MLB rumors: Will Snell, Chapman sign soon with Bellinger now off the market?

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Finally! It took a long while, but one of Scott Boras' free agents finally signed a deal as Cody Bellinger inked a three-year, $80 million deal late on Saturday, Feb. 24 to remain with the Chicago Cubs.

Bellinger was the best hitter remaining on the free agent market. Despite his departure from that list, there is still value to be found in free agency with big names like Blake Snell, Matt Chapman, and J.D. Martinez all still looking for teams in 2024. Perhaps the Bellinger signing will kick start the shift MLB fans have been waiting for. With spring training already underway, the clock is ticking for these stars to find a team before the start of the regular season.

Here are the latest MLB free agent rumors.

Rumor mill: MLB free agent rumors drag into spring but no need to panic | Nightengale's Notebook

Yankees would rather trade than sign

Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the New York Yankees appear uninterested in signing 2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, opting to trade for Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease. However, negotiations between the clubs for Cease have hit a standstill.

The White Sox are hoping for top outfield prospect Spencer Jones to be included in the deal. The Yankees do not want to include Jones whatsoever.

Ever since Luis Severino signed with the cross-town Mets, the Yankees have been looking for a solid fifth-starter, and while Cease is much better than a fifth-starter, he certainly would be a massive upgrade over the guys currently competing for that slot like Clarke Schmidt, Clayton Beeter, and Luis Gil.

The Yankees offered Blake Snell a five-year, $150 million deal earlier in the offseason that was rejected. Had the Yankees signed Snell, they would have been taxed at 110% while losing two draft picks, making Cease the more affordable option. That said, even if the Yankees cannot snag Cease, they have the starting pitching talent to compete in the AL East assuming guys like Carlos Rodon and Marcus Stroman can stay healthy.

Jorge Soler was what we thought he was, a backup plan for the Giants

Prior to the San Francisco Giants signing Jorge Soler to a three-year, $42 million contract, there were reports that the Giants were only interested in Soler as a backup plan in case they weren't able to come to terms with any of the big-name free agents they wanted.

Nightengale reports that J.D. Martinez was one of those big names the Giants were considering. The Giants offered Martinez a one-year, $14 million deal, which Martinez rejected. Martinez, 36, is looking for a multi-year deal as this may be his last opportunity to secure such a deal before his age scares teams off for good.

Martinez was an All-Star in 2023 and doubled his home run total from 2022 while posting a 134 OPS+. He clearly has some juice in the tank, but his poor baserunning and inability to play the field makes him an expensive DH at best for most teams.

Bellinger's deal could outline a Matt Chapman return to the Blue Jays

For such a long wait to see where Cody Bellinger would sign, Bellinger signed for less than most people anticipated. Now that that framework has been laid though, many people suspect the Toronto Blue Jays could be back in the Chapman sweepstakes.

About a week ago, the Seattle Mariners were one of the teams eager to land Chapman. However, given Bellinger's deal, it's unlikely Chapman receives anything worth more annually than the $20.325 million qualifying offer the Blue Jays gave him at the start of the offseason. That awareness could push Chapman north of the border once again. Sure, Chapman would love a multi-year deal and the security that comes with it, but the highest offer is still hard to pass up.

The Mariners, Blue Jays, and Giants are considered the frontrunners for Chapman currently.

Jordan Montgomery to the Red Sox is a deal waiting to happen

Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding Snell, Chapman, Bellinger, and Martinez, Montgomery's market has slowly started heating up to the point where a deal with the Boston Red Sox could happen at any moment.

The issue preventing the deal from happening, as you can probably guess, is price. NBC Sports Boston reports that the Red Sox are still waiting for Montgomery's price to come down. That said, Montgomery's personal ties to Boston, plus the fact that the Red Sox have failed to make an impact signing all offseason points to a deal being reached between both parties before the 2024 season starts.

The 31-year-old southpaw played a pivotal role in the Texas Rangers' World Series campaign last season and has boosted his free agent value tremendously. Although he has never been an All-Star, he boasts an incredible 3.68 career ERA across seven seasons. He's been unbelievably solid for someone without a single All-Star nod to his name.

Angels are lingering in Snell, Montgomery markets

The Los Angeles Angels might have been one of the biggest losers this offseason by failing to re-sign Shohei Ohtani. Since then, the Angels have not made any game-changing moves to recuperate their losses.

While it's arguable that there is no number of free agents who could overcome the loss of Ohtani, the Angels haven't even tried it seems. However, the offseason isn't over. According to reports, the Angels are one of the few teams involved in negotiations with both Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. According to Mark Feinsand, the Angels are "primed to ultimately land either [Montgomery] or Snell when all is said and done."

The Angels have notoriously not had the pitching to back their star power on offense in recent years. While the addition of Snell or Montgomery would not give the Angels a strong rotation on their own, it would be a good start to the Angels' rebuild.

Blake Snell willing to sign short-term deal

After an offseason of trying to earn a long-term contract, Snell may be backing down, which is exactly what his market needs.

Jon Heyman reports that Snell is willing to sign a deal similar to what Bellinger signed with the Cubs. Snell appears to be betting on himself now after months of trying to secure the bag after his second Cy Young Award.

This is huge news for his market considering teams like the Yankees and Red Sox were waiting for either his price to come down or for him to be willing to settle for a shorter term deal.

MLB News: Chicago Cubs thrilled about return of free agent Cody Bellinger

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB Rumors: Latest on Snell, others after Bellinger re-signs with Cubs