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MLB free agency rumors: Tracking latest rumors on Shohei Ohtani, Yankees, Mets, Cubs and more

The 2023 Major League Baseball season is over and with the World Series in the rearview mirror, all teams have turned their attention towards the offseason. The hot stove will heat up quickly with MLB free agency rumors, trade buzz and big moves defining this offseason.

We’re expecting heavy spending this offseason with the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers expected to be among the heaviest spenders. With a pool of talent in MLB free agency that includes Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, spending could be at an all-time high this winter.

Related: Top MLB free agents 2024

Let’s dive into the latest MLB free agency rumors and news.

MLB Free Agency Rumors 2023-’24: Latest news, updates

New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants pursuing Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the top baseball player outside of the United States and has been on the radar of teams for years. Rumors surfaced early in 2023 that he would be posted for bidding by his Japanese club, leading to a massive bidding war for his services in MLB free agency. As of now, the San Francsico Giants, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers are among the clubs interested in Yamamoto. Standing at 5-foot-10, Yamamoto could draw upwards of $200 million over seven years in a contract with MLB teams.

New York Yankees among MLB teams expected to bid for Cody Bellinger

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

MLB insider Jon Heyman reported to Bleacher Report that All-Star outfielder Cody Bellinger signing with the New York Yankees is a “real possibility” this winter. Bellinger, a left-handed hitter, posted an .881 OPS this past season with 26 home runs, 97 RBI and a .307 batting average. It was a rebound season for the veteran outfielder, whose left-handed pop would fit perfectly in Yankee Stadium. Bellinger is also reportedly generating interest from the San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

San Francisco Giants rumors: Team going all-out for big hitter

The San Francisco Giants have a recent track record of striking out on marquee players in MLB free agency, including Carlos Correa last offseason. Coming off another disappointing year, with the lineup producing the fewest runs in the second half of the year, ESPN’s Buster Olney and Jeff Passan report that San Francisco is expected to make a heavy push to add a star hitter to its lineup.

“The Giants want a star and are prepared to go above and beyond to make that happen, and they could sell Bellinger to their fans as a headliner, a former MVP who once played for their division rival.”

Buster Olney on San Francisco Giants interests in MLB free agency

Philadelphia Phillies could sign Blake Snell, let top starter leave in MLB free agency

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After falling short in the National League Championship Series, the Philadelphia Phillies are once again expected to be very active this offseason. Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke with several rival clubs who believe the Phillies will be hot in pursuit of NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell in free agency. Furthermore, ESPN’s Jeff Passan predicted that Philadelphia would let Aaron Nola walk this winter and replace him with Snell.

Early favorite to sign Shohei Ohtani

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Before the MLB season even began there was widespread speculation that Shohei Ohtani would depart the Los Angeles Angels in MLB free agency and sign with a team on the West Coast. While the two-way phenom won’t pitch in 2024 due to elbow surgery, he is still expected to land one of the largest contracts in MLB history. Unsurprisingly, per Jon Heyman, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain the clear favorites to sign Ohtani. Not only can the Dodgers offer him the chance to stay in the same area, but they are a perennial World Series contender and Ohtani can share the spotlight with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

Boston Red Sox rumors: Jordan Montgomery already spoke to team

The Boston Red Sox have already been connected to Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto at the start of free agency. However, those aren’t the only arms on Boston’s radar. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Red Sox have already spoken with the agent of southpaw Jordan Montgomery. After being traded to the Texas Rangers this past summer, Montgomery compiled a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts then pitched well in October.

Joey Votto could finish MLB career in Canada

Joey Votto is hitting MLB free agency for the first time after the Cincinnati Reds declined the final year of his contract. Votto, who turned 40 years old in September, slashed .202/.314/.433 with 14 home runs and a .747 OPS during the regular season. The Toronto Blue Jays have already publicly expressed interest in Votto as a potential replacement for Brandon Belt.

Chicago Cubs interested in Cody Bellinger reunion, trades more likely

While Cody Bellinger had a rebound season in 2023 with the Chicago Cubs, a return to Wrigley Field might not be in the cards. Before the MLB Winter Meetings, Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic report that Chicago will be on the shortlist and keep itself in the bidding war for Bellinger, unless he seeks a mega deal. Meanwhile, the expectation around MLB is that the Cubs will use the next few weeks to find trade partners to upgrade at certain spots.

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