MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Big Buyers in the Offseason Trade Market
While a lot of the focus will be on the free-agency market, some of the biggest names that change teams this winter may actually move through the MLB trade market.
Some teams will turn to these players because they can not fill the same need via the free-agency market. Trading for these players will all cost top prospects and the teams will need to be able to afford their salary.
When all things are considered, only a few MLB teams will be able to be big buyers in the offseason trade market.
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The Texas Rangers could be poised to be the biggest buyer on the trade market this winter. With two elite shortstops, the Rangers have arguably one of the best trade chips of any buyer on the market.
Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar could help the Rangers land Justin Upton this winter, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that the Rangers do not want to deal either of them for him. That could change, or the Rangers could also look to other deals involving one of those two players.
Martin Perez was considered to be a trade chip this winter when the Rangers were going after Zack Greinke (h/t Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports). It is entirely possible that the Rangers could be open to dealing Perez as a part of a blockbuster deal this weekend.
Toronto Blue Jays
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Following the 2012 MLB Trade Deadline, Bleacher Report's Lead Prospect Writer Mike Rosenbaum ranked the Toronto Blue Jays farm system as the second best in the game.
Toronto could look to put that depth to good use this winter. Travis D'Arnaud is ready for the majors, which makes current catcher J.P. Arencibia expendable.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has noted that the Blue Jays are looking for pitching this winter. The Blue Jays could trade some of their young talent to bring in a top of the line starter.
Although they have not been connected to the New York Mets or R.A. Dickey, the Blue Jays match up well with the Mets. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets will be looking for a catcher and an outfielder in return for Dickey.
The Blue Jays could put together a package involving J.P. Arencibia, Travis D'Arnaud or Anthony Gose in order to acquire Dickey.
The Seattle Mariners are in a great position to try and make a big splash in the trade market this winter. With three outstanding pitching prospects, the Mariners could afford to move one in a mega-deal.
Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton all have the potential to be top-of-the-rotation starters and could all be centerpieces of a big deal.
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times has mentioned that Jacoby Ellsbury and Justin Upton could both be trade targets for the Mariners this winter. Either of those moves could really help the Mariners turn the corner and become a contender, but it will cost them a few solid prospects.
Tampa Bay Rays
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While one Upton brother may be on his way out of Tampa Bay, another one could be headed there. Marc Tomkin of the Tampa Bay Times has mentioned that the Rays are interested in trading for Justin Upton.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are looking for a starting pitcher if they deal Upton and they will have a number of options if they speak with the Rays (h/t Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic).
Jeremy Hellickson has been drawing a lot of interested this winter and James Shields has seen his name come up as well (h/t Jon Heyman of CBS Sports). Both of these starters could easily be a centerpiece of a deal for Upton.
Even if the Rays do not trade for Upton, there are a number of other players available on the trade market that can help them upgrade at one of their areas of need.
Boston Red Sox
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Recent news has come out that Boston Red Sox are not looking to deal Jacoby Ellsbury this winter (h/t Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports). There do seem to be some indications that the Red Sox are looking to be buyers over the winter.
Boston has already expressed an interest in trading for both Shin-Soo Choo and Justin Masterson (h/t Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports). Considering the openings in both the Red Sox outfield and starting rotation, picking them both up in one deal would be an outstanding opportunity.
The Red Sox have one of the game's best trade chips in Xander Bogaerts, but they would need to be blown away to deal him. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Matt Barnes could also be players that help the Red Sox put together a blockbuster deal.