MLB Insider: What I'm hearing on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Brewers, Pirates, Tigers, Royals

The Major League Baseball offseason is at a standstill, but there are indications it could soon heat up. Here's what I'm hearing.

World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages

The Major League Baseball offseason is at a standstill as teams and free agents wait for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to make a decision. There are at least seven teams in the mix, according to sources and reports, which include the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, among others.

There has been some movement, however, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals being two of the most active teams on the market. Shohei Ohtani, of course, signed a whopping 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in a deal that sent shockwaves throughout the baseball landscape.

Here’s a breakdown of the most recent deals, according to major-league sources.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Free-agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates are in agreement on a one-year, $5 million contract. The deal, a source said, includes $250,000 for MVP ($150,000 for second, $100,000 for third) and $250,000 in other incentives.

The Pirates remain active on the free-agent and trade markets, identifying starting pitching and catcher as two areas of need. Internally, the Pirates believe this is their first year of being in legitimate playoff contention in years, and their early activity on the market certainly backs up that belief.

Milwaukee Brewers

Free-agent catcher Eric Haase agreed to a one-year contract with the Brewers. The deal is worth $1 million, a source said, and includes $50,000 each for 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 games played.

The Brewers examined the trade market for a backup catcher, sources said, but determined that Haase was the ideal fit to replace Victor Caratini as William Contreras’ backup.

Kansas City Royals

Free-agent outfielder Hunter Renfroe agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with the Kansas City Royals that included an opt out after the 2024 season. Here’s a breakdown of the deal, per source:

2024: $5.5 million.

2025: $7.5 million player option ($1 million buyout) that could increase with each of the following: $70,000 for 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 525 plate appearances. $80,000 for 550 plate appearances. The deal also includes $400,000 in incentives and $250,000 each time that he’s traded.

Detroit Tigers

Free-agent pitcher Jack Flaherty has agreed to a one-year, $14 million contract with the Detroit Tigers, the team announced. The deal includes $250,000 for 26 games started and $500,000 for 30 games started.

Coming into the offseason, the Tigers sought to improve their rotation. They have done so in adding Flaherty and Kenta Maeda, and believe that Flaherty could have a similar resurgence to what Michael Lorenzen did in 2023 before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.