MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Trades That Could Happen Before Spring Training

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 5, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Trades That Could Happen Before Spring Training

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    New Year's Day has come and gone. The Hot Stove season is nearly complete, although Prince Fielder does need to find a home in relatively short order. Before you know it, the Super Bowl Champions will be crowned and we'll be staring right into the eyes of spring training. 

    Still, just because the majority of free agents have been signed doesn't mean that the rosters are going to look like this when spring training begins. No, there's still a lot to be changed. Plenty of names will move around in trades. That will of course trigger responses from other teams. 

    All of these big names will be in new locations by the time the games begin in Arizona and Florida.

Matt Garza to Yankees

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    The Yankees need this trade to happen. According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, the Cubs will be looking for two of the three: Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. 

    The Yankees have no choice but to make this move. They do not have the arms needed to win in the playoffs. C.C. Sabathia will always be going against the ace of the other team. Even if he wins all of his games, they are going to have a hard time winning others. 

    Parting with the prospects will be tough, but the Yankees are one team that can do it. They have plenty of money to bring in free agents every year, and don't need to rely on a good farm system. The Yankees need to make this happen. They will do just that.

Gavin Floyd to Red Sox

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    While we're on the subject of teams that need to improve their rotation, let's look at the Yankees' arch-rivals. 

    On Dec. 20, John Paul Morosi of Foxsports wrote the following about Boston's desire to improve the rotation. 

    If the Red Sox can’t trade for Garza or Gio Gonzalez, Floyd may be their next-best option. He has excellent numbers at Fenway Park — 3-0, 2.84 ERA, 25 1/3 innings — albeit in a small sample size.

    The Red Sox don't have the guns to match the Yankees for Garza, and Gonzalez is on the Nationals now. But Floyd's numbers in Fenway are a little too good to ignore. It's a difficult place to pitch, and he's been stellar in his starts there. He'll be a nice middle of the rotation guy, and the Red Sox need him.

Marlon Byrd to Red Sox

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    The advantage with Byrd is that he can bat anywhere around the heart of the order. If you put him in one of the top two spots, he's fast enough to make things happen. But he also possesses enough power to mop up whatever the heart-of-the-order guys leave on base. 

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Nationals and Red Sox are both interested. 

    Chicago is clearly in a rebuilding mode, and Byrd is entering the final year of a three-year contract and will make $6.5 million this season. He's a good guy and a solid veteran when healthy. For the Nationals, he could be a short-term stopgap; for the Red Sox, he could be part of the solution in right field.

    The Red Sox have more of a need for him, and would likely give up more to get him. The fact that he'd be more of a long-term option in Boston makes them the best play. 

    Note that Olney's link is an ESPN Insider article. You need to be a paid member to read the entire article. 

Jair Jurrjens to Tigers

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    Jon Heyman of CBSSports tweeted that the Tigers are one of a few teams interested in Jurrjens. This is a move that they really need to make. The rain delays in the American League Championship Series exposed just how thin the Tigers' staff is, beyond Justin Verlander.

    Jurrgens has always had a high risk, high-reward element to him, but his stuff is electric and he's still young. This is a risk that the Tigers can easily afford to make, and Atlanta doesn't have much of a need for Jurrjens. 

Mark Trumbo to Indians

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    Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted that the Indians and Angels get together on this trade. It does need to be said that Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles said that the Angels aren't looking to move Trumbo, but that makes no sense. 

    Typically, teams don't sign future Hall of Fame players to 10-year contracts if they're really loyal to the sitting player at said Hall of Famer's position. Call me crazy, but that logic doesn't hold up to me. 

    And, as Morosi said, the Indians have the back-end-of-the-bullpen arms to make the Angels a dominant team in the American League West, and the American League in general.