MLB Rumors: Updating the Hottest Buzz Around All 30 Teams
With players getting into the swing of things in spring training, it may be a bit premature to speculate on moves that teams will be considering towards the start of the season, the mid-summer trade deadline, or even next offseason.
But as spring moves on, some teams will no doubt look to position themselves for the future, whether immediate or long-term.
Every team inevitably finds themselves in this situation, as a number of players are poised to head into different markets all throughout the year.
Whether or not any of these moves happen remains to be seen, but here are some players making headlines in every organization.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Gerardo Parra
The Diamondbacks outfielder has batted .282 over three seasons in Arizona, including a career-high .292 last year, but he now finds himself out of a starting role in Arizona given the team's offseason acquisition of Jason Kubel, and could be expendable if the team decides to seek depth in other areas.
Atlanta Braves: Michael Bourn
Speedy outfielder Michael Bourn has led the league in stolen bases a few times already during his young career, twice swiping more than 60 bags.
On top of that, he appears to be improving at the plate every year and will no doubt continue to have his chances to steal bases.
Bourn recently reiterated that the Atlanta Braves haven't approached him about a contract extension, and with his desire to not negotiate during the season, the team may opt to move the Scott Boras client if they feel a deal won't get done.
Baltimore Orioles: Koji Uehara
Despite some rumblings this winter, Koji Uehara wasn't traded from the Texas Rangers, although there appears to be renewed talks, with Uehara possibly wanting to return to his former role with the Baltimore Orioles, according to The Baltimore Sun.
In three seasons with the Orioles, Uehara made 98 appearances, going 4-7 with a 3.03 ERA and walked nearly 10 batters per nine innings while walking only one.
Boston Red Sox: Gavin Floyd
As the Chicago White Sox signed John Danks to an extension, ensuring that he'll be in the rotation for years to come, the team indirectly opened the door further to possibly move Gavin Floyd.
They may not be actively shopping the services of Floyd, but a team like the Boston Red Sox, who could use another arm in the starting rotation, may be interested in making a play for him.
Chicago Cubs: Matt Garza
Throughout much of the offseason, it seemed like there were relatively constant murmurs about Matt Garza being shipped out of Chicago prior to the start of the 2012 season.
You'd have to think the Cubs would rather move Alfonso Soriano, but his contract may not allow his departure.
Rumors surrounding Garza may have been quelled a bit, as he signed a one-year deal to remain with the team, and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer is indicating that the team intends to sign Garza long-term.
Chicago White Sox: Arthur Rhodes
Seeking additional help in the bullpen, the Chicago White Sox appear to be considering 42-year-old Arthur Rhodes to fill a role in 2012.
The 20-year MLB vet posted a 3-4 record with a 4.64 ERA in 2011, but before that he had made at least 60 appearances and garnered 2.50 or better ERAs in three straight seasons.
Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Phillips
Spending the majority of his career in Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips has won three Gold Gloves in the past four seasons with the Reds, making two All-Star appearances in the process.
After a career-high .300 batting average in 2011, Phillips could add some value to his next contract with a stellar 2012 season, and while that could possibly put himself out of the Reds' range, the team does expect to work on a contract extension very shortly.
Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore
Having played in barely 100 games over the past two seasons, fans in Cleveland are likely anxious for the return of their star center fielder and three-time All-Star, Grady Sizemore.
He'll have added reason to succeed in 2012 with a contract loaded with incentives, but the rust could prove to be too much to overcome, as Sizemore will likely take a year or two (if then) before regaining his power numbers.
In the event that he or Michael Brantley aren't able to fill in adequately in center field, the team is scouting trade options to shore up the position.
Colorado Rockies: Esmil Rogers
During his two seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Esmil Rogers has failed to produce as expected, posting a 6.13 ERA in 2010 and 7.05 ERA in 2011, walking more than four batters per nine innings.
Since he's out of options, the Rockies may look to move him, and apparently already have suitors inquiring.
Detroit Tigers: Starting Pitching
With one of the best aces in the game heading up the rotation, the Detroit Tigers added one of the second-half surprises of the season in 2011, bringing Doug Fister over for a postseason push.
They'll head up the top of the rotation in 2012, but with less consistency expected from Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, the team could complement their offensive abilities nicely with the addition of another well-established arm.
Houston Astros: Jason Bourgeois
With players like Wandy Rodriguez and Carlos Lee representing the more logical names in the trade market for the Houston Astros, another has surfaced as a potential departure in 2012.
Jason Bourgeois has batted .269 in two seasons with the Astros, and stole 31 bases last season.
The Washington Nationals are looking for center field options, and have inquired on the availability of Bourgeois at least three times since last December's winter meetings.
Kansas City Royals: Joakim Soria
Averaging 36 saves per season the last four years as the Kansas City Royals closer, Joakim Soria will likely continue to shut the door on AL Central opponents in 2012.
However, with late-inning options always in demand in this league, he may be offered more than the Royals can possibly offer in free agency.
With the young roster definitely headed in the right direction, they'll surely assess all options before deciding on trading, extending, or parting ways with Soria.
Los Angeles Angels: Bobby Abreu
The Los Angeles Angels will no doubt be one of the most looked at teams this season, after their active offseason included signings of both C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols to huge contracts.
One player who hopes to be in on the action is Bobby Abreu. In the final year of a three-year, $27 million deal, he even took his case so far as to tell ESPN Deportes he wants to be traded if he's not given an everyday role.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Andre Ethier
Two major developments appear to be working into one, as the ownership situation surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers may be impeding any contract extension talks with Andre Ethier.
Miami Marlins: Hanley Ramirez
The Miami Marlins are embarking on one of the more exciting seasons in their franchise's history, with a number of new players, a new manager and, of course, a new stadium all debuting in 2012.
One Marlin who was the topic of much conversation was Hanley Ramirez, as his displeasure of the move to third base left many wondering whether or not he'd be traded.
He's apparently warming up to the notion, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is just one of many who believe he'll eventually wear down and demand a trade.
Milwaukee Brewers: John Lannan
In their first year of the post-Prince Fielder era, the Milwaukee Brewers are still poised to contend in a tough NL Central that will surely be fought until the end of September.
While Shaun Marcum does have one of the game's best change ups and can be an effective option on the mound, concerns over the health of his shoulder could lead the Brewers to make a move on another starter.
Someone like John Lannan, who is starter material but may be on the outside of the rotation at the end of spring training, could be an option.
Minnesota Twins: Francisco Liriano
Francisco Liriano's tenure with the Minnesota Twins has certainly been one filled with ups and downs. He has shown the ability to be a very effective strikeout pitcher, maybe even an ace, but his inconsistent production has raised some concerns.
His name hasn't been brought up in trade talks for quite some time, but with free agency looming and a lot to prove this year, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Twins ship Liriano out of Target Field rather than work out a long-term deal for the enigmatic starter.
New York Mets: D.J. Carrasco
Playing for his fifth team in seven years last year, D.J. Carrasco appeared in 42 games for the New York Mets, posting a 1-3 record and 6.02 ERA.
With Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista potentially taking up the final spots in the Mets' bullpen, the team's hand may be forced, with the team potentially dealing Carrasco.
New York Yankees: Nick Swisher
After a superb 2010 season in which he batted .288 and drove in 89 RBI while going deep 29 times, Swisher regressed a bit in 2011, seeing his average and OPS drop a bit.
He's been a consistent offensive producer since he's been in the league, however, and with Swisher expecting to enter free agency, the Yankees may just opt to trade him rather than let him walk as they pursue other options.
Oakland Athletics: Brandon Inge
With Scott Sizemore out as the Oakland Athletics third baseman for the 2012 season, the team will certainly be spending much of spring training weighing their options.
If they're unable to find an internal replacement who's fit to take the place for the duration of the season, they may look at a player like Brandon Inge, who may be attainable given his displeasure with the infield situation for the Tigers.
Philadelphia Phillies: Joe Blanton
The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the best rotations in the game toeing the rubber on a nightly basis with pitchers like Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee holding down the front of the rotation.
Joe Blanton started in only eight games in 2011 for the Phillies, and as the Boston Globe has reported that the team is willing to eat some of Blanton's contract in order to work a trade, you have to wonder if his days could be numbered.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Mike Minor
With a great young rotation poised to take aim at a division championship this season, there appears to be more bodies in Atlanta than there are spots, and Mike Minor clearly doesn't want to be on the outside looking in.
It doesn't appear that any trade talks have taken place yet, but Minor has been vocal on his status with the team, stating that he'd like to be traded if he isn't put in the rotation, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
The Pittsburgh Pirates did just make a move to acquire A.J. Burnett, but with him being sidelined for the next few months, Minor could fill a role in the middle of the Bucs rotation if they could put the right package together to obtain him.
San Diego Padres: Carlos Quentin
The San Diego Padres made a great move this offseason in acquiring slugger Carlos Quentin from the Chicago White Sox.
Quentin is in his final year before free agency, and keeping in mind that he'll be looking to cash in on his first opportunity at a lucrative deal, you would think the Padres may be quick to flip him to the highest bidder rather than let him walk.
There's no doubt that the team would love to keep Quentin around long term, but as the Chicago Tribune has reported, the team's ownership situation could certainly diminish his chances of returning in 2013.
San Francisco Giants: Tim Lincecum
The San Francisco Giants will clearly do everything within their power to keep Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain together for the long run as they work towards returning to postseason play.
They'll need to play their chips right, however, as Lincecum will eventually want a gigantic deal. The Giants and Lincecum were able to work out a short-term solution, but it's worth noting that the two are reportedly more than $75 million apart regarding the terms of a long-term deal.
Seattle Mariners: Brandon League
With 2012 being Brandon League's final season before entering the free-agent market, the Seattle Mariners could work to trade him to a team in need of the late-inning help in order to inject the farm system with additional depth.
Teams like the Reds, Angels and Red Sox have been noted as potential suitors for League, and as the season shakes itself out and needs are better defined, a move may well take place.
St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler Greene
With somewhat of a void still remaining in the Boston Red Sox infield, the team may end up looking outside the organization to complete its puzzle.
One direction the Red Sox may look is toward Tyler Greene in St. Louis, according to Boston.com.
It's seemingly unclear as to whether or not he's a long-term option in a Cardinals uniform, so the Red Sox may be able to find a way to lure Greene, who is out of options in St. Louis.
Tampa Bay Rays: Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann
The Tampa Bay Rays head into the 2012 season with a well above average pitching staff that may very well lead them back to the postseason once again.
The team doesn't appear to have any interest in signing veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez, but the Boston Globe has reported that the team could move either Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann in order to secure a formidable back up option behind the plate.
Texas Rangers: David Murphy
The Texas Rangers will have a big decision to make this season and upcoming offseason as they determine how to address the contract situation with star outfielder Josh Hamilton.
They're being posed with another outfield shift, as the team has been asked by multiple teams about the availability of David Murphy.
Toronto Blue Jays: Joe Blanton
As mentioned, the Philadelphia Phillies are clearly opening the door to moving Joe Blanton, and recent developments in Phillies spring training may indicate that the Toronto Blue Jays could be a potential suitor.
Just this past Saturday, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was seen at the Phillies game in which Blanton was pitching. Upon Blanton's exit from the game, Anthopoulos exited the stadium.
Washington Nationals: John Lannan
After making a number of moves to improve their team this offseason, the Washington Nationals have the makings of a team that may be able to contend for an NL Wild Card position, if not the NL East crown.
Among their moves was the acquisition of Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics and Edwin Jackson via free agency.
These moves no doubt bolstered their rotation, but at the same time created a bit of a logjam. Now it seems the team is willing to part ways with John Lannan—if the price is right.