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MLB rumor roundup: Padres want pitching in potential Juan Soto deal

We’ve got all the latest Hot Stove rumors from around the Majors on Tuesday, including the Yankees getting aggressive in pursuit of starting pitching and what the Padres might want in return for Juan Soto.

Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at PETCO Park on September 24, 2023 in San Diego, California. Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

We’re now almost two weeks removed from the Rangers’ World Series win, and we’re still waiting for the first offseason domino to fall. With the non-tender deadline coming up on Friday, Nov. 17, and Winter Meetings the first weekend in December, it shouldn’t be too much longer until the Hot Stove starts really warming up.

Each weekday, we’ll be bringing you the latest news, rumors and reports from around MLB. Tuesday’s edition features plenty of interesting items, from what the Padres might ask for in return for Juan Soto to the Yankees getting aggressive as they look to upgrade their rotation. (As a reminder, here are our top 25 free agents as well as the 10 most interesting trade candidates this winter.)

MLB Hot Stove rumors: Tuesday, Nov. 14

Yankees looking at top of starting pitcher market

Coming off an 82-80 season and with just about everyone on the hot seat, this is expected to be a very big offseason in the Bronx. GM Brian Cashman has already indicated that the team plans on adding not just one but multiple outfield bats, and now Jon Morosi reports that the Yankees are “among the most active teams in the starting pitching market” — citing Aaron Nola and 25-year-old Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto as players they’ve shown interest in.

Nola has been a stalwart atop the Phillies rotation for years now, but he’s also on the wrong side of 30 and is coming off a down regular season (though he pitched much better in the playoffs). Yamamoto, meanwhile, is younger, but also something of an unknown as he looks to make the jump from NPB to the States. His track record in Japan was unimpeachable, however, with five All-Star nods and three ERA titles already. You never know how the transition will go, but players are making it more and more, and Yamamoto offers tantalizing upside while also adding an infusion of youth the Yankees could desperately use.

New York’s rotation is set at the top, with Gerrit Cole on track to win his first career Cy Young award on Wednesday night. After that, though, question marks abound: Carlos Rodon alternated between injured and awful in his first season in pinstripes, while Nestor Cortes regressed significantly in 2023 while dealing with shoulder issues of his own. Clarke Schmidt and Michael King figure to be in the mix for rotation spots as well, but some more stability is certainly needed if they hope to contend in 2024.

Padres would target starting pitching in any Juan Soto trade

It’s still far from certain that San Diego will actually trade its star outfielder, but the smoke continues to grow as ownership seems hellbent on trimming payroll. Should GM A.J. Preller indeed pull the trigger, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the team will likely target controllable starting pitching that’s ready to contribute at the highest level right away — or at least very soon. The Mariners would seem to be at the top of that list, with several proven big-league arms under contract and a need in the outfield, while the Yankees and Cubs could also be fits.