MLB Insider: What I'm hearing on Bobby Witt Jr., Gary Sanchez, Joey Gallo, Angels

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and the Kansas City Royals have had conversations about a contract extension, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Royals have been one of baseball’s most active teams this winter, signing Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, Hunter Renfroe, Will Smith and Chris Stratton while trading for Kyle Wright. But extending Witt Jr., who has established himself as one of the premiere shortstops in baseball, would be the cherry on top and cement his status as the long-term face of the franchise.

Witt Jr., 23, is coming off a season in which he hit .276/.319/.495 with 30 home runs and 96 RBI while stealing 49 bases. In two career seasons, he’s hit .265/.307/.463 with 50 home runs, 176 RBI and 79 stolen bases.

Gary Sanchez

Free-agent catcher Gary Sanchez is drawing interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates, among others, according to sources.

Sanchez, 31, spent time with three teams in 2023: the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and San Diego Padres. He played in 72 games with the Padres and hit .218/.292/.500 with 19 home runs and 46 RBI. He also was Blake Snell’s primary catcher in San Diego, with the left-hander posting a 1.29 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 105 innings with Sanchez behind the plate.

Tony Kemp

Free-agent second baseman/left fielder Tony Kemp has drawn interest from the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, according to sources.

Kemp, 32, has hit .238/.325/.352 with a .677 OPS, 35 home runs and 184 RBI in eight career seasons (734 games). He is one of five players with at least 2,000 plate appearances since 2016 with zero days on the Injured List, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Paul Goldschmidt, Nathaniel Lowe and Whit Merrifield being the others.

Joey Gallo, Washington Nationals

Free-agent outfielder Joey Gallo has agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Here’s a breakdown of the deal, per source.

  • 2024: $2.5 million
  • 2025: $8 million mutual option ($2.5 million buyout)
  • $200,000 each for 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 plate appearances

Robert Stephenson/Angels

The three-year, $33 million contract between Robert Stephenson and the Los Angeles Angels contains the following clause, according to a source familiar with the deal.

  • A $2.5 million club option if Stephenson undergoes Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and is on the Injured List for more than 130 consecutive days during a season due to surgery.

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