MLB free agency tracker: Live updates on news, rumors, signings and trades after 2023 Winter Meetings

Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto have already found new homes, but much of the MLB offseason has yet to play out.

Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the focus of many teams as he prepares to sign a massive deal, while Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger and Jordan Montgomery remain on the market. The trade market is also expected to be active once more dominoes fall, with Dylan Cease, Corbin Burnes and Tyler Glasnow among starters who could be moved this winter.

The Winter Meetings are over, but because of the timeline of major decisions by Ohtani and Yamamoto, there could be a flurry of activity leading up to the end of the year.

MORE: Why Shohei Ohtani signed with Dodgers over Blue Jays, other suitors

Sporting News is tracking the rumors, signings and trades as MLB free agency continues. Follow along below for the latest news.

MLB free agency tracker, live updates

Rowdy Tellez inks one-year deal with Pirates

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Source: Robert Murray, FanSided

The Pirates have agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million contract with Rowdy Tellez. The deal includes an additional $800,000 in incentives.

Tellez hit 35 home runs as a centerpiece of the Brewers’ lineup in 2022, but he took a significant step back in 2023 after starting the season on a roll. Between first base and the DH role, however, the Pirates figure to give Tellez near-everyday playing time in hopes his power bat finds its form.

Giants, Jung-Hoo Lee agree to six-year deal

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Source: Jon Heyman, New York Post

The Giants have struggled to land big-name free agents over the last two offseasons, but they reeled in a pretty significant fish on Tuesday by inking Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee to a six-year, $113M contract. Lee can opt out after 2027.

Lee is just 25 and was an on-base machine in Korea, batting .340 in his KBO career. While his power was inconsistent between seasons, Lee was a sought-after bat in free agency and drew heavy interest from the Padres as well.

Dodgers meeting with Yamamoto on Tuesday

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Source: Russell Dorsey, Bally Sports

Bally Sports’ Russell Dorsey reports the Dodgers met with Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Tuesday, extending Yamamoto’s free agent four.

Yamamoto has already met with four teams and still plans to meet with the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the coming days.

Royals finalizing deal with SP Seth Lugo

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Source: Anne Rogers, MLB.com

The Royals and starter Seth Lugo are finalizing a 3-year, $45 million contract, according to MLB.com’s Anne Rogers.

The Padres stretched Lugo back into a full-time starter in 2023, and the 34-year-old posted a 3.57 ERA across 146.1 innings. Kansas City can use plenty of rotation help after a dismal 2023 season, so Lugo figures to be one of the Royals’ top arms in 2024 and perhaps beyond.

Yamamoto to meet with Red Sox, Blue Jays

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Source: Mark Feinsand, MLB.com

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto will meet with both the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the coming days.

Yamamoto has already met with the Mets, Giants and Yankees, with the Dodgers also believed to be involved in the bidding. With both meetings still upcoming, the report is an indication the Yamamoto sweepstakes aren’t on the verge of a conclusion. 

MORE: Ranking the best fits for Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Dodgers formally announce Ohtani signing

Date: Monday, Dec. 11
Source: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have officially announced their signing of Ohtani, calling him a “once-in-a-generation talent and one of the most exciting professional athletes in the world.” 

“Dodger fans, thank you for welcoming me to your team. I can say 100 percent that you, the Dodger organization and I share the same goal – to bring World Series parades to the streets of Los Angeles,” Ohtani said in a statement.

Ohtani to defer $680 million of $700 million Dodgers deal

Date: Monday, Dec. 11
Source: Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic

According to The Athletic, Ohtani will defer a whopping $680 million of his $700 million contract from the Dodgers, receiving only $2 million per year.

While it’s important to note the deal will still count as $46 million annually toward the luxury tax thresholds for Los Angeles, Ohtani is still giving the organization much more flexibility than expected over the course of the deal.

The two-time MVP will receive $68 million per year, without interest, from 2034-43, making the present-day value of the contract much less than it originally appeared.

MORE: Complete breakdown of Shohei Ohtani’s Dodgers contract, by the minute

Giants reportedly meet with Yamamoto

Date: Monday, Dec. 11
Source: Buster Olney, ESPN

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the Giants met with Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Yamamoto is the biggest fish on the free-agent market right now, and he’s being pursued by a handful of big-market teams including the Yankees and Dodgers. The Giants have missed out on some of the most prominent free agents over the last two offseasons, so there might be incentive to make Yamamoto a massive offer to try and stay relevant in the NL West after the Dodgers’ Ohtani signing.

MORE: What to know about Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto as he moves to MLB

Royals agree to 1-year deal with reliever Will Smith

Date: Sunday, Dec. 10
Source: Jeff Passan, ESPN

The Royals have agreed to a 1-year, $5 million contract with reliever Will Smith, who spent this past season with the Rangers.

Smith has won the World Series in each of the last three seasons, but Kansas City’s expectations in 2024 don’t quite extend to a championship. Instead, the Royals will hope the veteran Smith, who had solid underlying numbers in 2023, can serve as a reliable late-inning arm after both Scott Barlow and Aroldis Chapman were traded before the deadline this past season.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to mega contract with Dodgers

Date: Saturday, Dec. 9
Source: Shohei Ohtani, Jeff Passan

Two-time MVP Shohei Ohtani announced on Instagram that he is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, spurning the Blue Jays and remaining in the city where he became a sensation with the Angels. 

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Ohtani has agreed to a colossal 10-year, $700 million contract shattering the MLB record for both total value and average annual value.

Ohtani joins a Dodgers lineup that already features two former MVPs in Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, both of whom were NL MVP finalists in 2023. While he won’t pitch again until 2025, Ohtani’s power and on-base ability gives Los Angeles the most dangerous trio of hitters in the sport.

MORE: How Dodgers’ 2024 payroll looks after handing out monster deal to Shohei Ohtani

Red Sox swing deal for Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill

Date: Friday, Dec. 8
Source: Jon Heyman, New York Post

Days after trading Alex Verdugo to the Yankees, the Red Sox have acquired OF Tyler O’Neill from the Cardinals in a deal that sends pitching prospects Nick Robertson and Victor Santos to St. Louis.

O’Neill enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season with the Cardinals, batting .286 with 34 home runs and a .912 OPS, but he’s struggled to recapture that level of production over the last two seasons and is set to be a free agent after 2024.

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