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MLB rumor roundup: Mets in on former Yankees starter, Angels in pursuit of Votto

We’ve got all the latest Hot Stove rumors from around the Majors on Thursday, including the Mets and others interested in a former Yankees starter and why it seems a Reds reunion with Joey Votto is unlikely.

Domingo German of the New York Yankees in action against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The calendar has flipped to 2024, and with the holiday behind us, expect the Hot Stove to get cranking again soon — with 14 of our top 25 free agents still available and lots of money freed up now that Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are off the market. So who’s heading where? Each weekday, we’ll be bringing you the latest news, rumors and reports from around MLB. Thursday’s edition features plenty of interesting pitching items, from the Mets’ (and others) interest in another former Yankees starter to the Angels’ pursuit of Joey Votto — who doesn’t appear likely to return to Cincinnati.

MLB Hot Stove rumors: Thursday, Jan. 25

Mets, others have interest in German

Former New York Yankees righty Domingo Germán is starting to draw interest on the free-agent market, with the New York Post reporting that at least six teams have reached out so far. That group includes the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Mets — though the Mets are described as the “least favorites.”

Germán, 31, is coming off a season filled with some very high highs and very low lows. The righty got off to a tremendous start, including the 24th perfect game in MLB history against the Oakland A’s on June 28. But he struggled mightily as the summer wore on, and his year came to an end in August when a clubhouse confrontation resulted in him seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. Previously, Germán had been suspended for 81 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy.

He finished 2023 with a 4.56 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts), and he pitched to a 4.41 mark and a 9.2 K/9 over six seasons with the Yankees spent mostly in the team’s rotation.

Angels pursuing Votto, Reds likely out

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the Angels are one of the teams with interest in veteran first baseman/DH Joey Votto. Los Angeles figures to give top prospect Nolan Schanuel every chance to hold down the everyday first-base job, but Shohei Ohtani’s departure means they don’t currently have a natural fit at designated hitter, and Votto would give them another lefty option in what is currently a fairly righty-heavy lineup.

One team we know won’t be reaching out to the 40-year-old? His former team, the Reds, with Cincy GM Nick Krall telling season ticket holders at the team’s winter caravan event that a reunion didn’t seem to be in the cards. Votto certainly isn’t the player he was at his peak, but he posted a respectable .747 OPS (99 OPS+) in 65 games last year, and there could still some value left in his bat.