Major League Baseball’s offseason continues to draw closer to its end. Four of our top 10 free agents (Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery) remain unsigned. At some point, that has to change. Why not today? Slowly scroll with us down the page for all of Tuesday’s rumors, news, and notes.
Kershaw to rejoin Dodgers
Kershaw is, of course, expected to miss a chunk of next season after undergoing shoulder surgery last November. (As Sherman notes, the Dodgers will be able to place players on the injured list earlier than other clubs since they’re beginning their season a week early with a two-game set in South Korea against the Padres.) Kershaw, 35, has spent his entire career with the Dodgers to date. He’s won three Cy Young Awards, made 10 All-Star Games, and has compiled nearly 80 Wins Above Replacement, all but ensuring his eventual enshrinement in Cooperstown.
The Dodgers have had a busy winter, particularly as it relates to adding starting pitching. They’ve either signed or traded for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, and James Paxton. The Dodgers also signed Shohei Ohtani, but he will be unavailable to pitch until 2025 after undergoing elbow surgery.
Brewers sign Junis
Not even a week after shipping ace Corbin Burnes to the Orioles, the Brewers have added a veteran starter to their roster. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers have inked right-hander Jakob Junis to a one-year deal worth $7 million that includes a club option for the 2025 campaign.
Junis, 31, spent last season primarily pitching out of the Giants bullpen. He amassed a 109 ERA+ and a 4.57 ERA. For his career, he’s started 110 times and compiled a 4.68 ERA and a 3.42 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Clase drawing interest
Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase continues to be a popular target on the trade market, according to MLB’s Jon Morosi. That doesn’t mean a deal is imminent or even likely to occur, however. Morosi classifies a trade as being unlikely in the near term, in part because of how much control the Guardians have over Clase’s services thanks to the extension they signed him to earlier in his career. (Clase could be kept in place through the 2028 season.)
Clase, 25, is a two-time All-Star with a career 2.00 ERA (210 ERA+) and a 4.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 111 saves. He’s not slated to make more than $5 million in a single season until 2026, making him one of the game’s biggest bullpen bargains.
Veteran infielder Gio Urshela is drawing interest from the Mets, Yankees, and Marlins, according to MLB’s Jon Morosi. Urshela, 32, appeared in just 62 games last season prior to fracturing his pelvis. CBS Sports nevertheless ranked him as the 35th best free agent on the market, writing the following:
Urshela was limited to 62 games and did not appear after fracturing his pelvis in June. He’s been a productive hitter in the past, launching a dozen or so home runs a year and hitting for a good enough average to atone for his walk allergy. Teams are likely to have differing views on his defensive ability — he grades well per the eye test and traditional metrics; not so much per ball-tracking-derived metrics — and that, in concert with the risk associated with his health, could force him into a one-year deal.
Urshela spent parts of three seasons with the Yankees earlier in his career.