Every winter we anxiously watch our Twitter news feeds and wait for breaking news from the hot stove. (Or at least I do.) We know that even though there are some very smart people making predictions about who will end up where, nothing is certain until the contract is signed.
Because of that uncertainty, a lot of rumors fly around, and, quite frankly, some of them are ridiculous.
Teams express interest in players all the time, even though it is rather obvious that it would be a bad match.
Here are six of the more ridiculous rumors that have been floating around baseball this year, in no particular order.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Philadelphia Phillies have Josh Hamilton as a fallback option if they cannot grab B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn.
If the Phillies are really thinking about Hamilton, I would be utterly surprised.
This team is going to be paying some large contracts over the next few years. Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are locked down for the long term.
It does not make any sense whatsoever to add a 31-year-old who is looking for one of the biggest contracts in baseball history. If the Phillies do something like this, they will restrict even more of their money on a roster that is only going to get older and less productive.
Zack Greinke is easily the premier starting pitcher on the market this winter, especially now that Hiroki Kuroda has re-signed with the New York Yankees. Therefore, it does make sense that a lot of teams have interest in him.
However, Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reported that the Washington Nationals were in the hunt as well.
That is definitely not the best use of their resources.
The Nationals dominated the National League last season behind their starting pitching. The only particular piece of that rotation they might not have back would be free agent Edwin Jackson, but the point remains that starting pitching is their strength.
In general, if they're going to spend a lot of money, they should invest in a hitter. Their lineup was solid as well, but if Adam LaRoche doesn't come back, the money would be better spent there.
I understand that the Arizona Diamondbacks were frustrated with Justin Upton's performance last season. He hit only .280 with 17 home runs, 67 RBI and 18 stolen bases.
However, he is 25 years old, and when you look at him as an athlete, he has a world of potential. In fact, we saw some of that potential in 2011 when he hit .289 with 31 home runs, 88 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
One down season as a 25-year-old should not sour the Diamondbacks on Upton.
Even though they might end up trying to trade him yet, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, this talk is almost dead.
All I can say is that the Diamondbacks are finally talking sense.
Adam LaRoche had a great 2012 season with the Washington Nationals, and after hitting 33 home runs with 100 RBI, it makes sense that many teams would want him in the middle of their lineups.
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported that the Texas Rangers are interested in LaRoche as they are "preparing for life without superstar free agent Josh Hamilton."
However, when you really think about it, this move doesn't make sense whatsoever for the Rangers.
They currently have one of the best corner infield prospects in baseball ready to contribute at the major league level. Mike Olt can play first or third, but with Adrian Beltre holding down the hot corner at an All-Star level, Olt obviously fits in better at first.
Again, just like the Washington Nationals, the Rangers should not pile on more talent in an area of strength. They need to account for their starting pitching, which definitely has more room for improvement than their lineup.
Michael Bourn is one of the fastest men in baseball and is obviously an asset to have at the top of almost any lineup.
However, when Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Boston Red Sox were interested in Bourn, some question marks should have popped up.
First of all, the top of the Boston lineup is already set. Jacoby Ellsbury, assuming he isn't traded, will return to the leadoff position, with All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia hitting behind him.
Defensively, it would not be as much of an issue, because Bourn could definitely make the transition to left or right field.
Regardless, given Boston's current lineup, this would not be the best investment.
Mike Napoli is generally the type of hitter I would want to go to a team like the Seattle Mariners. (Jon Heyman of CBS Sports mentioned they were interested.) For a team that has trouble generating offense, having a solid home-run hitter could help turn around their attack.
However, any deal with Napoli would be a multiyear offer, and it would not be good to stifle prospect Mike Zunino in the minor leagues for that long.
Zunino was drafted last summer out of the University of Florida and made it all the way to Double-A with only 44 games of professional experience under his belt.
In those 44 games, he hit a combined .360 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI.
It makes sense to leave the pathway open for him and not make a long-term commitment to a guy who seems to want to play catcher as well.
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