The collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball's owners and the players is set to expire on Wednesday night. It is assumed an agreement won't be reached in the coming days, meaning free agency and trade talk will be completely shut down and a lockout will be put in place. In the meantime, perhaps there will be a flurry of moves, as there might be some players who don't want to go several weeks (months?) without knowing where they'll play in 2022.
One signing has already been reported on Sunday, as the Rays have scooped up Corey Kluber (full story here).
As for the rest, let's dive into the rumors of the day.
Scherzer decision coming soon?
Max Scherzer is heading to his age-37 season, but he's also coming off a season in which he finished third in Cy Young voting. The three-time Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer is still an ace. As such, there are no shortage of suitors despite what is likely to be a multi-year deal with a really high average annual value.
He is expected to decide on a new home before the expected lockout, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network, with the Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Angels being mentioned as top suitors.
Gausman also deciding soon?
Free agent right-hander Kevin Gausman is also expected to sign before the CBA expires, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The 30-year-old is coming off the best season of his career. He posted 5.2 WAR, earning his first All-Star selection while finishing sixth in NL Cy Young voting and 21st in NL MVP voting.
Morosi reports that a five-year deal for Gausman is "increasingly likely." We've seen the Mets and Blue Jays connected to Gausman as well as the Giants, Mariners and Angels.
Mariners showing interest in Bryant
The Mariners are among the teams showing interest in signing free agent third baseman/utility man Kris Bryant, reports Robert Murray of Fansided. As opposed to Scherzer and Gausman above, however, Bryant is not expected to sign before the expiration of the CBA, Murray reports. Given that Bryant's agent is Scott Boras, who loves to draw free agency out in order to find the best possible offer, this isn't all too surprising.
The Mariners and Bryant are a good fit. He could handle third base on an everyday basis, but he could also play any of the three outfield spots, if need be. They've already added Adam Frazier, likely to take over second base and we've previously pointed out they needed at least one infielder plus another big bat.
Blue Jays add reliever
The Blue Jays have agreed to sign free agent reliever Yimi García to a two-year, $11 million deal that also includes a club option for a third year, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
García, 31, made 39 appearances with the Marlins last season before being traded to the Astros and making 23 appearances for them. In his 57 2/3 innings, he pitched to a 4.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 60 strikeouts against 13 unintentional walks. He's middle relief depth for the Jays.