Although every team in Major League Baseball will spend the offseason trying to get better, a few squads are being more aggressive on the trade market than others.
Many of the bigger clubs around the league will look at high-priced free agents like Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury as potential game-changing players. However, there are a number of guys potentially available through trades that could make just as much of an impact.
Here is a look at the latest buzz from around the league at teams who will be making moves as well as players they could be targeting.
After finishing with the worst record in the National League, the Miami Marlins are once again looking to build a winning team. That is simply the way the club does business.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available, especially when it comes to power bats. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com points out that Dan Uggla is a decent option:
Because Uggla broke in with the Marlins, and he is the franchise's all-time home run leader, a possible trade makes sense. A Marlin from 2006-10, Uggla's 154 home runs are a club record.
From what I'm hearing, the Braves certainly will entertain shopping Uggla, who turns 34 in March.
It's no secret the Marlins are searching for a power bat, and there is a limited amount on the market. So bringing back Uggla may be worth the risk, even though he appears to be on the decline.
While Uggla has his flaws—specifically poor fielding and a high strikeout rate—he still brings plenty to the table. He has a career .340 on-base percentage and has hit at least 19 home runs in every year of his eight-year career.
Considering the Marlins finished last in the majors in both categories, he could be a good addition.
Meanwhile, ESPN's Jim Bowden also discussed two other options to help in these areas with Marlins GM Dan Jennings:
Mark Trumbo and Will Middlebrooks provide similar qualities as Uggla, but both are much younger than the 33-year-old second basemen. If the Marlins can make a deal, these would be big upgrades for next season.
St. Louis Cardinals
As good as the Cardinals were this season, there are still some holes in the lineup—most notably at shortstop, where Pete Kozma struggled to a .217 batting average with one home run. Daniel Descalso made some starts there as well, but he was not much better.
In an order to fix that, St. Louis is likely to look for a trade, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Casting a look elsewhere, the Cardinals are more apt to try to dabble in the trade market, with the only free-agent shortstop of note Stephen Drew of the world champion Boston Red Sox.
In the past, the Cardinals have inquired about the 29-year-old [Troy] Tulowitzki and also Asdrubal Cabrera of Cleveland, Elvis Andrus of Texas and Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox.
Hummel goes on to discuss more possibilities like Erick Aybar, Jimmy Rollins and Starlin Castro, but Troy Tulowitzki remains the most intriguing option of the bunch.
ESPN's Jim Bowden asked Colorado Rockies GM Bill Geivett about a potential trade, and he had this to say:
Obviously, the Rockies do not want to part with Tulowitzki, but the Cardinals have the ability to make them an offer they can't refuse. With an abundance of young pitching, St. Louis can dangle Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly as the centerpiece of any deal.
From the Cardinals' perspective, this might be worth it to bring in an elite hitter and fielder who can help bring another World Series title.
Los Angeles Angels
David Price has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past few seasons. However, this usually leads to being shipped out of town for players on the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Price recently had this to say about his future with the team:
If you go with what's been done in the past, I guess you're going to have to think you're going to get traded.
It's not disappointing or anything like that. This is a place I love to be. My teammates and everyone in the organization knows that. It's part of baseball and it's something I've seen go on, it's kind of something I somewhat prepared myself for.
Unsurprisingly, there will be a lot of demand for a player of this caliber. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe makes the case for the Los Angeles Angels:
He remains the biggest legitimate trade piece on the market. So, who has the best chance of obtaining him? Both Los Angeles teams seem to be interested, though the Dodgers appear to have a full house with Clayton Kershaw (who could sign a $300 million deal this offseason), Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Stephen Fife, and comebacking Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley. The Angels could package Mark Trumbo, power the Rays desperately need, and others for Price. The Angels are also willing to part with Howie Kendrick to make a deal for pitching.
With the Angels in bigger need of a front-line starter, you can assume they would be able to outbid their crosstown rivals.
Even in a down year, Price was still among the best in the league this past season. He posted a 3.33 ERA while leading the American League in complete games, walks per nine innings and strikeouts per walk. Of course, he is also just one year removed from winning the AL Cy Young award.
Los Angeles has spent a lot of money in the past few years without getting a lot in return, but adding Price would be a huge help next season.
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