MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking Potential Deals by Believability

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2013

MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking Potential Deals by Believability

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    With MLB trade rumors continuing to buzz following the beginning of the new year, it's hard to gauge if any of the reports have weight to them.

    Plenty of MLB clubs have either added depth, made certain players expendable or are looking to bolster their roster in hopes of making a playoff push come October.

    With the hot stove still sizzling, here are five deals/moves that have the best chances of happening this offseason.

5. Rick Porcello to Baltimore Orioles

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    Last week Rick Porcello found himself on my list of players likely to be dealt before spring training, and I'm sticking to it.

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reports that there are a couple of teams interested in the 24-year-old righty, and the Baltimore Orioles are definitely one of them.

    With Anibal Sanchez locked up in Detroit, the Tigers can afford to part ways with a back-of-the-rotation starter to add a bat and some defense—possibly J.J. Hardy, as reports.

    Porcello isn't even guaranteed a spot in Detroit's starting rotation, as ESPN's Jim Bowden tweets, and a change of scenery could do some good for the right-hander who won 10 games last season.

4. Matt Garza out of Chicago

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    Matt Garza was shutdown after 18 starts last season due to elbow problems, but with reports that he's begun throwing (h/t NBC Sports), pitching-hungry teams will likely jump on the former ALCS MVP, as the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo writes:

    Hard to read the Cubs, since they’re building for the future while also signing veteran pitchers. Garza still has to show teams in spring training that his injured elbow is OK; the Cubs would listen on a possible deal.

    It's always risky going after a pitcher who's coming off of elbow issues, but Garza likely won't require a lump sum of cash and could be a nice back-end starter.

    He's a career 3.84 ERA pitcher and has the postseason experience a playoff-ready team might require.

    Chicago could be looking to end its two-year stint with the righty, thus making him an option for multiple MLB clubs.

3. Justin Upton out of Arizona

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    With each passing day, the trade speculation surrounding Justin Upton and the Arizona Diamondbacks continues to swirl.

    It's clear that Upton's days in Arizona are numbered, and as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes, the right deal should do it:

    You get the feeling that Arizona general manager Kevin Towers is just waiting to hear the right mix of players and Upton will be gone. The Cody Ross signing doesn’t make a lot of sense unless the D-Backs are going to deal Upton or Jason Kubel.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that trade talks are "still on" for Upton, especially with teams like the Seattle Mariners looking to add a power bat.

    Rosenthal also speculates the Texas Rangers could be in the market for Upton after taking a huge power hit, with the likes of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli exiting Texas.

    Either way, I see Upton playing anywhere but Arizona this season.

2. Alfonso Soriano to Philadelphia Phillies

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    Alfonso Soriano finally leaving the Cubs en route to the Philadelphia Phillies seems extremely possible.

    The Phillies are looking to win now, and Chicago is looking to move the 36-year-old veteran outfielder.

    In fact, these two squads have already discussed a trade involving Soriano and Domonic Brown, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

    Philadelphia desperately needs a power bat and production from a corner outfielder, and with Soriano having a surprisingly decent season in the field in 2011, he could be a big part of the Phillies next season.

    Soriano boasted 32 homers and 108 RBI for the Cubbies last season and could very well bring that type of production to Philly in 2013.

1. Chris Capuano out of Los Angeles

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    Given the acquisition of Zack Greinke by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team could be looking to deal Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

    Capuano would figure to be the more prominent bait on the market, given the fact that he's a lefty and is arguably coming off the best season of his career.

    CBS Sports' R.J. White reports that the Dodgers have already been in talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding the 34-year-old lefty, so we know there's some weight to this rumor.

    With the Dodgers being anchored by a pitching staff of Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, don't be surprised to see Capuano move in the near future.

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