Realmuto could shape rest of offseason
Dec. 9: The Mets are one of the primary contenders for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, and Mike Puma of the New York Post detailed how the pursuit of the 27-year-old backstop could define the rest of the club's offseason.
"If [general manager Brodie] Van Wagenen can get Realmuto, it would allow the Mets to think bigger in filling their bullpen and outfield needs," Puma wrote Saturday.
Realmuto is two years away from free agency, and he's projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn just $6.1 million via arbitration for the 2019 season.
With Realmuto accounting for a marginal portion of their payroll, the Mets would be able to pursue an outfielder such as A.J. Pollock and a reliever such as Andrew Miller.
According to Puma, New York is also expected to inquire about the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, who could take over at one of the corner outfield spots if the Mets include Michael Conforto and/or Brandon Nimmo in a package for Realmuto.
But if they can't get Realmuto and need to turn to a free-agent catcher such as Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos, the Mets would have far less money to address their other needs.
Of the two backstops, New York is seemingly more likely to pursue Grandal, as industry sources recently indicated to Puma that the club is hesitant to sign Ramos, given his defensive shortcomings and injury history. Martin Maldonado is a more cost-effective free-agent option, but he doesn't bring much to the table on offense.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Thursday in an article for Fancred Sports that at least 14 teams have shown interest in Realmuto, and former MLB general manager Jim Bowden of The Athletic followed up Friday with a tweet listing the Mets, Phillies, Padres, Braves and Rays as the main suitors for Realmuto, citing multiple sources. Bowden added that the Dodgers, Rockies, Brewers, Astros and White Sox are also in on the catcher, but aren't chasing him as aggressively as the first batch of teams.
MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Sunday that the Padres are among the teams with "genuine interest" in Realmuto. The Yankees have also been linked to Realmuto, but a source told Morosi the Yankees aren't seriously pursuing him.
Although New York's already thin farm system lost touted prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners in the Robinson Cano-Edwin Diaz deal, the Marlins like Nimmo, Conforto and Amed Rosario. However, Heyman has heard the Mets don't want to trade Rosario at all and are not interested in a deal that includes a Nimmo-Conforto combination.
Video: Mets interested in Pollock, Realmuto rumors
Jays eyeing former A's Graveman, Fiers
Dec. 9: The Blue Jays search for pitching could be heating up this week at Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Sunday that Toronto is interested in free-agent pitchers Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman as rotation depth additions if top starters Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez are traded.
Bioth Stroman and Sanchez have two years of control remaining, and it's possible the club will entertain offers for them.
Fiers and Graveman were late addtions to the free-agent pool after they were non-tendered by the A's last month. Fiers, 33, was among Oakland's most consistent starters down the stretch, posting a 3.74 ERA in 10 games after the club acquired him on Aug. 6 from the Tigers.
Graveman, 27, is recovering from July Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss much of next season. He struggled in limited action, going 1-5 with a 7.60 ERA in seven starts.
Is Morton the best remaining starter on the free-agent market?
Dec. 9: With Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi signed, Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ are expected to draw increased attention during the Winter Meetings. But what about Charlie Morton? MLB.com's Andrew Simon makes the case that the right-hander is the best remaining starter on the free-agent market.
First and foremost, teams won't need to hand out a lengthy contract or surrender a Draft pick to sign Morton, which means the long-term consequences would be minimal.
Simon points to Morton's excellent velocity and high curveball spin rate as two more reasons why teams should be targeting the right-hander. Morton averaged 96.1 mph on four-seam fastballs and 95.1 mph on sinkers in 2018, with both of those numbers ranking in the top 10 among starters. Meanwhile, Morton threw his curveball almost 30 percent of the time and held hitters to a .135 average with the pitch.
Morton's repertoire enabled him to post a 28.9 percent strikeout rate this past season, which ranked 13th out of 116 pitchers with at least 120 innings.
And the 35-year-old has proven to be incredibly difficult to square up, yielding a barrel on just 5.2 percent of batted balls over 2017-18. That tied Morton for the 13th-lowest rate during that span (min. 750 batted balls).
Add it all up and Morton tied for 19th in xwOBA (.282) among those who faced at least 600 batters during 2018, slightly behind Corbin at .281.
Dodgers could heavily influence outfield market
Dec. 9: The outfield market has been stagnant so far this offseason, but the Dodgers could have a hand in getting it moving during the Winter Meetings. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Los Angeles has several outfielders available for trade, including Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Matt Kemp, and may also be engaged on free agents such as Bryce Harper and A.J. Pollock.
While this isn't the first time the Dodgers have been linked to Harper, it's still unclear if the club plans to make an aggressive play for the superstar free agent. The contract that Harper is expected to command would be out of character for the Andrew Friedman-led Dodgers front office, which has consistently maintained a high payroll but hasn't handed out more than $93 million to any one player.
Two sources initially told Yahoo Sports that Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was part of a group of representatives from the franchise that met with Harper in Las Vegas, the outfielder's hometown and the site of the Winter Meetings, though Johnson later insisted that no such meeting took place.
The Dodgers have notable depth in the outfield, with Puig, Pederson and Kemp joining Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles as potential options for 2019. Signing Harper (or Pollock) would almost certainly lead to one or more trades involving some of those players, as Bill Plunkett pointed out in an article for the Orange County Register on Sunday.
MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported in late November that the Dodgers were trying to acquire Indians ace Corey Kluber for a package centered around Puig and potentially Alex Wood, but MLB Network insider Jon Heyman noted in his latest "Inside Baseball" column for Fancred Sports that such an offer isn't going to be enough.
Per Heyman, multiple teams have asked about Bellinger, but rivals say the Dodgers are "hesitant" to include him in any trade. The Indians are likely one of those teams, and the Marlins may be another, as Los Angeles has discussed a deal for Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Boras' handbook compares Harper to LeBron James
Dec. 9: Agent Scott Boras is known for compiling expansive free-agent handbooks extolling his clients' achievements and qualities, and his book on Bryce Harper sounds like a doozy.
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the document Boras has been giving to Harper suitors is 118 pages and features comparisons both predictable and provocative, an example of the latter being LeBron James.
"My goal in this thing is to let teams know what they're getting," Boras said. "That's why we brought in the LeBron comparisons. A lot of people don't know what he's done by the age of 25, and how that compares to what LeBron James did at 25. You get a very clear path on how hard it is to achieve a standard of excellence in an arena where you're both No. 1 picks, both rookies of year, both MVPs, and set a standard that no one can meet.
"The way to articulate this in true business form is look at the Nats' franchise. It was worth $480 to $500 million before he got there, and now it's worth more than $2 billion. TV ratings have tripled.
"Every GM in baseball wants him because he fills a need, but the owners are pursuing Bryce Harper because they know he can also make them a billion dollars over a period of years."
Per Nightengale, teams haven't made formal bids to Harper yet, nor is Boras making specific contract demands.
"The only thing we know for sure," one GM said, "is that he's looking for more than 10 years and $300 million."
Of course, 10 years and $300 million is what the Nationals reportedly offered at the end of the regular season, and Harper rejected it, prompting Nats owner Mark Lerner to indicate that he didn't think Harper would be back in a candid interview with 106.7 The Fan on Friday.
"Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly,' Lerner said. "And we said, 'If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we'll see whether we can finish it up.' But we just couldn't afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that."
Added Lerner: "If he comes back [to the negotiating table], it's a strong possibility that we won't be able to make it work. But I really don't expect him to come back at this point. I think they've decided to move on. There's just too much money out there that he'd be leaving on the table. That's just not Boras' MO to leave money on the table."
Harper and Machado negotiations could drag beyond Winter Meetings
Dec. 9: Those hoping the free-agent odysseys of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will reach their respective conclusions during the Winter Meetings may be disappointed.
According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required), the history between agents Scott Boras and Dan Lozano could be a major factor in negotiations stretching well beyond this week.
Boras, who represents Harper, used to rep Machado as well before losing him to Lozano in 2011 -- the same year Alex Rodriguez, another former Boras client, joined Lozano. As a result, Boras may have extra motivation to get Harper the bigger deal between this offseason's top two free agents.
"The prevailing assumption in the industry is that Boras wants to set new benchmarks with Harper's free-agent deal, whether in total guaranteed salary, average annual value or -- preferably -- both," Rosenthal writes. "Therefore, he will want Machado to sign first, securing the negotiating equivalent of 'last licks,' in which he would step to the plate knowing the number to beat. Boras' track record also indicates he would be willing to go to extra innings, moving at his own pace, stretching talks into January, if necessary."
But as Rosenthal points out, Machado isn't necessarily going to sign quickly. While Lozano isn't the same type of showman as Boras, outdueling his counterpart has to at least be on his mind in some capacity, and Machado is reportedly receiving interest from at least six teams, including the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox.
Meanwhile, Rosenthal notes that some rival agents and club executives think the market for Harper will be limited, given the bar Boras is believed to be setting. "It's Philly bidding against Philly," one agent said of the Harper sweepstakes.
Unless price drops, Twins unlikely to be in on Cruz
Dec. 9: The Twins looked like a good fit for free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz earlier this offseason, but C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop may wind up being their most noteworthy acquisitions, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The club prefers to rotate multiple players at the designated hitter spot in 2019, so it isn't going to aggressively pursue Cruz. Neal notes that Minnesota could still pull off a surprise by signing the 38-year-old, but only if the price is right.
Granted, there's a chance a lukewarm market could cause Cruz's asking price to drop. Cruz being a full-time DH already rules out half of MLB, and only a few American League contenders are believed to be considering him.