Wednesday January 6th, 2016

By Brian Rauf, Chat Sports

We're almost a week into the new year and we still have a lack of clarity surrounding several big-name free agents in Major League Baseball. Things should clear up as the days dwindle down in advance of Spring Training, but until then, check out the latest MLB rumors and news below.

• Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard have filed a defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera America after a report linked them to a doping ring.

• Free-agent outfielder Alex Gordon has agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.

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• New York Mets vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta has left the team to join the NFL's Cleveland Browns as their chief strategy officer, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

• The Nationals have explored the trade market and are trying to acquire a catcher, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

• The Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets are interested in free-agent pitcher Antonio Bastardo, reports Olney.

• Free-agent pitcher Edwin Jackson has signed with the Miami Marlins, reports Heyman.

Chat Sports: Cubs remain in market for starting pitching

• The Atlanta Braves are expected to reach a deal with free-agent utility man Kelly Johnson, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

• The Cleveland Indians are interested in acquiring veteran third baseman Juan Uribe, reports Olney.

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