Wednesday November 30th, 2016

The off-season hot stove is warming up with trade rumors and free agency decisions being made, though transactions have slowed as the league focuses on the impending collective bargaining agreement deadline.

The league and the players' union must reach an agreement on a new CBA before the current one expires on Dec. 1 or risk a lockout. Talks reportedly warmed up on Tuesday night between both parties.

One of the top free agents was taken off the market this week after outfielder Yoenis Cespedes re-signed with the New York Mets. Relievers Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman are still available. In light of the CBA situation, when these players sign could become as intriguing a topic as where they sign.

Mets show willingness to spend by giving Yoenis Cespedes premium deal

Keep up to date on the latest MLB news and rumors below:

• The Mets traded right-handed pitcher Logan Verett to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced.

•  Andrew McCutchen's days in Pittsburgh may be numbered as the Pirates could look to move him soon, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Pittsburgh is actively shopping McCutchen and has started pursuing specific teams as potential destinations. 

• A rival executive believes the Chicago Cubs will go after Japanese star Shohei Otani, the MVP of Japan’s Pacific League, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Otani could be used as a starting pitcher or designated hitter. Cubs starters Jake Arrieta and John Lackey could hit the free agency market next winter and Otani is expected to posted from Japan.

• Angel Pagan is on the Baltimore Orioles radar, according to Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com.

• The Mets are not expected to pursue Chapman or Jansen to upgrade their bullpen, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

• Reliever Trevor Cahill has attracted offers from three major league clubs after finding some success with the Cubs in 2016, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

•  The Oakland A's have inked a two-year deal with Matt Joyce, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

• The Colorado Rockies have some interest in bringing back former All-Star Matt Holliday as a first baseman for 2017, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

• The Rockies have also explored a reunion with Mark Reynolds, who hit .282 with 14 home runs last season, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.

• Edwin Encarnacion may soon follow Cespedes's lead and end his free agency by this week, his agent tells TSN's Rick Westhead. The Toronto Blue Jays were “showing Edwin the most love.” The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are also in the running, according to Olney.

• The Philadelphia Phillies would like to hold onto catcher and unofficial coach A.J. Ellis in 2017, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

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