MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz Post-World Series

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IINovember 2, 2012

MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz Post-World Series

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    Major League Baseball is in full offseason mode and there is a lot of buzz surrounding multiple players.

    Teams like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies have their wallets open (as always) and will likely spend big.

    Then there are the possible trade candidates with Alex Rodriguez and Justin Upton mentioned the most.

    So, what is the latest buzz?

    Here's a look at the latest rumors around baseball.

Alex Rodriguez Likely Not Going Anywhere

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    According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, nobody has called the Yankees about Alex Rodriguez.

    Not one team, a Yankees official told USA TODAY Sports, has called the club asking about Rodriguez. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Yankees do not publicly discuss trade possibilities.

    Then again, as a person familiar with Rodriguez's thinking said, there is not one team for which Rodriguez is willing to waive his full no-trade clause.

    One of the lasting memories of Rodriguez from this season is his reduced role during the postseason. During Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS, Rodriguez was benched in favor of Eric Chavez.

    And can you really blame manager Joe Girardi for doing so? He was 3-for-25 with no home runs and no RBI in the 2012 playoffs.

    However, despite his postseason struggles, Rodriguez's contract is too rich for the blood of most teams. There are still five years and $114 million left on it.

    While many Yankee fans would be more than happy to see A-Rod leave the Bronx, it's not likely to happen. He currently has the label of the most immovable contract in baseball.

Torii Hunter Tied to Vernon Wells?

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    Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported that there has been little progress between the Los Angeles Angels and outfielder Torii Hunter.

    While the Angels would like to have Hunter back, it appears Vernon Wells' contract seems to be a roadblock. DiGiovanna wrote:

    Though owner Arte Moreno and General Manager Jerry Dipoto have said they’d love to have Hunter back, there appears to be a major obstacle, in the form of $42 million the Angels owe Vernon Wells for the next two years.

    If Dipoto can find some way to trade the underachieving Wells—a tall task considering Wells’ salary and lack of production over the last two years—it would probably clear enough payroll to re-sign Hunter for one or two years.

    For the Angels, re-signing Hunter looks impossible, especially if the team re-signs Zack Greinke.

    However, as DiGiovanna also reported, in July Hunter said he would only consider three other teams if he didn't re-sign with the Angels. Those teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and the Yankees.

    The move to the Dodgers isn't likely to happen, especially considering how their outfield is full. The Rangers and Yankees could happen, depending on the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes.

What Will the Angels Do in Terms of Pitching?

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    The Angels are going to be major players on the pitching market, especially for Greinke.

    According to another report by Mike DiGiovanna, Dan Haren said he expects he will be moved:

    I have had just a bit of dialogue with the Angels about my situation, but I’m kind of getting the feeling that I'll be traded. I have no specifics on teams, but that's the vibe I'm getting. It's a little bit disappointing that I won't get to pick where I want to go, but I'm the one who signed on for the option year.

    If Haren does get traded, that leaves the Angels having to put all of their chips on the table in an effort to re-sign Greinke.

    The Red Sox are rumored to be interested in trading for Haren.

    However, what if Greinke signs elsewhere? That could put the Angels in a major conundrum.

    Fangraphs writer Jeff Sullivan suggested the Angels should hold onto Haren, just in case:

    If the Angels were to eventually re-sign Greinke, odds are there would still be teams interested in trading for Haren. Starting pitching is always in demand, Haren would be a short-term commitment, and he has very recently pitched like he belongs at the front of a rotation. If Greinke were to end up somewhere else, though, the Angels would have Haren as a fallback. They’d have Haren for, essentially, a year and $12 million.

    Teams will be interested in trading for Haren, if that's what the Angels want to do. But, if they lose out on both, their rotation has issues after C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver.

    The hated Texas Rangers are also rumored to be pursuing Greinke. If the Rangers get Greinke, then the sting will be even worse, especially if Haren is gone as well.

Josh Hamilton to Milwaukee?

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    Josh Hamilton to the Milwaukee Brewers sounds weird just thinking about it.

    However, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Brewers are rumored to be highly interested in the free agent:

    The Brewers believe Milwaukee is a viable market for Hamilton, and it doesn't hurt that their hitting coach is Johnny Narron, who is very close to Hamilton from their days together in Cincinnati and Texas. Narron was Hamilton's original "life coach'' with the Reds and Rangers.

    This would be big news to the sports world if Hamilton signs with the Brewers. Heyman wrote: 

    Milwaukee might have a tough time competing financially if one of the most major markets becomes involved. But at least the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers aren't expected to play here, and the incumbent Rangers aren't going to make an early offer, so the Brewers' chances could be better than one might think.

    However, Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports believes Hamilton will ultimately sign with the Atlanta Braves.

    That would be a move that would make more sense as the Braves have a hole in left field with Martin Prado moving to third base.

Cubs Looking at Bringing Back Ryan Dempster

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    The Chicago Cubs are interested in bringing back starting pitcher Ryan Dempster.

    That move would shock many as the Cubs traded Dempster to the Rangers before the trade deadline.

    While multiple teams will show interest in Dempster this offseason, it would be interesting to see him return to Chicago.

    The Cubs are in obvious need of leadership in their rotation, and Dempster can provide that.

Phillies Interested in Michael Bourn

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    Outside of Greinke and Hamilton, Michael Bourn may be the hottest free agent on the market this year.

    And, the deep-pocketed Philadelphia Phillies are looking at making a run at him.

    Bourn will likely command $100 million in free agency, according to Jim Salisbury of

    He hired high-powered agent Scott Boras before the 2011 season to aid in that quest. The Phillies are already deep in $100 million contracts and will probably be reluctant to go that high for a "legs" player who turns 30 next month.

    Still, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Phillies invest in a guy like Bourn, especially if that means the Braves can't re-sign him.

Rafael Soriano Seeking Four Years

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    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Rafael Soriano opted out of his deal after being told by his agent that he could get $15 million a year on the open market.

    "I'm not surprised," (Yankees president Randy) Levine said. "We really like Raffy. But Scott Boras told the player he could get $60 million for four years. Let's see if he can do that. That would make it understandable why he would opt out. I wish Sori well."

    Boras disputed that he ever named a total price, saying Levine asked a few times for a number he could "take to Hal," but that he declined to do so. Boras said he only suggested that the per-year number would have to be above $14 million since he's opting out of the $14 million but that he didn't talk about years.

    Can Soriano get more than $14 million per year on the open market?

    Jonathan Papelbon signed a deal with the Phillies for four years and $50 million prior to last season. Mariano Rivera currently makes $15 million a year.

    Is Soriano worth that much?

    Only time will tell.