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MLB's offseason is less than three weeks old and already three of our top 20 (and four of our top 25) free agents have signed. With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Dec. 1, there could be a rush of signings the next week or so as players look to secure a contract prior to a potential lockout. Here are Saturday's hot stove rumors.

Yankees made big offer to Verlander

Before he re-signed with the Astros, the Yankees offered Justin Verlander a one-year contract worth $25 million, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Verlander returned to Houston a one-year, $25 million deal with a $25 million player option for 2023. The New York Post's Ken Davidoff says the Yankees were not willing to do the second year player option.

Verlander, 38, has not pitched since Opening Day 2020 due to an elbow problem that eventually required Tommy John surgery. The Yankees have a recent history of rolling the dice on talented pitchers coming back from major injuries, most notably Corey Kluber this past season. With Gerrit Cole atop the rotation and a bevy of mid-to-back of the rotation starters, New York is in position to roll the dice on a high-end starter returning from injury.

Rangers interested in Seager, Semien, Story

Trevor Story
COL • SS • 27
BA.251
R88
HR24
RBI75
SB20
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The Rangers are expected to be a major player in free agency this offseason and they have interest in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Trevor Story, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Story grew up in the Dallas area and met with Rangers officials earlier this week, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Chances are Texas will meet with the other infielders as well.

In Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Rangers already have a productive shortstop (productive more in the field than at the plate), though he could move back to third base, where he won a Gold Glove in 2020. That said, Texas has a top third base prospect coming in Josh Jung, meaning Kiner-Falefa could wind up at second. Either way, the Rangers are expected to spend this offseason, and they have their sights set on a high-end shortstop.

Gardner intends to play in 2022

Brett Gardner
NYY • CF • 11
BA.222
R47
HR10
RBI39
SB4
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Yankees stalwart Brett Gardner intends to play next year, GM Brian Cashman told reporters earlier this week, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Cashman said he has not had any contract talks with Gardner's representatives, though he noted that usually doesn't happen until late in the offseason. The Yankees re-signed Gardner in the early days of spring training this past season.

Gardner, 38, wound up playing 105 games in center field this past season after Aaron Hicks suffered a season-ending wrist injury. He was quite productive in the second half, hitting .250/.344/.418 with seven homers in 65 games, plus he remains an asset in the field and on the bases. The Yankees could move on completely and seek a younger outfielder, though it's difficult to see Gardner playing elsewhere at this point in his career.

Red Sox in touch with Matz

Steven Matz
STL • SP • 22
ERA3.82
WHIP1.33
IP150.2
BB43
K144
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The Red Sox are in touch with free agent lefty Steven Matz, reports MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. Eduardo Rodriguez recently signed a five-year contract with the Tigers, leaving a void in Boston's rotation alongside Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, and likely Tanner Houck. There are rumblings the Red Sox could move Garrett Whitlock into the rotation as well.

Matz, 30, had arguably the best season of his career in 2021 after a miserable 2020 that saw him allow 33 runs in 30 2/3 innings. In the last three 162-game seasons, Matz has averaged 30 starts with no worse than a league average ERA. The Blue Jays have a track record of helping pitchers take their game to the next level (Cy Young winner Robbie Ray is their biggest success story) and Matz benefited in 2021. He's in position to receive a nice multi-year contract.

A's acquire former top prospect

Brent Honeywell
OAK • SP • 45
ERA8.31
WHIP1.85
IP4.1
BB3
K4
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The Athletics have acquired right-hander Brent Honeywell from the Rays for cash, both teams announced. Tampa needed to clear a 40-man roster spot prior to Friday's Rule 5 Draft protection deadline and, rather than put Honeywell on waivers or simply release him, they found a trade partner in Oakland. Getting a little cash back is better than nothing.

Honeywell, 26, made his MLB debut this year and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He also had a 3.97 ERA in 81 2/3 innings. It was the first time Honeywell pitched in an official game since 2017. He'd been dogged by injuries, including Tommy John surgery and other arm problems, and did not pitch at all from 2018-20. The A's have 40-man space to spare and are rolling the dice on a player who was once considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

Rockies extend Diaz

Elias Diaz
COL • C • 35
BA.246
R52
HR18
RBI44
SB0
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The Rockies have signed catcher Elias Diaz to a three-year, $14.5 million contract extension, the team announced. The 31-year-old was scheduled to become a free agent after next season. Diaz had a breakout 2021 season, swatting 18 homers as Colorado's primary catcher. Those 18 homers were evenly distributed too -- nine in 53 games at Coors Field and nine in 53 games on the road. Catching around the league is very weak at the moment, so the Rockies made sure to lock up Diaz rather than let him test the open market next winter.