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.
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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 agreeing to trade 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.
Mets open to moving starting pitchers
The Mets have signaled to other teams that they are open to moving starting pitchers other than Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, sources tell Newsday's Marc Carig.
Adding a second baseman has been a priority for the Mets this offseason, so they could deal some of their starting-pitching depth for help at the keystone position -- similar to their 2015 swap of Jon Niese for Neil Walker.
Although Carig notes that the Mets haven't received much interest yet, they do have eight potential starting options for 2018. After Syndergaard and deGrom, the Mets could turn to Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo or Rafael Montero.
Harvey could be of particular interest, as he is entering his final year of team control before free agency and has an All-Star pedigree. Although he has battled injuries the past two seasons and posted a career-worst 6.70 ERA in 2017, he registered a sub-3.00 ERA as recently as '15.
Yankees open to moving Ellsbury, Headley
On the verge of 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.