Updating the Latest Free Agent/Trade Rumors for Every MLB Team

Ely SussmanCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2013

Updating the Latest Free Agent/Trade Rumors for Every MLB Team

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    Some MLB teams still seek significant additions, while a few want to unload surplus players. But in all 30 cases, Bleacher Report has compiled rumors hinting toward their next moves.

    It's tougher to read the free-agent and trade markets at this late stage of the offseason. With fewer options available, subtle comments and transactions often indicate who has serious interest.

    This update presents the latest rumblings from around the league.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Jason Kubel isn't going anywhere.

    After moving Justin Upton in a seven-player blockbuster, the Arizona Diamondbacks no longer have as much of an outfield surplus.

    According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, general manager Kevin Towers confirmed that Kubel will remain in the desert. He's entering the final guaranteed year of his contract.

    The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox kicked the tires on a Kubel trade earlier this offseason.

Atlanta Braves

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    Atlanta Braves have room for another "significant salary."

    The Braves continue to keep the lines of communication open with big-name outfielders.

    David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that they have the resources to acquire one of them. The question is whether or not they have the motivation.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Joe Saunders expected to choose new team this week.

    There's been mutual interest between Saunders and the Baltimore Orioles since the offseason began. Executive VP Dan Duquette forecasts that a decision is coming (via Steve Melewski, MASNSports.com).

    However, MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette tweets that several other teams also covet the southpaw.

    The O's will pursue other veteran pitchers if Saunders signs elsewhere.

Boston Red Sox

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    Jarrod Saltalamacchia still available.

    The slugger has spent parts of three seasons with the Boston Red Sox. He'll earn $4.5 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that several teams seek help behind the plate. Plus, Salty's salary is very reasonable for an everyday player.

    Without him, the Red Sox would enter 2013 with catchers Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross.

Chicago Cubs

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    Alfonso Soriano still wants to stay.

    The Chicago Cubs were ready to move the veteran left fielder prior to the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline. But as a player with at least 10 years of MLB service time and five with his current team, Soriano had the final say.

    Six months later, he's still in the Windy City and committed to the Cubs.

    He tells Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com that the 2013 team has "a chance to win more games and try to make the playoffs."

     

    Cubs briefly discussed Justin Upton trade.

    Talks didn't last long, sources inform Levine.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks inquired about Starlin Castro. The shortstop turns 23 in March and signed an extension last year that puts him under team control through the end of the decade.

    Chicago's front office reportedly turned the D-Backs away at that point.

    A deal between these teams already seemed unlikely.

    Upton has the Cubs on a no-trade list, which gives him the power to veto any tentative agreement. Earlier this month, he declined a move to the Seattle Mariners.

Chicago White Sox

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    Matt Lindstrom joins Chicago White Sox.

    Chicago needed a veteran setup man to replace the departed Brett Myers.

    The soon-to-be 33-year-old has trimmed his walk rate over the past couple seasons. The White Sox are his sixth MLB franchise since 2009.

    Lindstrom's contract pays $2.3 million this coming year. A 2014 club option worth $4 million can be bought out for $500,000.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Scott Rolen still contemplating retirement.

    With or without Rolen, the Cincinnati Reds can contend for the 2013 World Series.

    Of course, it would be beneficial to have his steady glove and baseball mind available on the bench.

    John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer expects him to call it a career. Todd Frazier and Jack Hannahan would play third base in his absence.

Colorado Rockies

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    Colorado Rockies "aggressively pursuing" Derek Lowe and Carl Pavano.

    Chris Volstad will compete for a rotation spot after inking a minor league deal, but either of the above veterans could soon push him down in the pecking order.

    Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes that the Rockies have previously attempted to acquire Pavano.

    Though Lowe is nearing the end of his career, he continues to induce grounders with his late-moving sinker. That makes him a great fit for the high altitude of Coors Field.

     

    No recent discussions about Carlos Gonzalez or Dexter Fowler.

    Either productive outfielder could be exchanged for young pitching, but sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports that the Rockies aren't close to a trade.

    The team seems content making low-risk, low-reward additions to its staff.

    Miguel Batista and Chris Volstad, for example, signed minor league deals over the weekend. Colorado plans to add more depth via free agency, according Troy Renck.

Cleveland Indians

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    Cleveland Indians finalize minor league deal with Ryan Raburn.

    The veteran utility player has primarily played second base and the corner outfield positions during parts of seven MLB seasons.

    Raburn uncharacteristically struggled against left-handed pitching in 2012. The Detroit Tigers used him sparingly down the stretch and released him earlier this winter.

    The contract, according to Jon Heyman, will include an invitation to spring training.

Detroit Tigers

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    Detroit Tigers never made an offer to Rafael Soriano.

    Many of us speculated that Mike Ilitch's relationship with Scott Boras would lead the Tigers to sign Soriano.

    However, general manger Dave Dombrowski tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that all conversations were strictly "exploratory." The team has confidence that 22-year-old Bruce Rondon can be a rookie closer.

    If Detroit adds a reliever in the coming weeks, it would be somebody for the middle innings.

Houston Astros

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    Roger Clemens returning to Houston Astros...as special instructor.

    In an interview with CSN Houston's Steve Bunin, The Rocket confirmed that he wasn't attempting a comeback in 2013.

    His part-time role with the Astros organization will involve mentoring young pitchers during spring training.

     

    Rick Ankiel won't pitch, either.

    As a non-roster invitee in major league camp, the 33-year-old has a chance to latch on as an outfielder.

    According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, general manager Jeff Luhnow is impressed with Ankiel's "plus-plus arm" and left-handed power. The Astros will consider using him at all three outfield positions, though most of his experience has come in center.

Kansas City Royals

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    Luke Hochevar likely staying put.

    The former No. 1 overall draft pick will need to prove himself worthy of a rotation spot in spring training. He allowed the most earned runs in Major League Baseball during a nightmarish 2012 season.

    Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star doubts the Kansas City Royals will receive any decent trade offers for Hochevar. Earning $4.56 million this season—slightly more than what he was projected to get in arbitration—makes the right-hander virtually immovable.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Vernon Wells "most likely to be traded."

    Former general manager Jim Bowden includes the overpaid veteran on his list of outfielders who "simply don’t fit into their team’s long-term vision" (ESPN Insider subscription required).

    Wells is guaranteed $42 million through the 2014 season and without a starting job on the Los Angeles Angels.

    Needs for right-handed power could lead the New York Yankees or Philadelphia Phillies to consummate a trade, according to Bowden.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Los Angeles Dodgers "mulling" a pursuit of Scott Rolen.

    The third baseman has thus far been non-committal about returning for his age-38 season. Moreover, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reminds us that Rolen prefers to stay close to his Indiana home.

    The Dodgers worry about Luis Cruz, who struggled at the plate in winter ball. They could probably offer more money and playing time than the Cincinnati Reds.

    The former All-Star owns a lifetime .955 OPS at Dodger Stadium.

Miami Marlins

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    Pat White has standing offer from the Miami Marlins.

    Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald writes that White would begin 2013 in the minor leagues if he decides to return to baseball.

    The former outfielder turns 27 next month.

    At this point, he's leaning toward accepting a two-year deal in the Canadian Football League instead. Who can blame him?

     

    Unsigned veterans contacting the team.

    It's hard to believe, but according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, several accomplished players actually want to join the rebuilding franchise.

    Specifically, he names Bobby Abreu and Freddy Garcia. Each is several years past him prime and a resident of South Florida.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Corey Hart's replacement to come from within.

    For the second straight year, Hart has opted to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Unfortunately, the damage is more significant this time, assuring that he'll be sidelined through the opening weeks of 2013.

    According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee Brewers will use Mat Gamel as interim first baseman. Assistant general manager Gord Ash was encouraged by how the homegrown slugger performed prior to suffering a knee injury of his own.

Minnesota Twins

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    Minnesota Twins interested in Scott Podsednik.

    Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com has an exhaustive list of players that the team will not consider.

    The speedy outfielder is the exception.

    He batted .302/.322/.352 in 216 plate appearances last season. With Minnesota, Podsednik would probably be an option off the bench, primarily seeing action against right-handed pitching.

New York Mets

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    New York Mets lobbying for rule exception in pursuit of Michael Bourn.

    John Harper of the Daily News tweets that they probably won't sign the center fielder if it means losing a first-round draft pick (Bourn declined qualifying offer from Atlanta Braves). However, the Mets have "sincere" interest, Ken Rosenthal adds.

    The team finished with the 10th-worst record in Major League Baseball last summer and will reportedly argue that its No. 11 overall deserves to be protected.

     

    Roy Oswalt being considered for rotation depth.

    Agreeing to terms with Shaun Marcum seemingly filled New York's starting rotation, but a little depth never hurt anybody.

    The veteran right-hander is on drawing interest from the Mets, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

    Coming off his worst season, Oswalt could be had on a minor league deal (if he wants to pitch in 2013).

New York Yankees

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    New York Yankees "still looking" to improve.

    GM Brian Cashman planned to add a designated hitter and right-handed outfielder to replace departed free agents.

    So far, though, he has only signed Russ Canzler and Matt Diaz to compete for roster spots at those positions.

    Cashman stressed to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that he won't be pressured into an ill-advised move. "If we have to, we’ll go to Tampa with what we've got."

Oakland Athletics

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    Oakland Athletics scouts will watch Aledmys Diaz.

    Hiroyuki Nakajima's job is safe for the time being.

    However, the A's plan to add shortstop depth in the upper minors.

    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that team representatives will be in attendance to watch Aledmys Diaz work out. The Cuban defector isn't believed to be MLB-ready yet.

    Oakland, of course, signed countryman Yoenis Cespedes last offseason and reaped the benefits.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Infielder Ryan Theriot drawing interest.

    The 33-year-old would be an ideal insurance policy for the Philadelphia Phillies. Chase Utley is still questionable for Opening Day, and he'll likely need days off during the season.

    Theriot's experience at shortstop qualifies him to take over for Jimmy Rollins in case he's sidelined for an extended period.

    Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies face competition for his services.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Francisco Liriano deal on hold, but still alive.

    Nothing is official, even though the left-hander agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a two-year contract last month.

    We know that he suffered an injury to his non-throwing arm over the holidays. But as MLB.com's Tom Singer tweets, it's unclear how it would affect him in 2013.

    Pittsburgh prepared for a summer without Liriano by re-signing Jeff Karstens recently.

     

    Update: Sources tell Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that a revised contract with protective language has been finalized. Liriano will still earn $12.75 million if the arm injury doesn't disable him.

    The Pirates can announce the deal once he passes a physical.

San Diego Padres

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    No interest in Shaun Marcum or Joe Saunders.

    The San Diego Padres continue to be selective in their search for starting pitching depth.

    They haven't been attracted to Marcum or Saunders this offseason, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com, and continue to stay away.

San Francisco Giants

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    General manager Brian Sabean rules out Brian Wilson.

    The hard-throwing closer was an integral member of the 2010 World Series championship team and a valuable marketing tool.

    Despite that, Sabean admits that it wouldn't be "financially responsible" to bring Wilson back following his second Tommy John surgery, writes Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the New York Post.

    A handful of teams expressed interest in the right-hander after the Giants non-tendered him. Only the New York Mets, though, have been linked to him so far in 2013, and the Post's Mike Puma reports that executives weren't impressed by his private workout.

Seattle Mariners

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    GM Jack Zduriencik "going to be shopping" for backup catcher.

    The aforementioned trade that sent John Jaso to the Oakland Athletics leaves the Seattle Mariners in need of another backstop.

    Zduriencik hinted that prospect Mike Zunino is "right on the horizon," but he's doubtful to break camp with the major league team.

    MLB.com's Greg Johns lists Kelly Schopach, Yorvit Torrealba and Ronny Paulin as potential targets.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    St. Louis Cardinals prepared to expand payroll.

    Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. assures Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals will behave more like a large-market team in the future.

    Already, they are projected to increase payroll for the fourth consecutive year.

    Extra resources could lead to an extension for Adam Wainwright, who will otherwise enter free agency next winter. Goold reports that the right-hander hasn't set a deadline for the contract talks.

    Even with starters Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia in questionable health, the Cards do not plan to add more pitching depth at this time.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Tampa Bay Rays re-sign Luke Scott.

    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times broke the news.

    A power threat against right-handers, Scott batted .229/.285/.439 in 344 plate appearances last season. One could imagine him platooning with Ryan Roberts as a designated hitter.

    The Rays have been uncharacteristically active on the free-agent market. In addition to Scott, they inked Kyle Farnsworth, Roberto Hernandez, James Loney and Joel Peralta.

Texas Rangers

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    Texas Rangers among those linked to Ryan Theriot.

    This seems like an unlikely match, but Jon Heyman considers Texas a legitimate suitor.

    Theriot will certainly get a major league deal, and treasured prospect Jurickson Profar can contribute more at the same positions while earning the league minimum.

     

    Zero involvement with Michael Bourn.

    Bob Nightengale identifies the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners as favorites for the unsigned 30-year-old.

    Meanwhile, the Rangers haven't addressed their outfield since losing Josh Hamilton in free agency.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Right-handed bat would complete 25-man roster.

    Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors learned from Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos that the 2013 team isn't set yet.

    The plan is to add a versatile infielder before Opening Day. This future addition would presumably replace David Cooper on the projected roster and serve as Adam Lind's platoon partner.

Washington Nationals

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    No front-runner for lefty specialist role.

    The Washington Nationals lost left-hander Sean Burnett in free agency and couldn't close deals with Mike Gonzalez or J.P. Howell.

    Double-A pitching coach Paul Menhart thinks the team can "give an opportunity from within instead of going out and getting someone else" (via Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com).

    Menhart wants Pat McCoy to fill the vacancy. With so few trustworthy relievers remaining on the market, it's definitely a possibility.