As the offseason begins, the first order of business is for teams to decide whether or not to pick up team options on their eligible players.
A number of those decisions have already been made, but perhaps the most intriguing ones lie with a pair of arms in Los Angeles, where the Angels have to decide what to do with right-handers Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, "it will be an upset" if the team does not make at least one trade, and by the end of the week, things will be decided one way or another.
Reportedly the team has until Wednesday to accept or reject their $13 million option on Santana, and until Friday to decide what to do with their $15.5 million option on Haren.
Neither pitcher was particularly impressive in 2012, with Santana going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA over 30 starts, and Haren only slightly better at 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA.
However, both have impressive track records of success, and with a number of teams seeking pitching, the Angels should be able to strike a deal to move one or both of them before the week is up. Here's a look at five teams who could be a perfect fit.
It would likely mean eating some of their salary, but the Royals desperately need veteran pitching atop a rotation that has undoubtedly held them back the past few seasons.
Santana is a bit of a wild card, and after swinging and missing in a similar situation with Jonathan Sanchez last season, Haren would appear to make more sense for the team. Also, Haren is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in six career starts at Kauffman Stadium.
If the Angels were to take on, say $5.5 million of Haren's contract, they could probably get a pair of Kansas City's second tier prospects.
The Padres showed they are committed to winning soon, when they brought back Huston Street and Carlos Quentin and opted to hold onto Chase Headley. Their lineup has potential to be a plus, but the rotation needs some work.
Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard will be back, but beyond that, the team has three open rotation spots for the upcoming season.
With a deep farm system of young pitching talent, the Padres could likely get the Angels to take on a good deal of either pitchers salary, in an effort to get a better prospect or prospects in the deal. Both pitchers could enjoy a bounce back season in Petco Park, with Haren in particular capable of again ranking among the best arms in the league.
The Blue Jays were forced to piece together a rotation last season when injury struck, and while they should have plenty of depth with guys coming back from injury, they are still far from having a set rotation moving forward.
Who Will The Angels Trade?
Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero and Henderson Alvarez figure to have rotation spots locked up, while Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchinson and Dustin McGowan are all recovering from various surgeries.
Like the Padres, the Blue Jays have an incredibly deep minor league system, and should be able to convince the Angels to take on a good deal of either pitcher's contract for a chance at upgrading the prospect package they receive in return.
The Dodgers are a bit of a long shot here, as they may not want to commit to either of these pitchers before taking a serious run at Zack Greinke this offseason.
There is no doubt the team is an option for anyone and everyone capable of helping the team, and the contracts of both pitchers likely won't be an issue.
If the Angels are set on not eating any of either pitcher's salary, the Dodgers may emerge as front-runners with their willingness to spend and need for a starting pitcher.
It's truly incredible that the Orioles made it as far as they did, given how much flux there was in their rotation for the entire season.
In total, 12 different pitchers started a game in Baltimore, and more telling was the fact that eight different pitchers started double-digit games.
Like at the deadline, the Orioles won't want to mortgage any of their future pieces to land one of these guys, but there is no doubt they have a need at starting pitcher and will at least kick the tires.