The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.
• Hot Stove Tracker
Astros showing interest in Darvish, Arrieta
The World Series-champion Astros are "considering the addition of another marquee starting pitcher," according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Sources tell Rosenthal that Houston is particularly interested in free-agent right-handers Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. Rosenthal also reports the club could feel out the trade market for starting pitchers, especially if someone such as the Rays' Chris Archer becomes available.
The Astros went out and got Justin Verlander on July 31 in a trade that paid huge dividends en route to their title run, and it appears the team is looking to build even further on the phenomenal rotation it already has.
Rosenthal notes that Verlander's contract ends after the 2019 season and the reported hiring of Scott Boras by left-hander Dallas Keuchel (a hint that he will test the free-agent waters when his contract is up at the end of 2018). Both factors figure to play prominent roles in how the Astros approach the market this offseason.
Darvish, 31, was acquired by the Dodgers a month before Verlander was dealt to Houston and pitched well for Los Angeles during the regular season. The Japanese hurler went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers before having an up-and-down postseason. He struggled particularly versus the Astros, who got to him for nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings during the World Series.
The Astros don't appear to be scared off by those struggles, however, and Darvish has had an excellent career to date. The four-time All-Star finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2013 with Texas and is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in 131 career starts.
Arrieta has been sensational since being traded from the Orioles to the Cubs in 2013. The 31-year-old went 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA in 128 starts over five seasons with Chicago. He was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2015.
The Rays are reportedly generating trade interest from a number of clubs regarding Archer, among some of their other stars, but it's unclear whether they would indeed part with their star right-hander. Archer, 29, is 51-63 with a 3.63 ERA in six season with Tampa Bay.
Yankees interested in Cole
The Yankees, after acquiring reigning National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton, are not done wheeling and dealing.
According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees are looking to acquire Pirates' right-hander Gerrit Cole. However, Heyman notes the "initial impression" is that Pittsburgh is not trading him.
The Yankees have long been linked to Cole, who they drafted in the first round back in 2008. They were unable to sign him out of Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif.
New York refrained from giving up any of its top prospects to obtain Stanton from Miami and remains loaded with top-end young talent. Perhaps general manager Brian Cashman could be willing to part with a top prospect to open the Pirates' ears.
Cole, 27, is coming off a down year in 2017, going 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts. He is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in 127 starts over his five-year career with the Pirates.
Mets, Rangers discussing Harvey and Profar trade?
The Rangers' top priority has been clear since the moment the season ended: Acquire a starting pitcher to slot in behind Cole Hamels. After signing Mike Minor to begin that process, Texas appears to be in discussions with the Mets regarding a potential trade, and it could involve pitcher Matt Harvey in exchange for infielder Jurickson Profar.
The New York Daily News reported Sunday that the Mets were interacting with at least two teams about a trade involving Harvey. New York is in the market for a second baseman, making Profar an intriguing piece in a potential deal between the Mets and Rangers.
Harvey, 28, struggled in 2017 after returning from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. The right-hander went 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA, a far cry from his former status as one of the game's most promising young pitchers. Profar's stock has fallen as well, from the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball to losing out on playing time last year to Delino DeShields and Ryan Rua in left field. Profar has also been blocked out of the second base and shortstop positions by the Rangers' double-play combo of Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus.
A change in scenery could be beneficial for both players, but it would be noteworthy to see the Mets unload one of their prized marquee pitchers -- a group seen by many as be the club's biggest strength in recent years.
Nationals keeping tabs on Kintzler, Rondon
The Nationals, who shored up their bullpen prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline in acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A's and Brandon Kintzler from the Twins, are continuing to try and bolster their late-inning staff.
Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports the club has "expressed interest in bringing back" Kintzler and Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports the team has "checked in" on former Cubs reliever Hector Rondon.
Kintzler recorded a 3.46 ERA in 27 appearances following the move to Washington, and while general manager Mike Rizzo would like to retain him, his market is heating up as the Winter Meetings progress. The 33-year-old is reportedly drawing interest from "many other teams," per Janes, and it's possible he could sign elsewhere for more than what the Nationals are willing to give considering he would be the third option behind Madson and Doolittle.
Kintzler, who went 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 72 appearances in 2017 split between the Twins and Nationals, was selected to the American League All-Star team.
Rondon, 29, worked with new Nationals manager Dave Martinez while pitching for the Cubs, so there is an obvious link between the two sides. Rondon went 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in 61 appearances last season, but has a 3.22 career ERA over five Major League seasons, all with the Cubs.
Chicago non-tendered Rondon earlier this month, in turn granting him free agency. Castillo notes he is a "name to keep in mind" for the Nationals this offseason.
Red Sox could move Bradley
The Boston Red Sox are considering the possibility of trading center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., according to a report from USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
Nightengale notes the club's willingness to explore a possible trade involving Bradley is linked to whether the team can acquire a power bat -- ideally one that could play a corner-outfield position -- so Andrew Benintendi could move to center.
Per Nightengale, the Red Sox have let "several teams" know that Bradley is available, and multiple clubs have been eyeing him as a trade target since the start of the offseason. It's possible the power bat the Red Sox elect to bring on plays first base, which could keep Bradley in Boston.
Bradley is still young at 27 years old, and despite having a bit of a down year in 2017 in which he batted .245/.323/.402 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs in 133 games, he still brings speed and elite defense to the field on a nightly basis. He is also just one season removed from batting .267/.349/.486 with 26 home runs and 87 RBIs while being named to the American League All-Star team.
To move Bradley, Boston would likely seek a big package to make it happen. The former first-round pick is under team control for three more seasons.
The Red Sox, who have been linked to Kyle Schwarber since missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, are also known to have interest in free-agent sluggers Carlos Santana, Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez.
Video: HOU@BOS Gm3: Bradley hits homer off Reddick's mitt
Angels reach out to Moustakas
With Shohei Ohtani in tow, the Angels are moving on to their other primary needs this offseason. That includes third base, and Los Angeles has reached out to free agent Mike Moustakas, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Moustakas, 29, broke out for 38 home runs in 2017 to set a Royals single-season record. Though he missed much of 2016 with a right knee injury, he was one of the catalysts of Kansas City's 2015 World Series champions and could bring leadership to an Angels club looking to join the postseason fray. Angels third basemen, which included Yunel Escobar and Luis Valbuena, posted a collective .713 OPS in 2017, which ranked as the second-worst of any AL club. Fletcher also reports that free agent Logan Morrison could be in play for the Angels, though Los Angeles already has a potential logjam with Ohtani needing the DH role, thereby moving Albert Pujols to a more active role at first base.
Mets looking to add reliever during Winter Meetings
The New York Mets plan on departing the Winter Meetings with a reliever, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman and the New York Post's Joel Sherman.
Heyman adds former Indians reliever Bryan Shaw "remains high" on the Mets' wish list, but notes "pen options are plentiful." Sherman believes the club is unlikely to bring on a guy like Shaw or former Mets reliever Addison Reed, both of whom would presumably land three-year contracts on the open market.
Sherman instead sees pitchers such as Tommy Hunter, Steve Cishek and Anthony Swarzak as more likely options for New York. The Mets are also reportedly interested in a trade for Rays closer Alex Colome, who is garnering substantial trade attention from a number of clubs.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson mentioned Sunday at the start of the Winter Meetings the club is hesitant to delve into the open market of relievers, so perhaps a trade is a more likely scenario.
Rodney meeting with teams at Winter Meetings
Fernando Rodney is attending the Winter Meetings and plans to meet with "executives from multiple teams," a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
Rodney, who turns 41 years old in March, racked up 39 saves while recording a 4.23 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 55 1/3 innings for the D-backs in 2017. Rodney started off the season slow, but he pitched to a 2.38 ERA in 50 appearances from May through the end of the season.
Rodney is 44-63 with a 3.73 ERA over the course of his 15-year career and has accumulated exactly 300 saves.
Among the teams known to be searching for relief help are the Cardinals, Rockies and Mets, but it is unclear if these teams are those scheduled to meet with Rodney's representatives.
Cardinals pursuing other stars after missing out on Stanton
After missing out on a potential trade for reigning National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton, the St. Louis Cardinals are surveying the market for other possible deals or signings as the Winter Meetings get underway.
St. Louis is known to have interest in free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, but MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman reports the players the club is going after include "some interesting surprises."
A person familiar with the situation said the Cardinals could inquire about Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Heyman also adds a source told him he wouldn't be surprised to see the Rays' Evan Longoria surface as a possible target. The Redbirds could also maintain discussions with the Marlins in regards to their other star outfielders, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, per Heyman.
St. Louis has already been linked to Rays closer Alex Colome and starter Chris Archer, and sources told Heyman the club remains interested in those two players. It's unclear whether either Longoria or Machado are available, but the Cards plan to at least meet with the two clubs to discuss.
The Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson was also mentioned by Heyman as a possibility for St. Louis, but the Blue Jays don't appear to be in any rush to trade him. The slugging third baseman is a free agent after 2018, but he is expected to play out the rest of his current deal in Toronto.
Colome drawing plenty of interest
The Cardinals and Rockies are "aggressively pursuing" Rays closer Alex Colome, according to a report by USA Today's Bob Nightengale. While Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted that the Cubs and Mets may be in the mix as well.
All four clubs have been known to be in the market for relief help, and even after the Cardinals agreed to a deal with right-hander Luke Gregerson and Chicago was close to a deal with Brandon Morrow on Sunday, both teams are expected to continue to add to their bullpens.
The Cardinals lost closer Trevor Rosenthal for all of 2018 because of a ulnar collateral ligament injury requiring Tommy John surgery and also watched Zach Duke, Juan Nicasio and Seung-Hwan Oh leave in free agency.
St. Louis has long been linked to Colome this offseason, and the Rays have improvements to be made in the outfield. The Cardinals' organization is loaded with young outfield talent, so a match could make sense.
The Rockies are looking to replace closer Greg Holland, who is now a free agent after excelling in the role for Colorado in 2017. He saved 41 games for the Rockies before rejecting his player option and a qualifying offer, electing to attempt to land a multi-year deal on the open market.
Colome, who turns 29 later this month, is 9-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 169 innings as a reliever for Tampa Bay. He's racked up 84 saves while serving as the club's closer over the past two seasons, including a league-most 47 in 2017. Colome will not be a free agent until 2021.
Tribe makes offer to Santana
In a deep free-agent market for first basemen/designated hitters, Carlos Santana has received a contract offer from the Indians, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has reportedly not accepted the offer, but informed the Indians they will have a chance to make a counteroffer should he receive a proposal from another team that is to his liking.
Santana, 31, has spent his entire career to this point with Cleveland. Last season, he slashed .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers in 154 games. He also won the first defensive award of his career, being named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. In eight seasons with the Tribe, Santana has posted an .810 OPS with 174 home runs.
There are several other teams also interested in Santana, including the Red Sox, Phillies, Rangers, Mariners and Padres.
Mets shopping Harvey?
The Mets are open to trading former All-Star right-hander Matt Harvey, according to the New York Daily News. New York is eyeing relief help, and on Sunday, two relievers reportedly went off the market in right-hander Brandon Morrow to the Cubs and right-hander Luke Gregerson to the Cardinals.
Harvey, 28, is coming off his worst season in the Majors, posting a 6.70 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts). He was an All-Star in 2013, posting a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts to finish fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting. But he missed the entire 2014 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and his 2016 campaign was cut short by thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.
Red Sox interested in Schwarber?
The Red Sox entered the offseason hoping to upgrade the middle of their lineup, and with the Yankees set to acquire slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the pressure has only increased.
Boston has long been connected to free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has made almost all of his big moves since taking over through trades.
According to ESPN's Scott Lauber, the Red Sox have shown interest in Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, who would add a much-needed left-handed bat to the middle of the order. Furthermore, Schwarber's defensive shortcomings could be masked at designated hitter.
Video: CHC@TB: Statcast™ measures Schwarber's 114.3-mph homer
The Red Sox only hit 168 home runs last season and finished last in the American League for the first time since 1993. Furthermore, their top two home run hitters last season -- Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez -- are both right-handed.
However, the Cubs are unlikely to move Schwarber, who is a favorite of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Even in a down year coming off a knee injury, Schwarber launched 30 home runs.
Blue Jays interested in Harrison
The Blue Jays are showing interest in Pirates utility player Josh Harrison, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Though they recently acquired Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals to bolster depth behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Devon Travis, each of whom missed significant time due to injury in 2017, the Jays appear to be looking for further depth up the middle.
Harrison, 30, was an All-Star for the second time in 2017, slashing .272/.339/.432 with a career-high 16 home runs in 128 games. His season ended when he broke his left hand after being hit by a pitch on Sept. 2. Harrison has one year and $10.25 million remaining on his contract, with club options for 2019 and '20.
Rockies interested in LoMo
The Rockies are showing interest in free-agent first baseman Logan Morrison, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, which could lead to some positional shuffling in Denver.
Colorado signed Ian Desmond to play first base last offseason at a price of $70 million over five years. That move did not start out as Rockies fans would have hoped, however, as Desmond needed surgery after he was hit in the left hand by a pitch during Spring Training and contributed only seven home runs in 95 games. Signing Morrison would likely move Desmond back to the outfield to replace Colorado mainstay Carlos Gonzalez, now a free agent.
Morrison, 30, broke out for a career-best 38 home runs for the Rays in 2017, and it's intriguing to picture his power transferring to Coors Field.
Morrison's home run surge came with a spike in strikeouts, too, but he and a healthy Desmond could improve the Rockies' offense after the club already made a run to the National League Wild Card Game.
Angels interested in CC
Now that the Angels acquired two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to complement two-time MVP Mike Trout, they're expected to make a playoff run, and a veteran addition to the rotation could be their next move.
The Angels are showing interest in CC Sabathia, who has spent the last nine years with the Yankees, according to George A. King of the NY Post.
Born and raised in Vallejo, Calif., it would make sense for Sabathia to return to the West Coast if the Angels offered the right deal.
Video: Ohtani's impact on the Angels' offseason plans
Meanwhile, the Bronx Bombers could use a one-year deal around the $11 million range with Sabathia. Taking on $265 million for Stanton curbs New York's options at the upcoming Winter Meetings.
Sabathia went 14-5 in 2017 with a 3.69 ERA with 120 strikeouts and proved valuable in the Yankees' exciting and unexpected playoff run.
Giants seek power at hot corner
After an unsuccessful attempt in trading for Giancarlo Stanton, the Giants have turned their sights to a few power-hitting third basemen.
The club has reportedly begun focusing in on free agents Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier. The 29-year-old Moustakas hit a career-high 38 home runs for the Royals last season, while the 31-year-old Frazier hit 27 home runs for the White Sox and Yankees.
The Giants would pay a higher price for Moustakas, who is a qualifying offer recipient, so signing him would cost the Giants their second- and fifth-highest Draft picks in 2018 and $1 million in international bonus pool space.
The Giants were last in the Majors in home runs in 2017, hitting just 128. The second-lowest team, the Pirates, hit 151.
Cards, Gregerson agree on two-year deal
The Cardinals and free-agent reliever Luke Gregerson have agreed on a two-year, $11 million deal that includes a vesting option, according to a source. The deal is pending a physical.
The club has not confirmed the deal.
Gregerson, 33, struggled with the Astros in 2017, posting a 4.57 ERA and surrendering 13 home runs in 61 innings pitched. But the right-hander has a career 3.02 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 rate over nine MLB seasons.
Prior to joining the Astros in 2015, Gregerson had pitched five seasons for the Padres and one for the Athletics.
Marlins exploring trade options
The Marlins are continuing to explore ways to advance their rebuild and cut salary, after trading National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees.
Although they did take on Starlin Castro and the $22 million he is owed in the deal, the Marlins are not in a hurry to flip the second baseman, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale. The Marlins believe Castro, who is coming off one of his best offensive seasons, has enough value that they can wait for the right offer.
Castro, 27, slashed .300/.338/.454 for the Yankees last season with 16 home runs. He was one of six second basemen with at least 450 plate appearances to hit .300, joining Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy, Jose Ramirez, DJ LeMahieu and Dee Gordon.
In addition to Castro, the Marlins are taking offers on All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who has two years of team control left. Ozuna set career-highs across the board in his age-26 season -- with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs, while hitting .312/.376/.548.
Video: MIA@ARI: Ozuna crushes two homers in Arizona
The Cardinals, who agreed to a trade with the Marlins for Stanton before the slugger vetoed the deal, "badly desire" Ozuna, according to Nightengale, so a deal could come together quickly. The Marlins are known to have interest in right-handers Jack Flaherty and Sandy Alcantara, who are the Cardinals' No. 3 and No. 9 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com, respectively.
St. Louis is also intrigued by Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, if Miami makes him available. Yelich slashed .282/.369/.439 last season -- with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases and has $44.5 million remaining on his contract, plus a 2022 team option.
Yankees open to moving Ellsbury, Headley
Having officially acquiring Stanton, the Yankees are weighing trading some of their higher-priced veterans, including Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.
Shedding salary becomes even more important, as Stanton's $25 million average annual value on his contract would put the team even higher into the luxury tax. The Yankees reportedly tried to include Ellsbury and/or Headley in the Stanton trade to offset Stanton's salary, but Castro ended up in the deal instead.
Headley, 33, is entering the final year of his four-year contract and is due $13 million. He is currently slated to start at third base, but could be replaced by Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade or MLBPipeline.com Top 100 prospects Gleyber Torres (No. 1 organizational, No. 2 overall) or Miguel Andujar (No. 5 organizational, No. 92 overall).
Video: NYY@BAL: Headley belts a two-run shot to right-center
The switch-hitter slashed .273/.352/.406 last season -- a career-best in New York -- but was replaced at the hot corner toward the end of the season by current free agent Todd Frazier.
Ellsbury, meanwhile, could be far harder to trade, as he has three years and $63.4 million remaining on his contract -- with a $5 million buyout of a $21 million option -- and a full no-trade clause.
Earlier this offseason, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Aaron Hicks will be an everyday starter in 2018 -- leaving Ellsbury in a fourth-outfielder role. But Ellsbury reportedly wants to win the center-field job back.
Ellsbury was still productive in his age-33 season, as he stole at least 20 bases for the fifth straight year and reached base at a .348 clip, a four-year high. However, he has not shown much power lately -- with one season of double-digit home runs since 2012.
Mets in market for second baseman
The New York Mets are doing their due diligence in scouring the trade market as they look for an upgrade at second base for the 2018 season.
The Mets have checked in with the Tigers regarding the availability of Ian Kinsler, and with the Indians about Jason Kipnis, according to Carig. Carig also noted that the Mets could utilize the Winter Meetings to reach out to the Pirates about acquiring Josh Harrison.
Additionally, the New York Post's Mike Puma reports that the Mets plan to speak to the Marlins about Castro once the Stanton trade is made official.
The Mets "have had the most dialogue" with Detroit at this time about Kinsler, per Carig, but "there's skepticism" about a deal getting done.
Carig notes that the Mets could also consider moving Asdrubal Cabrera to second base and try to trade for a third baseman instead. However, second base remains the team's top priority.
Kinsler hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 139 games for the Tigers last season. Kipnis was limited to 90 games in 2017 because of shoulder and hamstring injuries, hitting just .232/.291/.414 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs for the Indians.
Harrison batted .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 128 games while earning his second All-Star nod for the Pirates last season.
Castro is coming off one of his best offensive seasons to date after slashing .300/.338/.454 with 16 home runs for the Yankees. He is due $22.7 million over the next two seasons and has a $16 million team option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
Cubs pushing to land Cobb
The Cubs inked free-agent right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a three-year, $38 million deal on Thursday, but Chicago isn't done looking for starting pitching with two members of the club's 2017 rotation, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey, on the open market. According to Levine, the Cubs are continuing their push to land Alex Cobb.
Particularly with the Winter Meetings set to get underway on Sunday, Levine notes Chicago would like to sign the 30-year-old right-hander before other suitors potentially enter the picture.
Cobb pitched for Cubs manager Joe Maddon from 2011-14 while Maddon was managing the Rays, and rumors of a potential reunion have been out there for several weeks. New Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey was also Cobb's pitching coach for his entire career with Tampa Bay.
Cobb went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts for the Rays in 2017. In six MLB seasons, he has a 3.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Video: BOS@TB: Cobb strikes out Bradley Jr. swinging
Brewers fielding calls on outfielders
Though the Giants lost out in the Stanton sweepstakes, they do not appear to have halted their pursuit of a power-hitting outfielder, and the club has reportedly shown interest in Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Milwaukee has fielded calls on multiple outfielders, per Rosenthal, though Santana could be the most coveted. With four years of club control remaining, he won't be arbitration-eligible until after next season. Ryan Braun, who has been linked to trade talks each of the last two seasons, is probably the least likely to be moved of Milwaukee's outfielders due to his no-trade clause via 10-and-5 rights. Center fielder Keon Broxton, the defensive standout of the trio, has five years of club control remaining.
Video: MIL@STL: Santana clobbers two-run shot for 30th homer
Santana, 25, took a major step forward in 2017 as a key cog in a powerful Brewers lineup. He slashed .278./371/.505 with 30 homers and 85 RBIs, both career highs. Due to his tremendous upside, as well as his club control, he would likely cost a significant return in any potential trade.
The Giants have been aggressive in their pursuit of outfield help this offseason. In addition to making the Marlins an offer for Stanton, San Francisco has also been linked to Andrew McCutchen, who has one year and $14.5 million left on his contract with the Pirates. The Giants finished 2017 with the fewest homers (128), lowest slugging percentage (.380), second-lowest on-base percentage (.309) and second-fewest runs scored (639) in the Majors.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.