MLB Rumors: Possible Landing Spots for Star Players
With the World Series starting up on Wednesday, the rumors are starting to swirl about some big names in the MLB, and a few of them could be heading to new teams for the 2014 season.
Players like Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Curtis Granderson are getting a lot of attention regarding their future as the season winds down, but there are actually more than a few really good players that will likely be on the move over the next month or two.
With that said, let's take a look at some of the most recent rumors regarding some marquee players.
Billy Butler on Trading Block
The Kansas City Royals had a strong season in 2013, going 86-76 on the year. This team is certainly improving and looking to make a push in the AL Central, but it also looks like they're going to try and get rid of one of their more well-known players.
Buster Olney from ESPN reported that the Royals are looking to move designated hitter Billy Butler in a potential trade.
Royals ready to talk about Billy Butler deal for teams that would take on DH owed $8 million in '14, $12m in 2015.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 22, 2013
As Olney points out, Butler is due $8 million in 2014 and $12.5 million in 2015 before his contract is over. That's a pretty big price tag for a player that's really ideally suited to be a designated hitter, which means that there is likely going to be a limited market for the slugger.
Still, Butler is a very solid player. He played in all 162 games last year, hitting .289 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI this past season. He had a strong on-base percentage of .374 and a 1.5 WAR.
At 27 years old, Butler is still in his prime and can put up some really big numbers. In 2012, he had over 100 RBI and 29 home runs, and he has a chance to put up numbers like that for the next few seasons.
The price may be a bit steep, but there's bound to be a couple of teams willing to trade for a DH that can put up some solid numbers like Butler.
Braves Looking to Trade for Brandon Phillips?
After being knocked out of the playoffs in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves are looking to add some more talent and possibly trade for a new second baseman.
With Dan Uggla struggling this past year, the Braves are reportedly interested in acquiring Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds. David O'Brien from ajc.com reported that the Braves are looking to trade for Phillips, and would likely have to give up Uggla and a top prospect for the 32-year-old second baseman.
Uggla seriously struggled this season, hitting a career-low .179 and posting a -1.3 WAR. His production continues to dip and he's still due $26 million over the next two seasons.
For Phillips, he didn't have his best season either, but he was a more productive player than Uggla. He batted .261, his lowest mark since 2008, but also had 103 RBI and 80 runs scored.
If the Braves decide to make this move, it will show that the Braves' plan on trying to win now rather than later. It would be a good move for the Braves to try and get an upgrade, and the Reds could get a talented young prospect to begin building for a new era in Cincinnati with Dusty Baker gone.
Brian McCann Preparing For Huge Potential Payday
While the Braves are looking for an upgrade at second base, they may also have to find someone to replace their star catcher, who is now a free agent with their season over.
Jon Heyman from CBS Sports reported that a number of teams could be interested in the seven-time All-Star catcher, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and several others.
many big $ teams may be in mix for mccann: nyy, bos, tex, chisox, jays, cubs angels & more. http://t.co/rbwBrzZ0R1— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 20, 2013
In his report, Heyman goes into more detail about what McCann could be worth, saying:
McCann's consistent offensive numbers, his relative youth and even his serious attitude should aid him as he approaches the free-agent market. But another big plus is the large number of big-market teams that'll be seeking a catcher.
Early predictions that he could reach $100 million may be a bit ambitious, but it has to help that the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Cubs and Angels all are candidates to sign a catcher and could be major McCann players. The Blue Jays and White Sox are among ther teams that could have an interest, as well.
There are few catchers that are as exciting to watch as McCann. He played in only 102 games this past year, due to having surgery to repair his torn right labrum, but he had strong numbers for a catcher when he was able to come back. He hit .256 with 20 home runs, 57 RBI and a 2.2 WAR.
McCann is clearly one of the best all-around catchers in the majors, and with a number of teams desperately needing a game-changer at the position, he's bound to get a massive payday this offseason.
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