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MLB Rumours Blog: Cease drawing interest from contenders

Dylan Cease Dylan Cease - The Canadian Press

Here is a roundup of all the latest moves and rumours from around the league as teams focus on the offseason's other big names, following the signing of Shohei Ohtani and the trade of Juan Soto.

Click here for TSN Blue Jays Reporter Scott Mitchell and TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips' Top 50 MLB Free Agents of 2023.

Braves release Carpenter

The Atlanta Braves have released veteran Matt Carpenter after acquiring him in a deal with the San Diego Padres last week, it was announced Monday.

According to multiple reports, the Braves had initially hoped to flip Carpenter, but were apparently unable to find a trade partner.

The 38-year-old struggled in 2023, slashing .176/.322.319 with five home runs and 31 RBI.

Orioles, Braves the favourites for Cease

The Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles are the favourites to land right-hander Dylan Cease in a deal with the Chicago White Sox, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Nightengale adds that the White Sox were disappointed the Los Angeles Dodgers sent righty Ryan Pepiot to the Tampa Bay Rays in last week's Tyler Glasnow trade as Chicago had strong interest in Pepiot in their earlier talks with the Dodgers about Cease.

The 27-year-old went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 33 starts with the White Sox. The year before, he was 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 184.0 innings pitched, finishing second in American League Cy Young voting behind Houston's Justin Verlander.

The latest on Valdez

The Houston Astros are listening to offers for star left-hander Framber Valdez with at least five teams already checking in, according to Nightengale.

Nightengale adds the Astros do not plan to trade Valdez, at least this winter, but they are open to hearing offers.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported last week the Astros were "monitoring" the market for Valdez.

The 30-year-old had a 3.45 ERA in 31 starts last season, his sixth with the Astros. He was an All-Star last season for the second time in his career.