MLB rumors: Braves trade All-Star starting pitcher, Cody Bellinger drawing interest from Giants

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The first significant trade of the offseason went down late Thursday night, with the White Sox shipping lefty reliever Aaron Bummer to the Braves for a five-player package that included Michael Soroka. Friday at 8 p.m. ET marked the non-tender deadline, which means there was an influx of players hitting free agency in addition to some moves that teams made due to the deadline.
Brandon Woodruff was the biggest name non-tendered, but there were other notables, such as Kyle Lewis, Nick Senzel, Austin Meadows and Juan Yepez. Here’s a full list of non-tenders.
Here now are Friday’s hot stove news and rumors.
Giants interested in Bellinger
Cody Bellinger CHC • CF • #24 BA 0.307 R 95 HR 26 RBI 97 SB 20 View Profile
Count the Giants among the clubs showing interest in Cody Bellinger this offseason, according to a report from ESPN. Bellinger and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi have a history dating back to their time together with the rival Dodgers. San Francisco has, of course, had trouble landing star free agents in recent years. Bellinger is our No. 3 free agent.
On paper, Bellinger is an excellent fit for the Giants. The 28-year-old is a premium defensive center fielder, which is a must have in spacious Oracle Park, plus the Giants badly need a middle of the order power bat. Furthermore, Bellinger’s suddenly contact-heavy approach would fit well in San Francisco, where there is plenty of room to find grass when you spray the ball around.
Braves trade Wright to Royals
As part of the minor flurry of deals relating to the non-tender deadline, the Braves traded starting pitcher Kyle Wright to the Royals for right-handed pitcher Jackson Kowar.
Wright, 28, had shoulder surgery at the end of the regular season this year and will miss all of the 2024 season. He was 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 2022, but he had a 6.97 ERA in 31 innings in 2023 while dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the campaign. He’s under team control through 2026.
Kowar, 27, was the 33rd overall pick out of the University of Florida in 2018 and has made 39 appearances in the majors. He’s pitched to a 9.12 ERA and 2.10 WHIP with 75 strikeouts and 51 walks in 74 big league innings.
Red Sox seek multiple starters
In a rumor that qualifies as unsurprising, the Red Sox want to add multiple starting pitchers this offseason, according to the New York Post. The only locks for Boston’s 2024 rotation are impressive youngster Brayan Bello and erstwhile ace Chris Sale, who has missed a lot of time with injuries in recent years. Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, and Garrett Whitlock are also rotation candidates, though they’ve all been more effective in relief roles.
This is not an especially deep free agent pitching class beyond the tippy-top names: Jordan Montgomery, Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Given his age (25) and pedigree, Yamamoto is an obvious fit for the Red Sox, though there figures to be a ton of competition for him. Could Boston reunite with Eduardo Rodriguez? They’re certainly familiar with him and know he can handle their market. Rodriguez is a possible option this offseason.
Blue Jays, Nationals interested in Candelario
Jeimer Candelario CHC • 1B • #9 BA 0.251 R 77 HR 22 RBI 70 SB 8 View Profile
The Blue Jays and Nationals are among the teams with interest in free agent corner infielder Jeimer Candelario, reports ESPN. The Angels, Diamondbacks, and Reds are also in the mix. Candelario signed a one-year contract with Washington last offseason and played well enough to get traded as a rental at the deadline to the Cubs. He is our No. 17 free agent.
Toronto could lose Matt Chapman to free agency, and while his third base defense would be close to impossible to replace, Candelario’s bat fits their offensive needs better. He’s a switch-hitter, something the Blue Jays badly need to balance their righty-heavy lineup, plus Candelario doesn’t strike out or swing and miss nearly as much as Chapman. The Nationals are still rebuilding, though Candelario left a good impression last year.
Rockies trade for Quantrill
Cal Quantrill CLE • SP • #47 ERA 5.24 WHIP 1.46 IP 99.2 BB 35 K 58 View Profile
The Rockies have acquired right-hander Cal Quantrill from the Guardians, the team announced Friday. Single-A catcher Kody Huff goes to Cleveland in the trade. Quantrill pitched poorly amid shoulder trouble in 2023 and Colorado is hoping they can get him back to his 2021-22 form (3.16 ERA in 336 innings). The Rockies made out very well in a trade with the Guardians last season when they pried Nolan Jones loose. They’ll look to recreate that magic with Quantrill, who can remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2025. That said, Quantrill posted below average strikeout and ground ball rates in 2023. On paper, he’s a poor fit for Coors Field.
Brewers acquire Bauers
Jake Bauers NYY • RF • #61 BA 0.202 R 28 HR 12 RBI 30 SB 3 View Profile
The Brewers have picked up first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers in a minor trade with the Yankees, the two teams announced. New York received minor-league outfielders Jace Avina and Brian Sánchez in the deal. Bauers is projected to make roughly $2 million in 2024, and he was a candidate to be non-tendered prior to Friday’s deadline. He posted some serious exit velocity numbers this past season, but also had a sky-high strikeout rate. Bauers gives Milwaukee another warm body for first base and DH.
Padres trade Barlow to Guardians
The Guardians announced that they acquired reliever Scott Barlow from the Padres in exchange for reliever Enyel De Los Santos.
The 30-year-old Barlow, a right-hander, served as the Royals’ closer in parts of 2021-23 and was very effective in 2022. In stints with the Royals and Padres last season, he posted a 4.37 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 68 innings. He’s shown the ability to be a top-flight setup man for Emmanuel Clase.
De Los Santos, 27, appeared in 70 games for the Guardians last season. He had a 3.29 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings.
Red Sox ship Urías to Mariners
Infielder Luis Urías has been traded from the Red Sox to the Mariners, the clubs announced. Once a highly-touted prospect with the Padres, Urías hit .194/.337/.299 (76 OPS+) with the Brewers and Red Sox last season. He hit 23 homers in 2021 and has flashed decent on-base chops, but he’s yet to put everything together at the plate.
Right-handed pitcher Isaiah Campbell is headed to the Red Sox in return. Campbell had a 2.83 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings in relief last season.

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