MLB free agency 2023 tracker: Yankees complete seven-player trade to acquire Juan Soto

The biggest and arguably only major splash of this year's winter meetings happened late Wednesday, with the Yankees completing a trade to acquire Juan Soto from the Padres.

The news came one day after the Yankees traded for former Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo on Tuesday, rebooting their outfield for 2024.

In return for Soto, the Padres received Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez and Kyle Higashioka. The Yankees also acquired outfielder Trent Grisham in the swap.

Orioles sign Craig Kimbrel

The Orioles needed a new closer, with flamethrower Felix Bautista out for the 2024 season, and they've found it, signing Craig Kimbrel to a one-year, $13 million contract on Dec. 6.

Kimbrel doesn't have the same magic he once had as the Braves' young hurler, but he logged 23 saves and a 3.26 ERA with the Phillies in 2023. He was also the team's lone All-Star representative.

Shohei Ohtani suitors have reportedly dwindled

The Ohtani sweepstakes is reportedly heating up. Some suitors have dropped out of the race, while others have increased their interest.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Mets, Red Sox and Rangers have moved on to other targets. Meanwhile, the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Cubs and Angels reportedly remain in the race for the two-way superstar. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought some unwanted heat on himself by acknowledging Tuesday that his team had, in fact, met with Ohtani.

It's unclear whether the Giants, who have long been rumored to have interest, are still involved in the quest for Ohtani's signature.

Cardinals add Sonny Gray to rotation

The St. Louis Cardinals are overhauling essentially their entire rotation ahead of the 2024 MLB season. After signing both Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, the team added Sonny Gray with a three-year, $75 million deal on Nov. 27.

Gray, 34, posted a 2.79 ERA over 184 innings with the Minnesota Twins in 2023.

He ranked seventh on Zach Crizer's top-25 free agents list and marks a positive new direction for the Cardinals' pitching staff.

Sonny Gray is joining the Cardinals on a three-year deal. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Sonny Gray is joining the Cardinals on a three-year deal. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) (Brace Hemmelgarn via Getty Images)

Phillies bring back Aaron Nola on seven-year deal

The Philadelphia Phillies ended a couple of weeks of relative quiet early in MLB free agency when the team and pitcher Aaron Nola came to terms Nov. 19 on a seven-year, $172 million contract.

Nola was the third-ranked free agent on Crizer's top-25 list.

Stephen Vogt first of managerial hires; Craig Counsell to Cubs in shocker

In a winter with several teams looking for new skippers, the first domino to fall was in Cleveland, as the Guardians hired Stephen Vogt on Nov. 6 to replace the retiring Terry Francona.

In a shocking turn of events, it was also announced Nov. 6 that the Mets are hiring Carlos Mendoza as their new manager, and Craig Counsell is headed to the Chicago Cubs. Counsell signed a five-year contract with Chicago worth more than $40 million, making him the highest-paid manager in MLB.

Ron Washington lands with Angels

The Los Angeles Angels found their new manager for the 2024 season, hiring veteran Ron Washington on Nov. 8.

It's Washington's first managerial gig since he led the Texas Rangers for eight seasons from 2007 to 2014. In Arlington, Washington won two AL pennants and was one strike away from winning the World Series in 2011 before his team lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. Since 2016, Washington had been the third-base coach for the Atlanta Braves.

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    Juan Soto reportedly traded from Padres to Yankees

    Yahoo SportsThe All-Star outfielder is headed to the Bronx after a year and a half in San Diego.