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MLB Free Agent/Trade Rumors: Fact or Fiction on Every Team's Juiciest Rumors

Robert KnapelCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2012

MLB Free Agent/Trade Rumors: Fact or Fiction on Every Team's Juiciest Rumors

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    Rumors dominate the headlines during baseball's offseason. Many of them turn out to be nothing more than stories, but some of the rumors eventually turn into deals.

    Teams are connected to big-name free agents and their GMs are making phone calls to find out if certain players are available on the free agent market.

    There are still a number of difference makers available on the market, and teams still have needs that have not been filled. Until most of these players sign, there will be a number of rumors with varying amounts of truth floating around the web.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    After adding Jason Kubel, the Arizona Diamondbacks have extra outfielders, and Gerardo Parra has been pushed to the bench and into a fourth outfielder role. He won a Gold Glove in 2011 and he should be playing everyday.

    Nick Piecoro of The Republic has reported that the Diamondbacks have no interest in trading Parra. The Diamondbacks could get a good player or two in return for Parra, but likely have not received the right offer yet.

    Arizona are not considering trading Gerardo Parra: Fiction

Atlanta Braves

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    It is not a secret that the Atlanta Braves has an interest in Adam Jones. Jones would be a great addition to the Braves outfield.

    The Orioles asking price has been very high. Mark Bowman of MLB.com believes that both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado will be with the Braves on Opening Day, which means that a deal for Jones likely will not get done.

    Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado will not be traded: Fact

Baltimore Orioles

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    Young, talented outfielders are a very valuable commodity in the MLB, so the Baltimore Orioles are lucky to have Adam Jones on their roster. The Atlanta Braves have been trying to trade for him, but nothing has happened so far.

    Jones is still under the Orioles' control and is inexpensive. It does not make sense for the team to deal him unless they get a large package in return.

    Baltimore begins the year with Adam Jones in center field: Fact

Boston Red Sox

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    The payroll has gotten in the way of some of the improvements that the Boston Red Sox have considered making this offseason. However, they are still looking for low cost ways to get better.

    Ken Rosenthal has tweeted that the Red Sox have an interested in former Pittsburgh Pirates starter Paul Maholm. He would help stabilize the Red Sox's rotation. However, Maholm will likely want more money than the Red Sox are willing to pay for him.

    Paul Maholm is an option for the Red Sox: Fiction


Chicago Cubs

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    The Chicago Cubs landed a first baseman, but it was not Prince Fielder. Bringing in Anthony Rizzo gives the Cubs a player that can start at first for them in 2012 and in the future.

    Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has said that the Cubs could still be in the running, but his piece was published before the Rizzo deal went through. It is unlikely that the Cubs would pursue fielder any further at this point.

    Fielder wears Cubbie Blue: Fiction

Chicago White Sox

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    The Chicago White Sox have already had a busy offseason, as they signed John Danks to an extension and they pulled off a few trades. It is possible that the White Sox are not done making deals.

    Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has mentioned that the White Sox could be shopping Gavin Floyd this winter. Floyd is a player that could have a long future with the White Sox.

    Floyd is dealt: Fiction

Cincinnati Reds

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    Cody Ross, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick have all been names that the Cincinnati Reds have considered this offseason, according to John Fay.

    At the moment, the Reds have three starting outfielders for next season, so these hitters would need to be willing to possibly accept a bench role if they sign with the Reds.

    Ross, Ankiel or Ludwick come to Cincinnati: Fiction

Clevland Indians

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    Cleveland could potentially look to improve at first base this winter. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes that Carlos Pena could be an option for the Indians.

    This does not seem like a rumor that could become true. Pena is not a significant upgrade over Matt LaPorta, and he will be expensive.

    Carlos Pena signs with the Indians: Fiction

Colorado Rockies

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    One of the most popular names on the trade market this winter has been Colorado Rockies'outfielder Seth Smith. The Atlanta Braves have been linked to Smith, as have the Mets, Rays, Mariners and Athletics according to Jon Paul Morosi.

    The Colorado Rockies have a lot of depth in their outfield, and they have a number of players in the majors who could see time in the big leagues this year.

    Seth Smith is traded: Fact

Detroit Tigers

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    Jacob Turner is one of the best pitching prospects in the minors. He has the type of talent that is rarely seen in youngsters his age.

    According to Buster Onley, the Detroit Tigers are willing to trade Turner if they find a deal that they really like. Chances are that such a deal will not present itself this offseason.

    Jacob Turner will be traded by the Tigers: Fiction

Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros tried to trade Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers last season, but they were not able to find a deal that worked for them.

    They once again looked into dealing the pitchers this winter, but according to Brian McTaggert of MLB.com, neither of them nor Carlos Lee will be traded this offseaon.

    The Astros won't trade one of Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers or Carlos Lee: Fiction

Kansas City Royals

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    The Kansas City Royals have a number of players that any team in the majors would be interested. According to Jon Paul Morosi, both Billy Butler and Joakim Soria could be had at the right price.

    The issue here is that the right price is likely disturbingly high, as the Royals have no reason to trade either of these players.

    Soria or Bulter will be dealt: Fiction 

Los Angeles Angels

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    The Los Angeles Angels have been the big winners of the offseason, as they were able to sign both the game's top hitter, Albert Pujols, as well as the game's top pitcher, C.J. Wilson.

    Signing Pujols leaves the Angels with three first basemen. In addition to Pujols, they have Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo. Mark Saxon of ESPN.com reports that the team is not looking to trade either of these players.

    Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols will all wear Angels jerseys on Opening Day: Fiction

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    With the Los Angeles Dodgers up for sale, a number of big names have expressed interest in buying the team. One of the biggest names that has been connected to the team is Joe Torre.

    Torre has already been a player, manager and a member of the MLB executive offices, so the next step for him is to become an owner. He has joined the group led by Rick Caruso.

    Joe Torre will be an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers: Fiction

Miami Marlins

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    After spending big on Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, the Miami Marlins might not be done. They missed out on Albert Pujols and they still have cash to spend.

    Miami is interested in Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. He is a potential five-tool player.

    Yoenis Cespedes becomes a Marlin: Fact

    Photo Credit: Boston Sports Then and Now

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Earlier this offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers won the rights to negotiate with Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki.

    The Brewers did not want to begin negotiations with Aoki until they say him in person. The workout has already happened and negotiations should begin soon.

    Norichika Aoki will sign with the Brewers: Fact

Minnesota Twins

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    One of the surprising teams that has been linked to Roy Oswalt is the Minnesota Twins. Jon Heyman reported the Twins' interest in the starter.

    The Twins are certainly looking to improve their starting rotation, but the cost of Oswalt is probably too high for Minnesota.

    Roy Oswalt will end up in Minnesota: Fiction

New York Mets

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    The New York Mets have brought in CRG Partners, the firm that helped the Texas Rangers with their bankruptcy, according to Ken Belson of the New York Times.

    The team has insisted that the firm was not brought in because they are bankrupt, but people have been second guessing that assumption.

    Fred Wilpon and the New York Mets are bankrupt: Fiction

New York Yankees

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    Despite having a number of starting pitchers, the New York Yankees are looking to improve their starting rotation, according to Ken Davidoff.

    The problem is that teams want some of the Yankees' best prospects in return for the starters that the Yankees are interested in.

    A big name starter will be brought in by the Yankees: Fiction

Oakland Athletics

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    Oakland lost all three of its starting outfielders following the 2011 season. They brought Coco Crisp back, but the Athletics are likely not done.

    Jane Lee of MLB.com spoke to Billy Beane, and she reported that the Athletics are exploring both the free agent and trade markets to look for an outfielder.

    The Athletics bring in an outfielder: Fact

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Teams have realized how important it is to have a strong bullpen. It is one of the common denominators between all playoff teams.

    Jon Paul Morosi has noted that the Philadelphia Phillies have begun a pursuit of Kerry Wood. He would most likely serve as a set-up man for the team.

    Kerry Wood sets up for Jonathan Paplebon: Fiction

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Paul Maholm was one of the best players on the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. Now that he has become a free agent, the Pirates have expressed interested in retaining him according to Dean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    The Pirates are not the only team interested in Maholm, and it seems unlikely that they will be able to bring him back.

    Maholm will start for the Pirates next year: Fiction

San Diego Padres

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    After failing to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima, the New York Yankees are interested in bringing back Eric Chavez, according to Jon Heyman.

    That is bade news for the San Diego Padres, another team that Heyman reported had interest in signing Chavez.

    Chavez is wearing a Padres jersey in 2012: Fiction

San Francisco Giants

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    When a team has a pitching talent like Tim Lincecum, they want to try to wrap him up for as long as they possibly can. The Giants are trying to sign Lincecum to an extension.

    Jon Heyman has reported that Lincecum and the Giants are far apart in their extension talks. It is not looking like a deal will get done this offseason.

    Tim Lincecum will sign an extension this winter: Fiction

Seattle Mariners

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    Coming into the offseason, there were a number of different areas of their team that the Seattle Mariners wanted to improve. They have only one that they have not checked off yet.

    The Mariners are looking for a big bat. According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, that player is Prince Fielder.

    Prince Fielder will be a big bat in the Mariners lineup: Fact

St. Louis Cardinals

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    After failing to re-sign Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran as a consolation prize. They still have some money left to spend this winter.

    One of the players that they can target, according to Nick Cafardo, is Ryan Madson. He would be a solid addition to the back of their bullpen.

    Ryan Madson will be a member of the defending world champions: Fiction

Tampa Bay Rays

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    The Tampa Bay Rays have pitching depth, which gives them the ability to potentially trade away a starter. In return, the Rays could get a player or two that could improve their team.

    Two of the starters that have come up in trade rumors this winter are Wade Davis and Jeff Neimann. The Rockies have been connected to these two players according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

    One of the Rays starters will be dealt: Fact

Texas Rangers

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    After winning the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish, signing him is the No. 1 priority for the Texas Rangers, according to Jon Heyman.

    There is a deadline for the Rangers to sign Darvish, and they are going to do everything that they can to sign him to a contract.

    Darvish will agree to a deal with the Rangers: Fact

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolus has not really broken the bank during his time with the team. He might have to do so this winter to bring in a starter.

    However, Anthopolus has also tried to look to the trade market to find a starting pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal. They have not had any success so far this winter.

    The Blue Jays will trade for a starting pitcher: Fiction

Washington Nationals

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    Prince Fielder is looking for a long-term deal this winter. He saw Albert Pujols get a 10-year contract, and he wants a lengthy deal as well.

    Buster Olney has said that the Nationals are interested in Fielder, but they are concerned about the length of the deal. At the end of the day, the pursuit of Fielder will come down to what Nationals owner Ted Lerner says.

    The Washington Nationals will sign Fielder: Fiction

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