MLB Trade Rumors: Top Potential Landing Spots for Players on the Block

Ron JuckettContributor IIIJanuary 15, 2013

MLB Trade Rumors: Top Potential Landing Spots for Players on the Block

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    As the hot stove winds down, there are still a few players being shopped around on Major League Baseball’s trade market.

    With some good free agents still out there—such as Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano—and with a month now to go before spring training, most teams have already made all the moves they plan to before pitchers and catchers report.

    Still, there are teams actively shopping around players and other teams who were trying to get the best deal they can for what is left. It is kind of like Christmas Eve, all that is left on the racks is the clearance items and there is nothing more out back to put out.

    With that all in mind, here is a preview of where those players just might go.

Rick Porcello

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    The Detroit Tigers have been trying to trade Rick Porcello the entire offseason.

    So far, they have yet to find any takers for the 24-year-old right-handed starting pitcher.

    Porcello is still under salary control through the 2015 season. He also has started at least 27 games in each of his first four seasons.

    After being sent to the bullpen for the Tigers in the postseason, they have openly tried to move him in the hopes they can get a better option at either closer or at shortstop.

    The Tigers have reportedly talked to a number of teams about Porcello. As recently as Monday night, they had been talking with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a deal.

    The Diamondbacks, however, have seemed to back off that, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

    There still are a number of teams who could use a back-end starter in the rotation. Other options include the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs or the Seattle Mariners.

    The best bet for the Tigers would be to see if a starter gets injured during spring training and try to move him then, as the market does not want to pay what the Tigers want for him.

Justin Upton

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    After exercising his no-trade clause Friday (via Fox Sports) on a deal that would have sent the right fielder to the Seattle Mariners for a package of prospects, the Arizona Diamondbacks are right back to square one.

    Although he is signed through the 2015 season, the Diamondbacks have tried all offseason to move Upton and his contract to any team willing to pony up the prospects.

    The hot rumors through the winter meetings were on a multi-team deal—involving as many as four teams—that just never happened.

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tells us that Upton’s no-trade clause also has the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs on it as well.

    Watch the Atlanta Braves (via Buster Olney) and New York Mets (via Jon Heyman), as they are likely the next teams to go after Upton.

    A move for the Braves would make sense as they signed his brother B.J. already to play center field.

    After cutting payroll, the Mets certainly can take on Upton’s salary and they have the prospects to send back to Arizona.

    The smart money is on the Braves. If his brother wants it, than the Braves will do what they can to make it happen.

Mike Morse

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    When the Washington Nationals re-signed Adam LaRoche on a two-year deal (via MLB.com) to play first base, Mike Morse became a tradable part.

    The longer it takes the Boston Red Sox to get things squared away with Mike Napoli, the more likely it is the Red Sox offer a package (via Ken Rosenthal) for Morse.

    Morse has played a number of positions in his career. Besides first base, he has played shortstop, left field, third base, right field and designated hitter.

    Even though he is 30, Morse has only been a full-time player for two seasons. In his breakthrough season of 2011, he hit 31 home runs and drove in 95 runs.

    If the Red Sox fail to get Morse, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are also possible landing spaces.

    With a salary of $6.7 million, Tampa certainly can afford to take him on for one year before hitting free agency while the Yankees could use his versatility to play pretty much anywhere.

    The Red Sox, however, have the biggest need and would be the most anxious to put together a package for him.