MLB free-agent rumors tracker: Bryce Harper to be Phillies’ first baseman long term


MLB free agency is here.

The five-day waiting period from the end of the World Series has passed, allowing players to sign with new teams beginning Nov. 6. However, many top free agents usually don’t sign until at least a few weeks into free agency.

There are many star players on the open market this offseason, including Shohei Ohtani. The two-way star is rumored to receive the biggest contract in MLB history, if not the biggest in the history of North American professional sports. 

[Read more: 2024 MLB free-agent rankings: Shohei Ohtani leads top 30; top 30 pitchers; top 30 hitters; When and where will Shohei Ohtani sign and for how much? MLB staff predictions]


So, where will Ohtani and other stars end up? Follow along here for the latest rumors on the top free agents. 

NOV. 8

Bryce Harper is the Phillies‘ long-term first baseman

Phillies president Dave Dombrowski said that Harper will be the team’s first baseman moving forward, per the Washington Post. Free agent Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia’s first baseman before he tore his ACL in spring training this past year, was informed of the decision. Harper served as the team’s first baseman for the bulk of 2023 after he returned from his offseason Tommy John surgery.

Phillies interested in Sonny Gray

The veteran right-hander is coming off his best campaign in years, and figures to be in high demand this offseason. Philadelphia is interested in the 34-year-old, particularly if it doesn’t retain Aaron Nola, per MLB Network. Gray went 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA and MLB-best 2.83 FIP over 184 innings with the Twins this past season.

Eduardo Rodríguez open-minded about locale

The veteran lefty, who rejected a trade to the Dodgers at the deadline, has reportedly informed teams he has no geographic restrictions. Rodríguez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA over 152.2 innings this past season with the Tigers.

Cubs set to be most aggressive team in Ohtani sweepstakes?

The chase for teams to land Ohtani in free agency is still in its infant stages, but “several GMs” believe the Cubs might be the most aggressive team to try and land the two-way star, USA Today reported. However, the Dodgers “remain heavy favorites” and the Rangers “are serious contenders” while the Red Sox, Mets and Giants are also in the mix, according to USA Today. 

NOV. 7

Jordan Montgomery receiving interest from Red Sox

Officials for the Red Sox “have spoken” with Montgomery’s agent as the southpaw hits free agency following his strong World Series run with the Rangers, MLB Network reported. Montgomery, 30, went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts with the Rangers, who acquired him from the Cardinals before the trade deadline in July. He also went 4-2 in the postseason, posting a 2.90 ERA over his six postseason outings (five starts). 

The Red Sox desperately need starting pitching help after they ranked 25th in quality starts last season and Montgomery is just one of several high-end starters on the free-agent market. 

Jonathan India emerging as a trade candidate?

The Reds second baseman has been a “popular name” among executives at the general managers meeting, though Cincinnati isn’t “motivated to move” India, according to MLB Network. India was speculated to be a possible trade candidate at the deadline this past summer due to the influx of young infield talent on the Reds. After winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2021, India has dealt with injuries that have forced him to miss multiple months in each of the past two seasons. He hit .244/.338/.407 with 16 homers in 119 games last season. 

Zack Greinke unsure if he’ll pitch in 2024

The 40-year-old hasn’t decided whether he’ll pitch next season, Royals GM JJ Picollo told reporters. Greinke pitched with the Royals in 2023, going 2-15 with a 5.06 ERA in his second season back in Kansas City after he spent the first seven seasons of his career there from 2004-10. Greinke has been named an All-Star six times in his career and won the AL Cy Young with the Royals in 2009. 

NOV. 6

Which teams are in on Ohtani?

As expected, several teams are rumored to have interest in Ohtani at the onset of free agency. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are among the teams expected to make an effort to sign Ohtani, USA Today reported. 

White Sox ‘willing’ to listen to offers on Dylan Cease

The White Sox aren’t “shopping” Cease, but they’re willing to listen to trade offers for their right-handed ace, according to USA Today. Cease could be the top available pitcher on the trade market this offseason. The 27-year-old’s stats took a bit of a dip in 2023. He was 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA after going 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA in 2022 to finish second in AL Cy Young voting. 

Cody Bellinger receiving interest from AL East contender

The Blue Jays might turn to the top bat on the free-agent market to fix their left-handed hitting woes, showing “strong” interest in Bellinger at the start of free agency, USA Today reported. Bellinger had a resurgence with the Cubs after the Dodgers cut ties with him following 2022, hitting .307/.356/.525 with 26 homers last season. Toronto was among the teams interested in Bellinger when he was a free agent last year. 

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