MLB's offseason continues on Monday, with just under a week remaining until the annual Winter Meetings. . Past that, the rumor mill continues to crank. Let's get to Monday's best.
Braves interested in Cease
Cease, 27, finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2022. He scuffled last season in Chicago, compiling a 4.58 ERA (97 ERA+) and a 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Cease is under team control for an additional two years, and his top-notch arsenal makes him an intriguing buy-low candidate.
It's perhaps worth noting the Braves and White Sox have already linked up to make one trade this winter, with Atlanta receiving lefty reliever Aaron Bummer in exchange for a grab bag of end-of-roster types.
Reds intrigued by Glasnow
The Reds are one of the teams with interest in obtaining right-hander Tyler Glasnow from the Rays, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. It's unclear if the Reds have had substantive conversations with the Rays at this point, but Sheldon notes that the Rays would like to fetch an MLB-ready starter in return.
Glasnow, 30, has been one of the best starters in baseball when healthy in recent seasons. Alas, he's been limited to just 60 starts since the start of the 2019 season. He's also entering his final year of team control and will be paid $25 million in 2024. The Rays, always a budget-conscious lot, are expected to trade him this winter as a result.
Gray joins the Cardinals
For the third time this offseason, the Cardinals have added a free-agent starter to improve their rotation. This time, St. Louis added American League Cy Young runner-up Sonny Gray on a three-year deal believed to be worth about $75 million. The Cardinals had previously signed Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson. Gray -- who previously pitched for the A's, Yankees, Reds and Twins -- has a higher ceiling than either. .
Stephenson a hot commodity
Reliever Robert Stephenson has been a popular name on the free-agent market, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Stephenson has drawn interest from the Dodgers, Cubs, and Angels, among other teams seeking bullpen help. :
The Rays acquired Stephenson from the Pirates in a June trade that no one paid attention to at the time. Just 42 appearances later, we're ranking him as a top-50 free agent. Stephenson introduced a cutter to replace his slider two weeks into his Rays tenure. He threw it 316 times over the remainder of the season, generating 60% whiffs and holding opponents to a .101 batting average. Stephenson's cutter resembles his four-seamer's movement profile, except it features more drop and comes in eight ticks slower. Batters couldn't solve it. We suspect that will remain mostly true heading forward, making him a legitimate candidate to work high-leverage situations.
Stephenson posted a 3.10 ERA (138 ERA+) and a 4.81 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 52 innings last season.
Angels add veteran reliever
Kolarek, 34, has appeared in just 32 big-league contests over the last three seasons. During that span, he's amassed a 4.68 ERA (87 ERA+) and a 1.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Angels are hoping that Kolarek can return to the same form he showed earlier in his career, when he was a reliable lefty reliever with the Dodgers and Rays.