MLB rumors: Giants interested in Kenley Jansen; Padres meet with Kodai Senga

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A fresh batch of players hit the free agent market at the non-tender deadline Friday, most notably Cody Bellinger. The 2019 NL MVP is now a free agent able to sign with any team. Here are Saturday’s hot stove rumors as we wait to hear which teams have interest in Bellinger and all the other non-tendered players.

Giants interested in Jansen

The Giants have interest in free agent closer Kenley Jansen, reports MLB.com. Manager Gabe Kapler and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi are very familiar with Jansen from all their years together with the NL West rival Dodgers. San Francisco has a lot of money to spend this offseason and, at age 35, Jansen will not require a significant long-term contract.

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Jansen the No. 19 free agent available this offseason. With Edwin Díaz, Rafael Montero, and Robert Suarez all re-signing with their previous teams already, Jansen is the best unsigned reliever. The Giants have greater needs elsewhere on the roster (they badly need a power hitter, if not two), but they have enough available payroll space this offseason to address those needs and splurge on a capital-C Closer like Jansen.

Padres met with Senga

The Padres met with Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga on Thursday, according to The Athletic. Senga is in high demand, and San Diego could have a leg up because Senga is close friends with Yu Darvish, and he also played with Padres righties Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the past. If nothing else, the Padres offer familiar faces.

Senga, 30 in January, met with the Mets earlier this week. He threw 148 innings with a 1.48 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 2022 and is generally regarded as the best starting pitcher in Japan. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Senga the No. 23 free agent available this offseason. Here’s everything you need to know about the righty, who routinely touches 100 mph and has a wipeout forkball. 

Reds acquire Newman

To replace shortstop Kyle Farmer, the Reds have acquired Kevin Newman from the NL Central rival Pirates, the team announced Friday. Minor league reliever Dauri Moreta went to Pittsburgh in the trade. Cincinnati traded Farmer to the Twins on Friday and brought in Newman to serve as a stopgap shortstop until top prospects Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte arrive.

Newman, 29, is an extreme contact hitter who has struck out in only 10.4 percent of his plate appearances the past two years, the third best rate in baseball. All that contact hasn’t led to much production, however. Newman’s .615 OPS is third lowest in baseball the past two seasons. He is a stopgap and nothing more for a Reds team that is rebuilding, even though ownership and the front office don’t seem to want to admit it publicly.

Braves extend Matzek

The Braves have signed 2021 postseason hero Tyler Matzek to a two-year extension worth $3.1 million, the team announced. Matzek had Tommy John surgery last month and will miss 2023, so the contract locks him in for 2024. The deal also includes a $5.5 million club option for 2025. It should be noted Matzek would have remained under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2023 and 2024. The extension gives Atlanta cost certainty over those two years, and a club option for what would have been a free agent year.

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Source by [Livezstream.com]

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