MLB Rumors: Dispelling the 7 Major Myths of the Moment

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2012

MLB Rumors: Dispelling the 7 Major Myths of the Moment

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    The MLB offseason is a flurry of trade rumors and predictions on where top free agents will land, with reports sometimes changing on a daily basis.

    As we approach the winter meetings, it's been a relatively quiet offseason so far, aside from the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster deal and the recent signing of B.J. Upton with the Braves, but things are sure to heat up at the meetings in Nashville next week.

    What follows is a look at the seven biggest free-agent and trade-rumor myths of the moment and why they will prove to be false.

Rumor: Russell Martin Is a Sure Thing to Return as Yankees' Catcher in 2013

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    Despite a down season in which he hit .211/.311/.403 with 21 home runs and 53 RBI, the Yankees have expressed some interest in re-signing catcher Russell Martin for the coming season (h/t NY Daily News).

    According to Jon Heyman, there are reportedly four teams interested in Martin, with the Pirates seen as the biggest competition for the Yankees' hopes of re-signing him and the Rangers and Mariners also a possibility.

    However, Martin is reportedly seeking a four-year deal with an annual salary of $9-10 million according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, and that is likely more than the Yankees will be willing to spend on him. 

Rumor: The Twins Are Eyeing a Reunion with Francisco Liriano

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    Francisco Liriano spent an up-and-down first eight years of his career with the Twins, and that run seemingly came to an end when he was traded to the White Sox at the deadline last season.

    Coming off a season that saw him demoted to the bullpen at one point and 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA over a six-start span at another point, he's one of the more low-risk, high-reward options on the market.

    It was reported by Chris Cwik of CBSSports on Wednesday that the Twins are interested in bringing Liriano back this offseason, but Darren Wolfson of ESPN Twin Cities clarified that level of interest when he reported that Liriano is one of roughly 20 starting pitchers that the Twins have touched base with at this point and nothing more. 

Rumor: Giancarlo Stanton Will Be the Next Marlins Player Traded

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    Following their blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, speculation began on who the Marlins could trade next, with 23-year-old Giancarlo Stanton no doubt the most intriguing trade chip.

    According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles and Cubs are among a number of teams who have inquired on Stanton.

    However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports wrote on Tuesday that the Marlins are not entertaining trades for Stanton and that he's not going anywhere this winter.

Rumor: Anibal Sanchez Won't Get His Six-Year, $90 Million Asking Price

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    Following a strong run with the Tigers to close out the season, Anibal Sanchez is reportedly seeking a six-year, $90 million contract, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

    Morosi goes on to compare that asking price to the five-year, $77.5 million deal that C.J. Wilson signed with the Angels last season, and he was coming off a much better season at the time.

    That said, one MLB executive said, "He's crazy. And he's probably going to get it," in response to Sanchez's contract demand (h/t Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports). The Tigers would love to bring him back, and it's looking more and more like they may need to meet his asking price to do it.

Rumor: Dexter Fowler Will Be Traded by the Colorado Rockies

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    The Rockies had one of the best offenses in the National League last season, but they lost 98 games as a result of having the worst pitching staff (5.22 ERA) in all of baseball.

    With breakout slugger Tyler Colvin slated to be a backup behind an outfield of Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, the team could look to move an outfielder this offseason in exchange for some viable pitching.

    While they are not actively shopping him, the team is willing to listen to offers on Fowler (h/t, who is coming off a breakout season of his own in which he hit .300 with an .863 OPS. 

    Listen as they may, the Rockies' asking price is reportedly "absurd" for Fowler, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, and as a result, he's likely not going anywhere.

Rumor: Zack Greinke Will Return to the Los Angeles Angels

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    Earlier in the offseason, Danny Knobler of CBSSports reported that the Angels' top offseason priority was re-signing Zack Greinke following the departure of Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

    After trading three of their top prospects to acquire him for the stretch run last season, and with two rotation spots to fill, it only made sense that the team would go hard after Greinke.

    However, on Tuesday, Knobler wrote that the Angels are now unlikely to bring the right-hander back. With Greinke potentially headed for a record-breaking contract, the Angels appear ready to turn their attention to the market's other arms.

Rumor: Josh Hamilton Will Not Return to the Rangers

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    When Josh Hamilton's 2012 season ended with an 0-for-4, two-strikeout performance in their one-game Wild Card playoff with the Orioles, the Rangers fans let him hear it with a chorus of boos (h/t USA Today).

    It appeared as though his time with the Rangers had come to an end on a low note, as the team was ready to let someone else spend big on him and move on without him.

    However, to this point, no one has stepped forward as a front-runner to sign him, and according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, the Rangers are now showing interest in bringing him back.