Thursday was certainly an active day for MLB free agents.
With many of the top-tier free agents off the board, the remaining available players could go in rapid succession, now that the financial bar has been set.
The trade market is likely to see more activity too with many of the coveted free agents now off the board.
Here are the top 25 free agents and trade targets currently available.
The criteria for trade targets are rumors that have widely circulated via verified sources.
We'll also focus on the most recent rumors for each player as well.
Free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston would love to return to the New York Mets, but only if a multiyear contract can be worked out.
Hairston told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he expects to sign soon.
Things are starting to pick up now that the market is settling in. Still unsure where I'll sign, though. There are a lot of trades happening around the league, so it's possible that interest may rise in the next few days. My agent has been in contact with Sandy [Alderson], so he is aware I want a multiyear deal.
The Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are the other four interested teams.
Free-agent first baseman Carlos Pena hasn't received a lot of love so far this offseason.
Unless you happen to be a fan of his Christmas decorating skills.
Pena is coming off a rough season in which he hit just .197 for the Tampa Bay Rays with a career-high 182 strikeouts.
It's pretty much a given that Pena will have to accept a contract considerably lower than the $7.5 million he received last season from the Rays.
Free-agent second baseman Kelly Johnson is another name that's been practically invisible this offseason.
In fact, when doing a quick Google search for any news on Johnson during the past week, he's not even mentioned in the first five pages.
Johnson has been a complete enigma since a breakout season in 2010, hitting just .225 last season for the Toronto Blue Jays.
With both Sean Burnett and Randy Choate off the table for left-handed relievers, J.P. Howell is starting to draw interest.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Washington Nationals could be targeting Howell to replace Burnett.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Howell has indicated he'd like to return to the Tampa Bay Rays as well.
Howell posted a 3.04 ERA in 55 appearances for the Rays last season, holding left-handed hitters to just a .200 batting average.
Considering the contributions made by Raul Ibanez for the New York Yankees in the regular season and playoffs, it's hard to imagine he'll be unemployed for much longer.
Ibanez chipped in with 19 home runs and 62 RBI during the regular season and then followed up with a spectacular ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, hitting .444 with two huge home runs.
There's still a possibility that Ibanez could return to the Bronx, and two of his former teams—the Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners—have expressed interest as well, according to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.
Ibanez showed that at 40 years old he's got some life left in the bat—he won't stay unemployed much longer.
Other than Stephen Drew, there are very few options left on the free-agent market for shortstops. It could help pave the way for Japanese star Hiroyuki Nakajima.
Nakajima owns a career .310 average and .856 OPS during his time in Japan. He had drawn interest from the Oakland Athletics at one point, according to CBSSports.com. However, interest overall has been tepid at best.
The maddening inconsistency of starting pitcher Francisco Liriano has likely kept him from landing a job thus far this offseason.
The Minnesota Twins had interest in bringing Liriano back, but LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reports that the talks between the two sides have apparently been stalled. The Twins made an initial offer that Liriano didn't find attractive.
That's going to be the problem for Liriano this winter, however. Due to his Jekyll and Hyde-type stretches on the mound, teams are going to be wary of offering anything more than a one-year deal.
He'd better get used to it.
Injuries to the Toronto Blue Jays starters last year gave Carlos Villanueva a chance to show his stuff in the rotation last year.
Villanueva posted a 5-7 record and 4.50 ERA in 16 starts last year for the Jays. Whether or not it was enough to convince other teams that he can be a viable option in their rotation is another story.
Villanueva's phone thus far has remained silent—very little chatter concerning him has been seen of late.
We keep hearing that a deal between the New York Yankees and Ichiro Suzuki is imminent.
However, he's still without a contract.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday that the Yankees and Suzuki are closing in on a deal, possibly for one year with an option, one year with a vesting option or two years outright.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported nearly the exact same on Wednesday as well.
On Thursday, the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo! Sports) reported that the Yankees were finalizing a deal for Suzuki that would guarantee the outfielder $12-13 million.
It's the right fit—Suzuki hit .322 during the regular season and was their most consistent hitter in the postseason as well.
Now that Josh Hamilton has joined the Los Angeles Angels, the market for the services of free-agent outfielder Cody Ross will likely become a bit more brisk.
Even the Atlanta Braves could view Ross as their option in left field, allowing Martin Prado to take over at third base full time.
Ross hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI for the Boston Red Sox, including a .921 OPS at Fenway Park.
In the past 10 days, Russell Martin and Mike Napoli have both signed contracts with new teams, leaving free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski alone at the top of the heap.
According to FOXSports.com, the Texas Rangers are the latest team to show interest—certainly understandable given the fact they've lost three key offensive pieces in the past week.
Free-agent starting pitcher Shaun Marcum has interest in returning to the Milwaukee Brewers, but the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual.
Marcum told Jim Bowden of ESPN Radio that he hadn't closed the door on the idea of returning to Milwaukee.
However, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin struck a bit of a different tone when he spoke to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
I haven't given it much thought.
We haven't talked to his agent (Rex Gary). It's nice to know he'd consider (returning), but we haven't talked about it. With most free agents, we give them the chance to go out and test the market.
We like Shaun; he pitched well for us. But I always thought he'd engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will.
In the past week, the market has been quiet for Marcum otherwise.
Free-agent reliever Mike Adams may be returning from surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome, but he's still drawing plenty of interest.
Adams was recently linked to the Milwaukee Brewers. General manager Doug Melvin has spoken to Adams' agents, but the talks are preliminary at this point.
Adams would replace Francisco Rodriguez in the setup role for closer John Axford.
Lance Berkman played in 32 games last season—it's a safe bet he doesn't want to end his career on a sour note.
The Houston Astros would be the perfect way for Berkman to make sure he can ride off into the sunset in a positive way.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Berkman is still the top candidate to become the designated hitter when Houston moves to the American League West next season.
The issue at this point appears to be money. However, if the two sides can find middle ground, Berkman will get another chance to write a better ending for his career.
With more and more of the elite pitchers signing contracts, it's quite possible the market could start to recognize the fact that Edwin Jackson is actually a free agent.
Judging from the complete lack of interest in recent weeks, that certainly seemed to be the case.
Jackson encountered a tough market last offseason when he reportedly demanded a five-year, $60 million contract, according to ESPN New York.
The market is clearly just as tough this offseason as well.
This free-agent southpaw pitcher won the first postseason game for the Baltimore Orioles by any pitcher in 15 years.
That fact hasn't helped him sign a new contract, however.
Joe Saunders is the top left-handed pitcher remaining on the free-agent market. The Orioles have expressed interest in re-signing Saunders, but no deal has been reached as of yet.
It almost seems that the market for free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew is down to just one team.
In the past week, the only team linked to Drew has been his former team, the Oakland Athletics.
According to Drew's agent, Scott Boras, other teams have interest, but only the A's appear to be talking at this point.
Boras gave no indication whom the other interested parties are, and there has been little buzz about Drew otherwise.
The Arizona Diamondbacks engaged in a three-team, nine-player trade earlier this week, picking up shortstop Didi Gregorius and southpaw reliever Tony Sipp.
However, Justin Upton is still there, despite all of the talk this offseason.
After the trade was completed, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that it was "highly unlikely" that Upton would be dealt.
Highly unlikely is not a definite no.
The Texas Rangers could circle back and initiate talks now that they've lost Josh Hamilton, so it's highly unlikely that rumors concerning Upton won't end anytime soon.
In the past week, free-agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse had been linked to the Boston Red Sox. Now that they've inked Ryan Dempster, that is now an unlikely scenario.
Lohse is now one of the top pitchers left in free agency, so the market for his services will likely become more brisk.
Just last week, Lohse was unsure about his future, asked about it by reporters while on the golf course in California.
I had to tell them, ‘I got nothing.' I think there will be a clearer picture this week. Every year, you have things begin at this normal pace and the winter meetings kind of speed things up. The market is what it is. I have to wait on it.
With Zack Greinke and Dempster now signed, Lohse should be getting his answer soon.
This past week, free-agent starter R.A. Dickey was very honest about the current state of negotiations between himself and the New York Mets.
Things are emotional for me. When people say it’s business, it’s not personal, that just means it’s not personal for them. It can be personal for me. I’m hoping that it’s going to end up in a good place, but you can’t help in the back of your mind think that it may not, and that’s sad. All along, this has been the place that I’ve been—and that’s not just the company line, I mean I feel a real connection to this place. But at the same time, you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
So that’s where we are.
According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Texas Rangers could be a team willing to acquire Dickey.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been linked to Dickey in the past as well. The Jays do have what the Mets want—another catcher to team with Josh Thole.
If the Washington Nationals and free agent Adam LaRoche can find some common ground in terms of length of contract, he won't be on this list very long.
The sticking point comes down to one year—LaRoche wants three years, the Nats are only offering two.
Thus far, the two haven't found common ground.
However, the Nationals appear to be confident a deal can be struck.
However, with Josh Hamilton now with the Los Angeles Angels, is it possible the Texas Rangers could swoop in and give LaRoche the third year he covets?
It's certainly a possibility.
Free-agent closer Rafael Soriano has found the going rough thus far this offseason.
So rough, in fact, that the market for his services has been virtually nonexistent.
Paul Swydan of FanGraphs.com recently wrote an article for ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) in which he outlined the five teams most likely to sign Soriano this winter.
Josh Slagter of mlive.com wrote that the Detroit Tigers should offer Soriano a one-year, $15 million contract and put off their Bruce Rondon experiment for one more year.
With no offers pouring in, Soriano might be wise to consider it.
Free-agent right fielder Nick Swisher is apparently enjoying his life away from baseball this offseason.
He should be, considering he's a wanted man.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Swisher is nowhere close to making any kind of decision on his future. Miller said that at least three teams were in the mix.
It could be more than that now.
Swisher is taking his act on the road, visiting with several teams next week. At this point, considering the few options left for quality hitters, Swisher can afford to take his time.
Free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn has yet to land a job this offseason. However, with Josh Hamilton now off the market, Bourn could find himself the topic of conversation among several teams in the coming weeks.
Richard Justice of MLB.com believes that Bourn could land a nice deal with a surprise team much like Hamilton did.
The early market for Bourn's services included teams like the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds. All of those teams went with other options instead.
Justice is right, Bourn's talents will be a boon for any team that acquires him.
It's just not real clear which team it will be.
On Thursday, the Internet blew up with reports of free-agent starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez signing a five-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Not so fast.
The Cubs denied a deal had been completed, and Jon Heyman of CBSports.com said that the Detroit Tigers were still in play.
Sanchez was taking the offer he received from the Cubs—five years and $75 million—back to the Tigers in order to give them a chance to match the offer.
It seems likely that Sanchez will be employed sometime in the next 24 hours.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.