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MLB Rumors: Mets and Yankees Search for Top Starting Pitchers; Orioles add Kyle Gibson; The Brewers plan to keep the Aces

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The first blockbuster move of the offseason happened on Friday night: Jacob deGrom is a Texas Ranger. The Rangers gave deGrom a massive five-year extension two days before the Winter Meetings begin. Here’s what you need to know about Winter Meetings and here are the rumors of Saturday’s hot stove.

Reynolds requests trade

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Pirates All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds has requested a trade. MLB has no official mechanism for players to request a trade and the Pirates are under no obligation to move Reynolds, though keeping him certainly creates an awkward situation. The 28-year-old-to-be is three years away from free agency and is highly desirable as a productive switch-hitter with good defense. Even with the trade request, the Pirates will be looking for a significant return for their center fielder.

Mets and Yankees talking to top free agent starters

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The two New York teams are among the clubs that talk to the top free agent holders, according to the New York Post. Specifically, the Yankees are targeting left-hander Carlos Rodon while the Mets are targeting Justin Verlander. The Mets, of course, lost deGrom to free agency on Friday and need to fill out their rotation behind Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco.

Our RJ Anderson ranked Verlander and Rodon as the sixth and eighth best available free agents, respectively.. Rodón is a decade younger than Verlander and a safer bet for the next few seasons, although Verlander just won the Cy Young and will have a much shorter contract. With deGrom now as Ranger, he won’t be surprised if the Mets start to go after Verlander aggressively.

Brewers aim to keep Burnes and Woodruff

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The Brewers plan to keep co-aces Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, General manager Matt Arnold told MLB.com. “I’m not going to talk about any player trade speculation here specifically. What I can say is those are guys who are very important to our franchise and we intend to build around that group to do the best we can here in 2023, Arnold said about the two right-handers.

Burnes and Woodruff are two years away from free agency and there has been speculation that Woodruff, who is nearly two years older than Burnes, would be more receptive to a long-term extension to fit Milwaukee’s small payroll. In that case, the Brewers would extend Woodruff and trade Burnes for a significant package, although, as Arnold says, the team plans to keep both at this point.

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As part of their efforts to improve their rotation, the Orioles signed right-hander Kyle Gibson to a one-year deal. reports ESPN. Financial terms are unknown. They could add another entree and New York Post reports they had a Zoom meeting with Noah Syndergaard on Friday. Our RJ Anderson did not rank Gibson or Syndergaard in his top 50 free agents.

Baltimore has a solid base of cheap starters (Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Austin Voth, Tyler Wells) and top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is on the way, though adding veteran depth is never a bad idea. Given the step forward the O’s took in 2022, a case could be made that they should aim higher than Gibson, though his one-year contract shouldn’t preclude further moves.

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