MLB Trade/Free Agent Rumors: 8 Hot Deals Still on the Table

Dan TylickiAnalyst IMarch 14, 2012

MLB Trade/Free Agent Rumors: 8 Hot Deals Still on the Table

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    With only a couple of weeks left until the 2012 MLB season starts, teams have their lineups mostly set. Sure, there are position battles and fights to make the 25-man roster, but most teams have a good idea what their lineup will look like.

    As is the case any other time of the year, there are trade rumors floating around, as well as signing rumors. Players like Roy Oswalt and Johnny Damon are shockingly still free agents, while other players remain on the trading block even though contracts have been finalized for currently signed players.

    Here are eight deals that remain on the table this spring and could happen before the season starts.

Roy Oswalt to Cardinals

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    There's not much discussion about this one directly, but there is evidence that this deal could very much happen. Roy Oswalt has said he's open to pitching anywhere, but he wants to pitch for a contender, and the Cardinals were one of the front runners this offseason.

    However, with a bulging disc in his neck knocking out Chris Carpenter indefinitely, the Cardinals could be considering bringing in Oswalt. He could replace Carpenter until he's ready to come back, then perhaps Jake Westbrook would be on the trading block or converted to a spot starter.

    The Cardinals working with Carpenter slowly is what makes me think this could happen. They seem to be entirely fine with him missing some of the regular season if he needs to.

Jacob Turner for John Lannan

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    For most of the offseason, Detroit Tigers pitcher Jacob Turner was a name that made some small waves in trade circuits, with the end result being that management was not willing to trade him, unless it was for the right price, according to Buster Olney.

    What would that price be? Based on reports from this week, that pitcher could be John Lannan. While the Tigers haven't talked about him yet, they are believed to be focused on him.

    The trade likely wouldn't be just the two players, but as the season gets closer that can be ironed out.

Gavin Floyd to Blue Jays

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    Gavin Floyd has been the subject of so many trade rumors this offseason—despite GM Ken Williams saying he's going to stay put—that I almost worry that it will affect his game. The latest one involving the Toronto Blue Jays actually seems to have some traction.

    According to Jon Morosi, the Blue Jays have scouted and had talks about Floyd quite recently. He could fit in well behind Romero and Morrow, but what the Blue Jays would give to the White Sox is unknown, as it could be prospects or another major league player.

Gerardo Parra to Nationals

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    I've talked about Gerardo Parra and his being stuck in the fourth outfielder spot in Arizona plenty, as everyone else has. As a result, trade rumors are going to be prevalent.

    The latest, and one that makes the most sense, is Parra going to the Washington Nationals. According to Danny Knobler, the Nats need a center fielder. While any trade would be independent of the Lannan scenario above, it could easily help both teams.

Kyle McClellan to Orioles

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    Let's say that my Roy Oswalt note earlier actually pans out, or that Chris Carpenter is back in business rather quickly. This makes starter Kyle McClellan expendable and available for trade.

    The Orioles have shown interest in him already, and with spring training underway they are looking at him yet again.

    The O's need starting pitching and the Cardinals don't, so this is a hot deal that's actually tough not to see happening.

Ivan Rodriguez to Diamondbacks

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    The market has not been good for veterans this year, and Ivan Rodriguez is just one of many to be stuck without a team. The Mets and Rays have said they are not interested, so where could the future Hall of Famer end up?

    One team that has popped up occasionally is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D'Backs have Miguel Montero already, but the backup spot could be open for a guy who certainly wants to have 3,000 career hits, though he does want real playing time.

    If nothing else, he's younger than backup Henry Blanco.

Jorge Soler to Cubs

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    Usually when a Cuban prospect is being talked about, either he is entirely under the radar or a big number of teams are talking about him.

    In Jorge Soler's case, it's the latter, but most admit he'll join one team.

    Despite interest from the Boston Red Sox and other teams, it's generally expected that Soler will sign with the Chicago Cubs. The 20-year-old is still raw, but is an ideal fit for a rebuilding franchise, such as the Cubs.

Arthur Rhodes/Mike Gonzalez to Chicago White Sox

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    The White Sox do not seem to like how their bullpen is set up now, especially on the left-handed side. Why else would they be talking to veterans (one over 40)?

    The White Sox have expressed interest in both Arthur Rhodes and Mike Gonzalez, two lefties with opposite situations. Rhodes has had better numbers of late, but he is 42. Gonzalez, meanwhile, had a bad 2011 but the rest of his career has been fine.

    Either could be a decent fit.