MLB Trade Rumors: Hottest Speculation Around the League

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IINovember 1, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Hottest Speculation Around the League

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    The trade winds are already blowing in Major League Baseball.

    The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim traded away eight-year veteran Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals. Rather than simply decline Santana's $13 million club option for 2013, they exercised it.

    That freed the team up to then make a deal with the Royals, giving them Santana and $1 million in exchange for minor league left-handed reliever Brandon Sisk.

    It was the first big name to move this winter, and it likely will not be the last.

    Let's examine some of the bigger names that may find themselves playing on new turf in 2013.

Justin Upton

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    Run a quick Google search for "Justin Upton, trade rumors" and you'll find dozens of articles, blogs and scenarios involving the 25-year-old outfielder departing from Arizona.

    The Diamondbacks have already done some wheeling and dealing this winter, acquiring Heath Bell from the Marlins and Cliff Pennington from the A's. 

    As The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro points out, the Diamondbacks are overloaded with outfielders and may look to deal one this winter.

    Piecoro sees a scenario whereby Upton, Adam Eaton and either Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra man the outfield with A.J. Pollock as the fourth outfielder.

    Parra or Kubel could be trade bait.

    However, Upton is definitely a more attractive commodity than Kubel or Parra. Upton could bring the Diamondbacks back a much-needed quality starting pitcher, likely from a team like Texas should it lose Josh Hamilton to free agency.

    This is a situation to keep an eye on as the weeks pass by.

Andre Ethier

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    It would be one of the most unconventional moves in the business of baseball, but anything the new Dodgers ownership does right now is unprecedented. 

    They willingly took on some $270 million in payroll from the Boston Red Sox, essentially to acquire Adrian Gonzalez after having signed Andre Ethier to a six-year, $95.95 million extension.

    The team is spending money and making some good, yet questionable, moves. Trying to trade Ethier would almost make sense by not making much sense.

    The Dodgers could very well decide to bring back Shane Victorino next season to play in place of Ethier and alongside Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford.

    In that situation, despite what CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting, the Dodgers could move Ethier to fill some other holes in the lineup.

    ESPN's Buster Olney was the first to tweet about the Dodgers' willingness to trade Ethier. One would be hard-pressed to assume where the Dodgers would look to trade Ethier, but it would be foolish to rule out a trade for the Gold Glove outfielder this early in the game.

Jacoby Ellsbury

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    If nothing else, this would be an extremely bold move for the Boston Red Sox.

    Should they trade him or should they keep him for one more year? There is ample reasoning behind either school of thought.

    The Red Sox are trying to get a facelift as an organization. Trading away one of their most popular stars may not bode well for the fans.

    However, Ellsbury is a Scott Boras client, which should serve as an indication that he will go to free agency and not sign an extension peremptorily with the Boston Red Sox.

    Therefore, the team could try to milk some value out of the 2011 AL MVP runner-up.

    I hate to bring Texas' name up again, but Ellsbury could serve as a nice stopgap for the Rangers and could offer the Red Sox something along the lines of middle infield help or pitching.

Dan Haren

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    Up until the trade involving Ervin Santana, one might have thought that this could get sticky for the Angels.

    Now, one can just assume that the team will buy out Haren's $15.5 million option for $3.5 million and then exercise his option to trade him.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal had his finger on the pulse of the Angels' motives early on. Rival executives know that the Angels are aggressively shopping Haren, and one could expect a deal for him to come sooner rather than later.

    As Rosenthal points out, the Royals, Twins, Blue Jays, Padres, Red Sox and Brewers are among the clubs seeking help for their rotations. After acquiring Santana, that list could likely be shortened to not include the Royals on the Haren radar.

    This could be a very fast-moving story and one to keep a close eye on in the coming week.

Alex Rodriguez

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    So...who wants Alex Rodriguez?


    Seriously though, the New York Yankees have been quiet on the Alex Rodriguez front since the team fizzled out of the playoffs.

    The New York Daily News has Yankees manager Joe Girardi on record saying that he believes A-Rod will be back at third base for the team in 2013.

    Conversely, Keith Olbermann of had reported that the Yankees and Miami Marlins have already engaged in preliminary conversations around a deal that would send A-Rod south.

    Why wouldn't the Marlins want to shell out about $114 million over the next five years for A-Rod? Let's not forget, he also has a clause in his contract that would pay him some $30 million more for reaching homer milestones between Nos. 660 and 763.