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As the dust continues to settle from a week that saw Juan Soto traded to the Yankees and Shohei Ohtani sign a monster -- perhaps an understatement -- free agent deal with the Dodgers, the MLB offseason still has plenty to be settled. Seven of the top 10 free agents remain unsigned and there's a number of high-level players, notably starting pitchers, believed to be on the trading block

Here's hoping we have a few exciting days here sooner rather than later. In the meantime, back to the rumor mill. 

Yamamoto free agency tour rolls on

The top starting pitcher in free agency is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He's already met with the Yankees, Mets and Giants and will be meeting with the Red Sox very soon, according to, with the Blue Jays and at least two other teams remaining in the mix. Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies and Dodgers are also in there. 

The 25-year-old Yamamoto had a 1.16 ERA in 24 starts in Japan's NPB last season, winning MVP for the third straight season. R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports has reported that the expectation is Yamamoto will get a $300+ million deal and outlined why that's the case.

It makes sense that every MLB team with deep pockets would be in on the pursuit. Keep in mind, Yamamoto has a deadline. He has to sign a deal by Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. ET or head back to Japan for the 2024 season. 

Extension for Goldschmidt?

Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was the 2022 NL MVP, but had a down year in 2023. His five-year, $130 million deal runs through 2024, so he's entering a contract year. On the Cardinals' end, they'd apparently love to sign him to a contract extension. Via the very-dialed-in Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Cardinals will approach Paul Goldschmidt at some point this offseason and hope to have a conversation about an extension -- prompting what could be negotiations closer to spring training and then a deal that comes before the start of the season. If that doesn't happen, the Cardinals will leave the door open for those discussions during the season, looking to do it around the All-Star break, or perhaps after the trade deadline, or, if it gets that far, final weekend of the regular season. Their preference is to do it before the start of the season, like they have with Mikolas and others. They do not expect it to be a contentious negotiation. Neither side does. The Cardinals believe they'll find a way to extend Goldschmidt through his final season, and Goldschmidt has said that he does not plan on play into his 40s as Pujols, Molina did.  

Goldschmidt, 36, hit .268/.363/.447 (120 OPS+) with 31 doubles, 25 homers, 80 RBI, 89 runs, 11 steals and 3.4 WAR last season. It's possible he went straight from his MVP season to his decline phase, given his age. It sounds like the plan is just to play a few more years and that both sides are looking forward to reaching a mutually beneficial deal. It is also worth watching as it unfolds, because things can change quickly. 

Royals finalizing two pitcher deals

The Royals and starting pitcher Seth Lugo are in the final stages of signing a three-year contract, reports Heyman reports it's for $45 million and Mark Feinsand says Lugo can opt out after 2025. Further, Anne Rogers of reports the Royals are also finalizing a deal for reliever Chris Stratton

Lugo spent the first seven years of his career with the Mets and was mostly a reliever for the last five, but then last season he started all 26 of his appearances with the Padres and did well. He was 8-7 with a 3.57 ERA (115 ERA+), 1.20 WHIP and 140 strikeouts against 36 walks in 146 1/3 innings. He's an adequate mid-rotation starter. 

The Royals got a breakout season from Cole Ragans after acquiring him from the Rangers in the Aroldis Chapman trade and he figures to be the Opening Day starter. As things stand, Lugo looks like their No. 2 while the Royals will hope Brady Singer bounces back from a terrible 2023 that followed his 2022 breakout to give them a quality 1-3.  

Stratton is a 33-year-old righty who won a World Series ring with the Rangers last season. He appeared in 42 games for the Cardinals before being traded to Texas and appearing in 22 regular-season games and four playoff games. In his 64 games in the regular season, he had a 3.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings. 

Guardians add pitching depth

The Guardians announced Tuesday that they've signed free agent pitcher Ben Lively to a one-year deal. Lively was 4-7 with a 5.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 79 strikeouts against 25 walks in 88 2/3 innings for the Reds last season at age 31. He started 12 games and came in relief seven times. The Guardians don't appear to have a rotation spot open at the moment, but depth is always good and there remains a chance Shane Bieber is traded. 

Giants land Lee

The Giants have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $113 million contract with Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee. The contract includes an opt out after the fourth year. Lee, 25 and a former MVP in Korea, hit .318/.406/.455 in 86 games this past season before an ankle injury ended his season in July. The Giants paid a premium to get Lee, though they've had trouble luring star free agents to San Francisco in recent years, so they did what they had to do to get the player they wanted.

Pirates add Tellez

The Pirates have signed free agent first baseman Rowdy Tellez to a one-year contract worth $3 million, reports FanSided and Incentives could push the total value to $4 million. Tellez, 28, struggled in 2023, slashing .215/.291/.376 with 13 home runs in 105 games for the NL Central rival Brewers. He is a year removed from a 35-homer season though, and for a guy with that much power, Tellez has posted surprisingly strong contact rates throughout his six-year MLB career.