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MLB Rumours: Yankees and Padres talking Soto trade, latest on Shohei Ohtani, and more!

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
Everyone loves an MLB notebook.
What’s the latest on Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, or Cody Bellinger? Moreover, there’s been a recent signing, meaning the market is going to get moving. Let’s get started.

Latest on Juan Soto:

There’s a high probability that the 25-year-old outfielder will be traded at some point this off-season. In recent times, the New York Yankees, Mets, Chicago Cubs, and even the Blue Jays have been linked to the generational talent, according to Héctor Gómez.
Earlier on Wednesday, MLB Trade Rumors noted in this article that the Blue Jays would be one of the best fits for Soto, while also adding that the Jays wish to add multiple hitters. As it stands, the Jays are $24,000,000 under the Competitive Balance Tax limit, but they blew past that last season, so I’m not too sure they care at this point.
However, it seems as if the New York Yankees are the frontrunner for the 25-year-old. According to this article from SNY’s Andy Martino, the two teams are exchanging names for Soto. I’m sure the Jays have had conversations with the Padres as well, but this is a pretty big report.
Personally, I’d rather Ohtani as he’ll be locked up for at least a decade, whilst Soto’s 2024 will be his final before hitting the open market. Both would be nice, though.

Latest on Yoshinobu Yamamto:

The top free agent pitcher (aside from Ohtani) is in the news as well. According to Michael Marino, most teams are interested in the 25-year-old pitcher. However, he notes that Yamamoto could expect closer to $300,000,000, rather than the reported $200,000,000.
One of the stronger contenders for the right-handed pitcher is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who like the Jays, are pretty much in on all top free agents. This comes from Andy Martino’s report earlier on Wednesday.
As you can imagine, the Blue Jays also have interest in Yamamoto, as Ross Atkins personally went to Japan to scout the pitcher. In Shi Davidi’s article, he notes that the Jays may attempt to sign Yamamoto, and then move one of their other starters (potentially José Berríos, Alek Manoah, or Yusei Kikuchi) to get a bat.
Also a brief side note from that article is the fact that they’re treating Manoah’s trade value as the 2022 Cy Young finalist, instead of the rebound candidate other teams could see him as. I don’t believe he’ll be traded this off-season unless a team really overpays.
Fun stuff.

Latest on Shohei Ohtani:

Well look at that, it’s the bell of the ball. Michael Marino reported that he could confirm for the Ohtani sweepstakes: Toronto, the Chicago Cubs, The Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Los Angeles Angels.
Notably absent are the Texas Rangers, who were widely reported to be interested in the 29-year-old two-way phenom. Marino also notes that the Boston Red Sox are out on Ohtani.
According to this The Score article, the Blue Jays now have the second highest betting odds to sign Ohtani, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, I’m no betting man as that’s how I lost my first and third wife, but I’d bet my life savings on the Blue Jays signing Ohtani.
All jokes aside, the Toronto Raptors were the odds-on favourite to land Kawhi Leonard in a trade in the 2018 off-season, and a couple weeks later, they did. So I wouldn’t say this is nothing.

Emilio Pagán signs with the Cincinnati Reds:

There’s been a handful of small signings in the past day, so let’s take a look at the first one that occurred on Wednesday. It was reported by MLB’s Mark Feinsand that the Cincinnati Reds were signing Emilio Pagán to a two-year deal.
In the 2023 season with the Minnesota Twins, the  32-year-old right-handed pitcher posted a 2.99 ERA and a 3.27 FIP in 69.1 innings pitched. Hilariously enough, the reliever is now the highest-paid player on the Reds with a 2-year, $16,000,000 deal.
They may not spend a lot at the moment, but the Reds are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the National League Central.

Garrett Hampson signs with Kansas City:

I wrote an unreleased Free Agency Profile article on the 29-year-old super utility player, but alas, he signed with the Royals on Wednesday evening.
The 29-year-old had a career-year with the Miami Marlins in 2023, slashing .276/.349/.380 with three homers in 252 plate appearances. He also stole 23 bases in 28 attempts, and his 101 wRC+ and 0.7 fWAR were the highest marks in his career.
Per Jeff Passan, the deal is worth $2,000,000 for the 2024 season.
Good stuff, and maybe he’ll be a trade candidate for the Jays at the trade deadline?

Dylan Cease could be traded before the Winter Meetings:

According to Jon Morosi, talks surrounding the 2022 runner-up for the American League Cy Young award have intensified over the past two days. As it stands, Atlanta seems to be one of the finalists for the 27-year-old.
This past season with the Chicago White Sox, Cease posted a 4.58 ERa and a 3.72 FIP in 177 innings pitched, including a 27.3 K% and a 10.1 BB%. This was down from his fantastic 2022 season where he posted a 4.58 ERA and a 3.72 FIP in 177 innings pitched.
I don’t see the Jays having any interest in him, but weirder things have happened!

Cody Bellinger won National League comeback player of the year:

There isn’t much in terms of rumours as to where Bellinger will land. However, he was recently in the news as he won the National League comeback player of the season as he slashed .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs in 556 plate appearances with the Cubs.
 
The Blue Jays had interest in Bellinger during the 2022-23 off-season, and it wouldn’t be all too surprising if they believe he can fill the hole in left field.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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