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MLB off-season rumours blog: Royals seeking pitching

Chicago Cubs Marcus Stroman Marcus Stroman - The Canadian Press

With the off-season's big prize in Shohei Ohtani off the board, teams look elsewhere to build their rosters. Here is a roundup of all the latest moves and rumours from around the league.

TSN Blue Jays Reporter Scott Mitchell and TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips unveiled their Top 50 MLB Free Agents last month.

Royals interested in Stroman

The Kansas City Royals have cast a wide net in search of starting pitching this off-season, as's Mark Feinsand reports.

They have reportedly been speaking with Marcus Stroman, Lucas Giolito, Michael Wacha and Jack Flaherty on the free agent market. 

Stroman, 32, was an All-Star for the Chicago Cubs last season, but struggled down the stretch after missing over a month with an injury.

He finished with a 3.95 ERA and  119 strikeouts over 136.2 innings pitched with the Cubs, his second season with the team. 

Dodgers send Gonzalez, Vivas to Yankees

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who completed a record-setting deal with Shohei Ohtani for $700 million over 10 years on Saturday, have traded left-handded pitcher Victor Gonzalez and infielder Jorbit Vivas to the New York Yankees on Monday.

The Yankees are sending over shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney to Los Angeles. 

ESPN's Alden Gonzalez indicates that the move was done in part to clear two 40-man roster spots for newly-signed pitcher Joe Kelly and Ohtani. 

Vivas, who has played third and second base in the minors for the Dodgers, was their No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline. Gonzalez has pitched in 93 games over the last four seasons for the Dodgers - his most was in 2021, when he threw 35.1 innings of 3.57 ERA ball.

Sweeney was the Yankees' No. 8 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

Yankees meeting with Japanese pitcher Yamamoto

The New York Yankees are meeting with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the top pitcher available in free agency this year, on Monday.

Yamamoto held a 1.16 ERA in 171.0 innings last season pitching for the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's top organized league. He has earned the Sawamura Award - the NPB equivalent of the Cy Young Award - each of the last three seasons.

The Yankees made the first big splash of the off-season by completing a trade with the San Diego Padres for outfielder Juan Soto last week.

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the San Francisco Giants also met with Yamamoto on Sunday. The 25-year-old is expected to have a lot of teams bidding for his services. 

Rangers ink Tinoco to minor-league contract

The Texas Rangers agreed to a minor-league contract with relief pitcher Jesus Tinoco, per reports.

Tinoco, 28, last pitched in the major leagues in 2022 with the Rangers, where he held a 2.18 ERA over 20.2 innings with 18 strikeouts. 

In 48 career MLB games with the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins and the Rangers, Tinoco has a 4.05 ERA with 52 strikeouts.