MLB Insider: What I'm hearing about the Cardinals, White Sox, Whit Merrifield

With Aaron Nola and others off the board, the free-agent market is heating up. Here's what I'm hearing around the league from major-league sources.

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

For the first couple weeks of the MLB offseason, the free-agent market was quiet. Teams were doing their due diligence and checking in with other teams and players' representation to examine what the landscape looked like.

But in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the market has heated up. Aaron Nola re-signed with the Phillies. Reynaldo Lopez signed with the Braves. Lance Lynn signed with the Cardinals. And there are increasing indications that more deals are possible before Thursday.

Here's what I'm hearing around the league, via major-league sources.

St. Louis Cardinals

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals are in agreement on a one-year, $12 million contract that includes a team option for 2025, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Gibson becomes the Cardinals' second addition to the rotation this winter, and all indications are that the team is not done. They still need a frontline starting pitcher and figure to be in the market for Sonny Gray, among others.

The additions of both Lynn and Gibson, who signed for a combined $23 million, provide innings in a rotation that desperately needed depth. Both pitched a combined 375 innings last season and provide two decades of veteran experience.

But there is a strong argument to be made that the Cardinals could have used the $23 million on better, and more meaningful upgrades, instead of jumping the market for two pitchers who are 36 years old.

Chicago White Sox

Among the players who fit the Chicago White Sox this winter is utilityman Whit Merrifield, who spent time with manager Pedro Grifol when they were together in Kansas City.

Merrifield, 34, is coming off an All-Star season in 2023, hitting .272/.318/.382 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI. A multi-year contract at around a $10 million annual average value should be expected for Merrifield.