MLB rumors: Mets, Yankees eyeing top starting pitchers; Orioles add Kyle Gibson; Brewers plan to keep aces

The first blockbuster move of the offseason went down 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 the Winter Meetings and here are Saturday’s hot stove rumors. 

Mets and Yankees talking to top free agent starters

The two New York teams are among the clubs talking to the top free agent starters, according to the New York Post. Specifically, the Yankees are focused on lefty Carlos Rodón while the Mets are eyeing Justin Verlander. The Mets of course lost deGrom to free agency Friday, and need to fill out their rotation behind Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco.

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Verlander and Rodón the sixth and eighth best free agents available, respectively. Rodón is a decade younger than Verlander and a safer bet over the next few seasons, though Verlander did just win the Cy Young, and he’ll come on a much shorter contract. With deGrom now a Ranger, don’t be surprised if the Mets begin to pursue Verlander aggressively.

Brewers intend to keep Burnes and Woodruff

The Brewers plan to keep co-aces Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, GM Matt Arnold told “I’m not going to talk about any trade speculation on players here specifically. What I can say is that those are guys that are very core 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 both two years away from free agency and it’s been speculated Woodruff, who is nearly two years older than Burnes, would be more receptive to a long-term extension that fits Milwaukee’s small payroll. In that case the Brewers would extend Woodruff and trade Burnes for a significant package, though as Arnold tells it, the team plans to keep both right now.

As part of their efforts to improve their rotation, the Orioles have signed righty Kyle Gibson to a one-year contract, reports ESPN. Financial terms are unknown. They could add another starter and New York Post reports they had a Zoom meeting with Noah Syndergaard on Friday. Our R.J. Anderson did not rank Gibson nor Syndergaard among his top 50 free agents.

Baltimore has a solid foundation 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, it could be argued they should aim higher than Gibson, though his one-year contract shouldn’t prevent other moves.

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