Yes, the Winter Meetings are behind us, and the Juan Soto trade and Shohei Ohtani signing have already been checked off. However, baseball's offseason is a long one, and plenty of compelling names remain on the board. That, of course, means a steady supply of rumors, and below you'll find Sunday's.
Dodgers still in on Yamamoto
The Dodgers are fresh off sill have designs on Japan's Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The right-hander is just 25 years of age, and he combines ace stuff with ace results. As such, he's the most coveted starting pitcher on the market, and he's likely to command perhaps $300 million, and that's not even counting the substantial posting fee that will be owed to his NPB club, the Orix Buffaloes. As Heyman notes, the Mets and Yankees are also expected to be serious suitors for Yamamoto. The posting rules give a player 45 days to select a team or have his rights returned to his NPB club. For Yamamoto, that means he has until Jan. 4.i, but they still need to address a rotation that right now is pretty thin. They intend to do that and, as Jon Heyman reports, the Dodgers
J.D. Martinez has a market
J.D. Martinez was the Dodgers' primary DH last season, and he of course won't be returning now that they've inked Ohtani. So Martinez is on the market at age 36 and coming off a 2023 season in which he slashed a quite productive .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs in 113 games. He also remains a playable bat against right-handed pitching, so he's more than just a lefty-masher platoon guy. As such, he'll have takers, especially in the era of the universal DH. Speaking of which, Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks, Angels, Mets, and Mariners are among those teams with potential interest in the veteran slugger.
Alvarez open to extension with Mets
Catcher Francisco Alvarez is coming off a fairly promising rookie campaign with the Mets in which he tallied 25 home runs in 382 at-bats and worked almost 900 defensive innings behind the plate. Coming into 2023, Alvarez, who's still just 22 years of age, was regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, so his early success wasn't entirely surprising. He looks like a long-term core contributor for the Mets, and that brings us to Tim Healey's report that Alvarez is open to signing a long-term extension with the club. Catcher, of course, is a notoriously difficult position to fill, especially when it comes to getting power production from it, and the Mets under new president of baseball operations David Stearns of course know this. The Mets also have vast resources and can easily afford such a commitment.
Yankees, Dodgers working on (probably minor) trade
In the wake of the Shohei Ohtani signing and the similarly tantalizing Joe Kelly re-signing, Dodgers need to clear a couple of spots on their 40-man roster. The Yankees, meantime, are willing to help them out at a cost. That brings us to this:
Rosenthal's report is obviously light on specifics, but you can surmise that this probably won't qualify as any kind of blockbuster. That said, the fact that it's the Dodgers and Yankees involved makes it notable absent any other context.
Guardians bring in Hedges
The Guardians have agreed to terms with catcher Austin Hedges on a one-year, $4 million deal, Jon Heyman reports. The 31-year-old Hedges previously spent parts of three seasons with Cleveland. While he's a skilled pitch-framer, he doesn't offer much with the bat. He's coming off a 2023 season with the Pirates and Rangers in which he batted .184/.234/.227 with one home run in 81 combined games. With the Guardians, Hedges figures to back up Bo Naylor behind the plate.
In a corresponding move, the Guardians have traded catcher Christian Bethancourt -- acquired earlier this winter from the Rays -- to the Marlins for cash, the teams announced.
Tigers add Chafin
The Tigers have fortified the bullpen by agreeing to terms with veteran lefty Andrew Chafin on a one-year deal with a club option for 2025, Evan Petzold reports. Chafin, 33, is coming off a 2023 season with the Brewers and Diamondbacks in which he pitched to a 4.73 ERA and 2.25 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 combined innings.
Smith lands with Royals
Will Smith, the long-time reliever, has signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Royals, Jeff Passan reports. The 34-year-old lefty in 2023 put up a 4.40 ERA and a 3.24 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings for Rangers. With Texas, Smith made MLB history by becoming . That streak does not figure to reach four in 2024.