MLB Rumors: The Loudest Trade Buzz, Free-Agency Updates for Every Team

Mark MillerCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

MLB Rumors: The Loudest Trade Buzz, Free-Agency Updates for Every Team

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    MLB free agency is kicking into high gear in December with some big names finally inking their new deals and leaving the remainder of the available players to feel out the market in an effort to maximize their return.

    For all the deals that have been completed, however, there are teams left behind with packages that just weren't enough to bring in that top target.

    The free-agent market is still flooded with talent, and though these teams might be moving on to Plan B, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

    Here are some of the top signings, trades and rumors that are still making headlines for each team.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    With all the talk about the potential of Justin Upton leaving Arizona via trade this offseason, it's easy to forget about other outfield options that may just as likely be making their way out of town.

    As Steve Gilbert of MLB.com tweeted, however, the team may be just as likely to trade Jason Kubel, who had a strong 2012 campaign in his first season outside of Minnesota.

Atlanta Braves

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    The Atlanta Braves have already made one big addition to their outfield this offseason in signing B.J. Upton to a five-year contract to roam center field, but that may not be their only addition.

    The team is still seeking additional help, and as Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution has pointed out, they may be targeting Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Despite having plenty of infield options at their disposal, the Baltimore Orioles could still make some additional moves as they look to keep pace with the steadily improving AL East.

    One option that's been thrown out there is Kelly Johnson, who is no stranger to the division, having played for the Toronto Blue Jays for the past two seasons.

Boston Red Sox

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    The Boston Red Sox have been pretty active thus far in the offseason, inking Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino to lucrative deals that could help the team get back toward the top of the AL East.

    They may be looking to continue their free-agent spending in acquiring some infield help, as Jayson Stark of ESPN tweeted that they could add veteran Stephen Drew to help give some of their youngsters more time to develop.

Chicago Cubs

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    It seems like anytime trades are talked about at a league-wide level, Alfonso Soriano's name gets thrown in as a potential player on the move.

    He's played well during his tenure in Chicago, but with an unfavorable contract, you can't blame the Cubs for seeking out suitors.

    Despite the fact that the Braves are still seeking additional outfield help prior to heading into spring training, they don't appear to be interested in Soriano.

Chicago White Sox

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    Since wrapping up the final year of his contract with the Chicago White Sox, you can't blame A.J. Pierzynski if he's upset about the team's hesitance to work on a new deal as he filed for free agency.

    Given his performance in 2012 and the team's close call down the stretch in the AL Central, the White Sox are wise in their interest to re-sign Pierzynski, though they'll only do it if the price is right.

Cincinnati Reds

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    The Reds have done well to hold on to their most talented players, signing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to contract extensions before any speculation about possible departures could take shape.

    With that, the most notable free-agent-to-be on the Reds roster heading into the offseason was Scott Rolen, who has definitely seen better days.

    Despite the fact that they signed third baseman Jack Hannahan, however, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports points out that Rolen could still be an option to return to Cincinnati.

Cleveland Indians

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    With ninth-inning options always at a premium in this league, Chris Perez will likely continue to garner plenty of interest this offseason as teams weigh their bullpen options.

    He enjoyed a very strong 2012 season, saving a career-high 39 games while striking out over nine batters per nine innings.

    Cleveland has added some arms to their bullpen since the end of the season, but that still shouldn't be considered a sign that Perez could be expendable.

Colorado Rockies

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    As mentioned earlier, the Atlanta Braves will likely pursue a trade for Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler despite the fact that they're still seeking help in the outfield after signing B.J. Upton to a big contract.

    They may not be the only suitor for Fowler, however, as Danny Knobler of CBS Sports pointed out that the Seattle Mariners could be an option for Fowler if they aren't able to sign Michael Bourn.

Detroit Tigers

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    After coming dangerously close to another World Series title this past fall, the Detroit Tigers are back to the drawing board in their quest to make a repeat trip.

    They've already signed Torii Hunter and Anibal Sanchez to multiyear deals, and could they now be turning their attention to the closer role.

    Jose Valverde is a free agent, and while he could still end up back in Detroit, there's also a possibility that Rafael Soriano could be in the mix.

Houston Astros

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    With a roster chock full of youngsters, the Houston Astros will likely need a few years to develop the talent they have and hopefully contend in their new place in the AL West.

    In the meantime, the team hopes to bring Lance Berkman back to Houston as a designated hitter, though finances could get in the way of those plans.

Kansas City Royals

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    In a bold move that surprised many in the baseball world, the Kansas City Royals traded away some top prospects, including Wil Myers, in an effort to shore up their starting rotation.

    Adding James Shields as the team's ace will no doubt help their chances to contend in an AL Central that has some very beatable teams.

    If they hope to sustain any success, however, they should consider handing a contract extension to Shields prior to him entering free agency after the 2014 season.

Los Angeles Angels

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    The Los Angeles Angels made one of the biggest signings of this offseason over the weekend when they inked slugger Josh Hamilton to a five-year deal worth $125 million.

    Just a week earlier, they lost another top free-agent target when Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers.

    They'll need to continue to address starting pitching this winter, but as Jim Bowden of ESPN tweeted, the Angels will most likely pursue midlevel free agents rather than work a trade.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Throughout the past six months, we've seen the Los Angeles Dodgers make move after move to improve their roster as they look to contend for a National League title.

    After seeing so many players make their way into Dodger Stadium, the players that could be making their way out can get lost.

    But that's the fate that Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano could face, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports pointed out that they're both being shopped by the Dodgers.

Miami Marlins

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    In what has been a disappointing turn of events for the Miami Marlins and their fanbase, a number of high-profile signees have already been shipped out of town, with Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio all heading north of the border to Toronto.

    The next logical big name to send packing would be Giancarlo Stanton, and while no deal is imminent, the Texas Rangers could be a destination for Stanton with Josh Hamilton firmly out of the picture.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    The Milwaukee Brewers have been relatively quiet this offseason, though it seems a familiar face could be returning to the team's rotation in 2013.

    There haven't been many open talks with free-agent pitcher Shaun Marcum, though he has indicated that he's very willing to return to Miller Park.

Minnesota Twins

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    In another move towards completely retooling their starting rotation, the Minnesota Twins agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and was recently nontendered by the Mets.

    He'll join a rotation that could very well only have Scott Diamond returning from next season, with Kevin Correia signing last week and top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson ready to make the jump.

New York Mets

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    Many in the baseball world were left shaking their heads when the MLB winter meetings concluded, as the lack of big moves left plenty wondering what the future held.

    Much of that changed in the past week, as Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Dempster all signed deals with new teams.

    The action didn't end there, as the R.A. Dickey saga finally appears to be coming to an end with a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, pending an agreement on a contract extension.

New York Yankees

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    In terms of the open free-agent market, the New York Yankees have been relatively quiet, though they did shore up their starting rotation by re-signing both Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, and they also reached an agreement with closer Mariano Rivera.

    It might only be a matter of time, however, before the Yankees make a big splash, with Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe pointing out that the team could end up landing Michael Bourn once his price dips to a level with which they're comfortable.

Oakland Athletics

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    After a strong 2012 season saw the Oakland Athletics make their way back into postseason play, the team will continue to pursue any options available to help their cause leading into 2013.

    That could mean signing infielder Stephen Drew, who played 39 games for the A's last season. Should they not land Drew, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle points out that Jhonny Peralta could be a fallback option.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    After sending starting pitcher Vance Worley to Minnesota in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere, the Philadelphia Phillies had a hole in their starting rotation to fill and were considering a trade for Rick Porcello in an effort to do so.

    This weekend, however, the team agreed to sign John Lannan, a move that could put the Porcello rumors to bed.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    As we just mentioned, Rick Porcello was just one pitcher considered as a trade option for the Philadelphia Phillies, but they weren't the only Pennsylvania team mentioned, as the Pirates were also linked to the Tigers starter.

    Closer Joel Hanrahan would be a logical option for the Tigers to seek in return, but since they don't have interest in his services, there may not be a workable trade in the picture.

San Diego Padres

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    The San Diego Padres are falling below the radar in the Southern California baseball scene this offseason, with the Angels and Dodgers making move after move.

    We're seeing some action from San Diego, however, as Jim Bowden of ESPN has reported that the team is working on a three-year deal with Edwin Jackson, who represented one of the top starting-pitching options in this offseason's free-agent class.

San Francisco Giants

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    As one of the most noticeable players in all of sports, seeing Brian Wilson in anything other than a Giants jersey might look a bit odd.

    But that's a very real possibility this offseason, as Wilson is a free agent working on pursuing options as he looks to get back to his old ways.

    The Giants do still have him on their radar, but it seems like they'll wait for him to filter out other options before determining if there is enough mutual interest to get a deal done.

Seattle Mariners

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    The Seattle Mariners made a strong push to sign free-agent slugger Josh Hamilton this offseason, so they were no doubt disappointed to see him sign with the AL West rival Angels.

    They don't have time to look back, however, and as Mark Feinsand of New York Daily News has pointed out, the team could have a Plan B in free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    With free-agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse still on the open market, the St. Louis Cardinals have a big decision to make as they determine what to do with his place in the rotation.

    We've seen some great starting pitchers ink long-term deals that will keep them off the market for the foreseeable future, so it's no surprise that the team hopes to work out a contract extension with Adam Wainwright prior to the start of the 2013 season.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    With his name in rumors for quite some time, it wasn't necessarily a big surprise to see James Shields traded, but where he went did come somewhat out of the blue.

    Trading for Shields as the team's ace will no doubt help Kansas City's chances to contend in an AL Central that has some very beatable teams.

    For Tampa Bay, however, the Rays are getting a stable of strong prospects who should help the team continue to build contending teams in the future.

Texas Rangers

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    After seeing Josh Hamilton walk in favor of the AL West rival Angels this past week and missing out on free-agent starter Zack Greinke, the Texas Rangers need to do something to redeem their offseason heading into 2013.

    As Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe wrote, acquiring Justin Upton could go a long way in filling the void left by Hamilton, though the prospect of giving up one of their coveted infielders could prove to be too much to get a deal done.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    At this point, what else can the Toronto Blue Jays really do to improve their roster?

    They've added three All-Star pitchers in R.A. Dickey (pending extension talks), Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson and shored up their offense with Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes.

    The AL East is looking better by the minute. Seeing the standings shake out should be a lot of fun to watch in 2013.

Washington Nationals

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    In an effort to continue to build on their successes of this past season, the Washington Nationals have made a two-year contract offer to Adam LaRoche worth $25 million.

    He hasn't yet made a decision on his future, but as Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post has reported, LaRoche could end up seeing the Rangers and Orioles enter the bidding.