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MLB free agency rumors 2022: Updating latest free agency news, rumors

Vincent Frank

The baseball world is flush with MLB free agency rumors as the hot stove gets going big time. Stars such as Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Aaron Judge have been talked about a whole heck of a lot.

While not much has happened from an official perspective, we’re hearing the possibility that some of these players could actually change teams. In a post that will be updated throughout the hot stove period, here are your latest MLB free agency rumors and news. Bookmark this page for consistent updates.

Related: MLB free agency tracker

Arizona Diamondbacks emerging as top suitor for Xander Bogaerts

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Trea Turner has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, it removes one major target off the board for those interested in adding a star shortstop. In turn, players such as Xander Bogaerts could be the next player to sign. If so, the Arizona Diamondbacks are currently seen as one of the “most serious” teams to sign the former Red Sox shortstop. He has ties within the D-Backs organization, with executive Mike Hazen dating back to their days in Boston.

Christian Vazquez’s free agent market creating stir

christian vazquez
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Finding reliable catchers is tough to do, as they routinely take a beating behind the plate. While finding an elite solution is tough to do, there are many serviceable options that can eat up innings as the backstop.

World Series-winner Christian Vazquez is one of those potential signings who can help not only stabilize the catcher position but also build chemistry with the pitching staff. In turn, we’re seeing several teams look into adding the former Houston catcher. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals, Cubs, Guardians, Padres, and Twins have all considered signing the former Astro, who also has interest in retaining their veteran.

New York Yankees emerging as threat to sign Carlos Rodon

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

While Aaron Judge is undoubtedly their top priority in MLB free agency, the New York Yankees are also emerging as frontrunners to sign starting pitcher Carlos Rodon. Now that Jacob deGrom has made his decision, Rodon could be the next domino to fall, and the Yankees want to make sure they’re in a prime position to strike.

Related: New York Yankees ‘in on’ on 2 top pitchers in MLB free agency

Jameson Taillon market heating up

He may not be Jacob deGrom, but for those who missed out on signing the now-Rangers pitcher, Jameson Taillon has become a desirable backup plan. According to Jon Heyman, Taillon is receiving interest from multiple MLB teams, with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers specifically mentioned in free agency rumors.

Brandon Nimmo sweepstakes heating up

Widely viewed as the top centerfielder available in free agency, Brandon Nimmo is said to be drawing interest from several potential suitors. According to Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays, Giants, Mets, Rays, and Yankees are all looking to add the talented outfielder.

Philadelphia Phillies ‘favorites’ to sign Trea Turner

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Having been linked to several free agent shortstops, there’s one who the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly in the driver’s seat to land. According to Jon Morosi, Trea Turner has become their “top priority” in the early stages of the MLB free agency process.

Having his close friend Bryce Harper on the team should only help once they reach the contract discussion stage. But obviously, the Phillies are not the only team interested in Turner. He’s also been linked to the Chicago Cubs, among others.

Tampa Bay Rays kicking tires on Jacob deGrom

MLB: Wild Card-San Diego Padres at New York Mets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While they don’t anticipate being the winner of the Jacob deGrom sweepstakes, the Tampa Bay Rays are at least looking into the idea of signing the former Cy Young winner. Yet, as mentioned, the Rays aren’t likely to meet his expected asking price, which could reach as much as $40 million annually, nearly half of the organization’s payroll in 2022.

Yet, they’ve tried to take big swings in free agency during past offseasons, so Tampa Bay is at least someone to keep on the radar over the next few months.

Houston Astros negotiating with Willson Contreras

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros aren’t done spending after adding Jose Abreu, they’ve also been digging into former Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. He’s a player they’ve looked into adding in the past when Astros owner Jim Crane put an end to a possible Jose Urquidy for Contreras swap during last season’s trade deadline.

Only, they hope Contreras can play a bit in left field as well, as part of a rotation with Yordan Alvarez, also mixing in at DH on occasion. Either way, they plan to meet with Contreras during the upcoming winter meetings.

Cody Bellinger linked to Colorado Rockies

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When a former MVP hits the market, the Colorado Rockies are not generally a team expecting to get involved. Yet, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, the Rockies have kicked the tires on adding the 27-year-old slugger. Imagine Bellinger blasting home runs into the thin Rocky Mountain air? Sign us up for those moonshot.

Seattle Mariners pursuing All-Star, Mitch Haniger generating attention

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners filled a void in their outfield for 2023 by acquiring Teoscar Hernandez. With MLB free agency heating up, Jerry Dipoto is now looking to add another slugger to the lineup with a boost for the middle infield. While there is significant competition, Seattle is in the mix for an All-Star shortstop.

With his spot in the Mariners’ lineup taken, Mitch Haniger is looking for a new home. A 2018 All-Star selection who hit 39 home runs in 2021, the 31-year-old outfielder is being connected to multiple contenders. Among the teams reportedly interested in Haniger, the San Francisco Giants.

Latest on Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

The New York Mets are focused on taking the field in 2023 with a co-ace behind Max Scherzer. With Jacob deGrom a free agent and generating significant interest, New York is exploring its options this winter. The Mets held a meeting with Justin Verlander and he seems to be their backup plan if deGrom heads elsewhere. Details on how much the Mets are willing to offer and the likelihood of them landing Verlander can be read here.

San Francisco Giants interested in Kenley Jansen

As MLB free agency gets underway, the San Francisco Giants are being heavily connected to several top options. Days after MLB rumors suggested Aaron Judge is falling off the team’s priority list, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that Kenley Jansen is receiving interest from the Giants.

Both president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler are familiar with Jansen, dating back to their time together with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jansen is very comfortable pitching in the NL West, provides postseason experience and is one of the best closers in his generation. Likely targeting a lucrative one-year contract, he could be an ideal addition for San Francisco in what figures to be an active MLB free agency period.

Related: Multiple teams expected to pursue Dominic Smith

St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies eyeing big moves

Oct 2, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) says goodbye to the fans after the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off disappointing finishes in the postseason, both the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies are being floated in MLB free agency rumors. St. Louis is making a run at All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, aiming to find a viable replacement after Yadier Molina retired.

Meanwhile, MLB rumors point to the Philadelphia Phillies once again being spenders this winter. Xander Bogaerts is a strong possibility, given the organization’s ties to the All-Star shortstop. Of course, the possibility remains for Philadelphia to strengthen its bullpen or outfield via MLB free agency with Bryce Harper facing a significant absence in 2023.

Latest Boston Red Sox rumors

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

As the Boston Red Sox map out if they can re-sign Xander Bogaerts and extend Rafael Devers, the front office is exploring its options this winter. Boston reportedly has its eye on an All-Star outfielder via trade along with multiple other targets.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox targets in free agency are receiving contract offers. The front office is believed to be targeting additions for the bullpen, outfield and middle infield. However, two prominent free agents seem to be unlikely to land in Boston. Even with payroll dropping, the Red Sox don’t seem inclined to spend heavily this winter.

Los Angeles Dodgers to non-tender Cody Bellinger

After winning NL MVP in 2019, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger is now headed for free agency. Scheduled to make $18 million via salary arbitration in 2023, Los Angeles intends to non-tender him. The move allows Bellinger to pick his next team and helps the Dodgers trim $18 million off their projected 2023 payroll.

Seattle Mariners eyeing New York Yankees’ slugger

After acquiring All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners are now exploring another impact bat. After fielding one of the worst producers offensively at the infield in 2022, Seattle is pursuing a Yankees’ slugger. More details on who they are pursuing and a potential deal can be found here.

New York Yankees submit new offer to Aaron Judge

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Facing an investigation for alleged collusion with the New York Mets over tampering to diminish Aaron Judge’s value in free agency, the New York Yankees submitted a new contract offer to the reigning AL MVP. New York previously offered $213.5 million over seven years, all before one of the greatest seasons in MLB history. Unfortunately for the Yankees, there is new competition for him now.

Related: Los Angeles Dodgers pursuing Aaron Judge

Justin Verlander seeking Max Scherzer-type deal

Fresh off winning the American League Cy Young award, Verlander is drawing a ton of interest on the hot stove. That includes both New York-based teams. At this rate, Verlander’s options will be limited to big-market clubs.

According to Astros owner Jim Crane, Verlander is looking for a deal similar to the three-year, $130 million contract Max Scherzer signed with the New York Mets last November. That average annual salary of $43.3 million remains a record.

Houston Astros interested in Willson Contreras

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no surprise that the reigning World Series champs are looking for a new backstop after current starter Martin Moldonado hit .186 this past season. It is, however, somewhat surprising that they have joined the sweepstakes for Contreras.

According to Jon Heyman of the NY Post, Houston is interesting in signing the free-agent catcher away from the Chicago Cubs. A three-time All-Star, Contreras hit .243 with 22 homers and 55 RBI in 2022. He’s also considered a top-end defensive backstop. Any deal would likely reset the catcher market, which is currently headed by J.T. Realmuto at $23.1 million annually.

Los Angeles Dodgers next move after losing Tyler Anderson

mlb free agency rumors: los angeles dodgers
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers had given Tyler Anderson a $19.65 million qualifying offer leading up to the start of MLB free agency. Surprisingly, the All-Star didn’t just turn down that offer, but signed with the in-state rival Los Angeles Angels.

This now puts Los Angeles in a bit of a bind even after it retained franchise legend Clayton Kershaw. The team was already in on a starter before losing Anderson. It might now have mutiple holes to fill. One now has to wonder whether two-time NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom becomes an option for the Dodgers. As you will read below, they have also been linked to Justin Verlander in MLB free agency rumors.

MLB free agency rumors: Anthony Rizzo returns to the New York Yankees

mlb free agency rumors: anthony rizzo
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After declining his $19.65 million qualifying offer leading up to Tuesday’s deadline, Rizzo opted to re-sign with the Yankees. The deal is said to be worth $34 million over two years with an option for a third year. Should New York decline said option, it would pay Rizzo an additional $6 million — giving him $40 million guaranteed.

A three-time All-Star during his time with the Chicago Cubs, Rizzo found his power once again this past season. The World Series champ hit 32 homers while boasting a .480 slugging percentage. From that perspective, it was his best performance since back in 2018 with Chicago.

Justin Verlander linked to three teams, including the New York Yankees

mlb free agency rumors: justin verlander
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 39-year-old Verlander declined his $25 million option for the 2023 season shortly after he helped lead the Houston Astros to another World Series title. Given the market this fall and winter, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

  • Justin Verlander stats (2022): 18-4 record, 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 185 strikeouts in 175 innings

It had previously been a foregone conclusion that he’d re-sign with Houston. We’re now not too sure with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic naming three teams in that of the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets as potential landing spots. The reigning AL Cy Young winner could be set to earn roughly $40 million annually on a short-term deal. All three teams listed here would have the capability of doling that out.

Related: Top 2022-23 MLB free agents

Aaron Judge has positive talks with New York Yankees as MLB free agency rumors heat up

mlb free agency rumors: aaron judge
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen the American League home run king linked to west coast teams in that of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants on a near never-ending loop. Perhaps, it’s good news that he has not yet gone on a tour visiting interested teams.

The better news here is Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner confirming on a recent YES interview that they have had “psitive” conversations with Judge and his reps during the early stages of MLB free agency.

Given how the contract extension talks played out ahead of Judge’s record-setting 2022 season, we’d still be surprised if he didn’t take visits and have conversations with other teams. At the very least, this is some positive news for the Pinstripes.

Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez accepts $19.65 million qualifying offer

Signed to a one-year, $4 million contract ahead of the 2022 season, this 31-year-old pitcher banked on himself to turn things around. Boy, did he do just that. Perez made the All-Star team while posting a 12-8 record and 2.89 ERA with the Rangers.

By making this move, Perez is officially off the free agent market. This also enables Texas to retain a core starter as general manager Chris Young looks to improve what was a disastrous rotation a season ago. The acquisition of Jake Odorizzi from the Atlanta Braves earlier this month began that process.

MLB free agency rumors have the Chicago Cubs linked to big-time shortstops

It stands to reason that Cubs front office head Jed Hoyer is going to be active in free agency this offseason. Chicago is coming off an 88-loss season, boasts a ton of solid young players and has the payroll flexibility to add proven veterans to the mix.

One position that continues to come up in the rumor mill is shortstop. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Tuesday that Chicago is basically in on all of the top shortstops. He specifically mentioned Carlos Correa of the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers star Trea Turner.

Related: Highest-paid MLB players of 2022

Chicago Cubs release Jason Heyward with $22 million remaining on contract

In a move that the Cubs noted was going to happen late in the season, this high-priced outfielder is no longer with the organization. Ahead of the 2016 season, Heyward agreed to a whopping eight-year, $164 million contract with Chicago. The former Atlanta Braves All-Star never lived up to expecations in Chicago, struggling big time over the past three seasons.

  • Jason Heyward stats (2020-22): .224 average, 15 HR, 62 RBI, .667 OPS

Chicago eats a whopping $22 million in salary by making this move official. The team is expected to be somewhat active during MLB free agency. As for Heyward, he’ll likely latch on with a team via one-year or minors contract.