MLB rumors: Latest news from the off-season on free agency and more

By Brian Rauf, Chat Sports

We're a week into the new year and we still have a lack of clarity surrounding several big-name free agents in Major League Baseball. One top-notch player did come off the market yesterday as outfielder Alex Gordon signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Kansas City Royals.

More 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.

• Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Griffey received a record 99.3% of the votes.

• The Baltimore Orioles are pursuing both Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.

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• The Royals have “strong interest” in free-agent pitcher Ian Kennedy and are expected to “make a push” to sign him now that they've re-signed Gordon, reports CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

• Free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle isn’t planning on playing in 2016, but isn’t ready to announce his retirement yet, reports SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.

• The Milwaukee Brewers announced they have signed first baseman Chris Carter.

• Free-agent pitcher Fernando Rodney is in “active talks” with the Padres, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Cubs, reports Cotillo.

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• Free-agent pitcher Brandon Beachy has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, reports Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.

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