What I'm hearing from the MLB Winter Meetings: Yamamoto, Arozarena, Soler, SP market

What FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray is hearing from the Winter Meetings on Tuesday.

World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

It's quiet in Nashville -- too quiet.

As baseball fans wait for their team to make a monumental move which could change the course of their 2024 season, for now all we have is crickets. Still, chaos is bubbling under the surface.

Very little reported information on the Shohei Ohtani chase can be confirmed at this point, as Ohtani's team has (understandably) kept matters close to the vest regarding his free agency. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did say he met privately with Ohtani.

Beyond Ohtani, the likes of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell and more are on the open market. Who will blink first?

What's the latest on Yoshinobu Yamamoto?

The perception from Nashville is that there is no favorite for Yamamoto at the moment, despite reports that the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees are gaining momentum. The market is strong for the 25-year-old, though I don’t think any team necessarily has the edge here. It’s gonna come down to money and where he’s most comfortable. One team to keep an eye on from a sheer fit perspective is the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they need pitching. Once the Ohtani domino falls, expect the Yamamoto chase to heat up.

Are the Tampa Bay Rays willing to trade Randy Arozarena?

The Rays, like most teams, are willing to listen to trade offers for certain players. Tampa has listened on Arozarena, but that does not mean they are actively trying to trade him. Arozarena has three years of arbitration left on his contract, so he is under team control through 2026, when he will become an unrestricted free agent. The Rays asking price should be high, as Arozarena is a former All-Star, ALCS MVP and Rookie of the Year.

MLB Rumors: Jorge Soler is a name to watch at Winter Meetings

The market is pitching focused right now. It’s led the hitter market to stall. But Soler is a player who is generating interest. The former Atlanta Braves World Series MVP opted out of his contract with the Miami Marlins this offseason. He would have been due $15 million, but could seek a multiyear agreement instead. Soler slashed .250/.341/.512 with 36 home runs in an All-Star 2023 season. While their level of interest is unknown, the Arizona Diamondbacks could make sense as a suitor.

Starting pitching market heats up, including Jack Flaherty, Seth Lugo and Erick Fedde

As I previously mentioned, starting pitching is at a premium at the winter meetings, and seemingly every team needs it. Seth Lugo, Erick Fedde and Jack Flaherty have all received some interest, among many others. As I reported yesterday, Lugo is expected to receive a three-to-four year deal. Fedde's market has heated up, as the 2023 KBO MVP had a 2.00 earned runs per nine innings across 180 innings pitched with the NC Dinos.

Jack Flaherty has received some interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but I don’t get the sense he’s their top target. They are definitely all over the second-tier market. I see them adding one from the second tier and then a No. 5-ish starter.