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MLB Rumors: Loudest Trade Buzz, Free Agency Updates for Every Team

Joel ReuterFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2016

MLB Rumors: Loudest Trade Buzz, Free Agency Updates for Every Team

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    Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

    This week saw the annual GM meetings take place in Orlando, and while there is not as much activity as the winter meetings as far as actual transactions go, this is often when the groundwork for later deals is laid.

    As a result, the rumor mill has kicked into full swing the past few days—both on the trade market and free-agent fronts—and sorting through all of the news is no easy task.

    With that in mind, here is a look at the latest free-agent or trade buzz surrounding each of the 30 MLB teams here in the middle of November.

Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters Is Available

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    Sources: #Orioles willing to trade Wieters. Both Wieters and Chris Davis two years away from free agency and represented by Scott Boras.

     

    Analysis

    Finding a franchise catcher is no easy task these days, so it comes as some surprise that the Orioles are shopping Wieters. However, with the Scott Boras client set to hit free agency next offseason and no extension in sight, it's not a complete shock, either.

    The 27-year-old hit just .235/.287/.417 in 2013, but he did reach the 20-home run mark for the third straight season and continued to be a plus backstop in the process. Moving him would likely mean signing another veteran backstop, as they have no clear internal replacement.

Boston Red Sox: Stephen Drew Won't Be Back

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston on Nov. 14:

    A baseball source said Tuesday that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox because there are a number of teams willing to make multi-year offers for his services beyond anything Boston would do.

     

    Analysis

    Of the 13 players extended a qualifying offer this offseason, Stephen Drew was perhaps the most surprising. He wound up declining the offer, just like the other 12 did, and as a result his days in Boston look to be over.

    The 30-year-old was dreadful in the playoffs, but he did hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI during the regular season. And alongside Jhonny Peralta, he represents one of two viable starting shortstops on the free-agent market. The draft pick compensation will scare some teams off, but he'll get his multi-year deal somewhere.

New York Yankees: Interested in Acquiring David Freese from Cardinals

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    Source: Yankees talking about a trade for Cardinals 3B David Freese. Story to follow soon.

     

    Analysis

    With uncertainty surrounding whether or not Alex Rodriguez will be in the Yankees lineup on Opening Day and beyond, it comes as no surprise that the team is kicking the tires on a few hot-corner options. And David Freese looks like a legitimate target at this point.

    It was a down year for the former World Series hero in 2013, and with the Cardinals looking to move Kolten Wong into the everyday second base job while sliding Matt Carpenter to third, Freese's days in St. Louis are no doubt numbered. An All-Star in 2012, when he posted an .839 OPS with 20 home runs, his right-handed power would be a welcome addition to the Yankees lineup if he can bounce back.

Tampa Bay Rays: Trio of Needs Make Up Rays' Offseason Shopping List

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times via Twitter on Nov. 12:

    #Rays Friedman says priorities are 1B, C, late-inning reliever (not necessarily proven closer), bench. Joyce part of OF/DH rotation.

     

    Analysis

    The past few offseasons, the Rays have struck gold with bargain signings like Fernando Rodney, James Loney and Kelly Johnson, among others. They'll likely go that route again this offseason as they look to fill a trio of needs pointed to by GM Andrew Friedman.

    With Loney a free agent, the team needs to replace his bat at first base, and a similar bargain signing such as Michael Morse could be a fit. It looks like Jose Molina is out at catcher, and the team will be looking for a platoon partner for Jose Lobaton.

    Finally, with Rodney headed for a sizable payday, the team will need a late-inning bullpen arm, though not necessarily a closer, as incumbents Jake McGee and Joel Peralta are candidates to take over in the ninth.

Toronto Blue Jays: Shopping J.P. Arencibia, Searching for Free-Agent Replacement

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Nov. 13:

    Multiple teams have expressed interest in Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, prompting the Jays to explore the free-agent catching market for a possible replacement, sources say. 

    The Jays have contacted all of the free-agent catchers but have yet to make an offer, one source said. The team’s top priority is upgrading its rotation, but the Jays ideally would like to get something for Arencibia and sign someone else.

     

    Analysis

    After trading top prospect Travis d'Arnaud in the R.A. Dickey deal last offseason, it looked like J.P. Arencibia was the catcher of the present and future in Toronto. But a horrible 2013 season has left that future in question.

    The 27-year-old flashed good power once again, as his 21 home runs were good for second among all catchers, but he hit just .194/.227/.365 over 474 at-bats in the process. Teams appear to be interested despite that, and moving him while he still has value and adding a veteran backstop who can better handle the staff and get on base makes a lot of sense.

Chicago White Sox: Total of 4 Players Are Untouchable, Everyone Else Available

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    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago on Nov. 12:

    Multiple major league executives have confirmed Hahn and the White Sox are open to any and all avenues as he looks to reconstruct his roster after the franchise’s worst season in 37 years. What that means is anyone not named Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, (Chris) Sale and Jose Quintana can be acquired in a trade, those executives confirmed.

     

    Analysis

    The rebuilding process began on the South Side this past July, as the White Sox dealt Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain at the deadline and then moved outfielder Alex Rios through waivers in August. There may be more dealing to be done, though.

    White Sox GM Rick Hahn pointed to the recently acquired offensive duo of Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia and left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana as the only untouchable pieces on the roster right now. That leaves middle infielders Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, and starter John Danks as potential pieces that could be on the move.

Cleveland Indians: Kicking Tires on Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer on Nov. 12:

    GM Chris Antonetti is scheduled to talk to agent Dan Lozano about two of his clients, closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson.

     

    Analysis

    With closer Chris Perez released earlier this offseason and top setup man Joe Smith hitting the free-agent market, the Indians have some work to do on a bullpen that ranked 19th in the MLB last year with a 3.62 ERA.

    As a result, it comes as no surprise that the team has interest in both Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson. The duo ranks just below Joe Nathan and right alongside Grant Balfour and Joaquin Benoit among free-agent relievers, and either one would be a huge addition to the backend of the Indians 'pen.

Detroit Tigers: Willing to Listen to Offers for Prince Fielder

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    Interesting GM meetings nugget from an AL exec, who's heard Tigers would listen on Prince (who must have some no-trade rights).

     

    Analysis

    One of the more interesting rumors to surface during the GM meetings this past week was the potential availability of Tigers slugger Prince Fielder, though moving him is a long shot given the seven years and $168 million left on his current contract.

    I wrote an article on Wednesday exploring three trades for Fielder that could potentially make sense for both sides, but the chances he's moved are remote at best. Still, it's interesting that the Tigers would even dangle his name, given what he's meant to the success of Miguel Cabrera while protecting him in the order these past two years.

Kansas City Royals: Interested in Josh Johnson

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Buster Olney of ESPN via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    The Royals want to work something out with Josh Johnson. He's a good fit financially (one-year deal), possible high reward, good team guy.

     

    Analysis

    The focus of last offseason for the Royals was improving their pitching staff, and while the rotation is not in for quite the same full-scale overhaul that it went through last winter, they will likely need to sign at least one veteran arm to replace free agent Ervin Santana.

    There are a handful of bounce-back candidates on the pitching market this offseason, with the most intriguing of the bunch perhaps being right-hander Josh Johnson. The 29-year-old righty was terrible in Toronto this past year (2-8, 6.20 ERA in 81.1 innings), but is not all that far removed from being one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. He could be an absolute steal if he gets back on track.

Minnesota Twins: Talks Heating Up with Free Agent Bronson Arroyo

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press via Twitter on Nov. 12:

    Talks are heating up between the #mntwins and RHP Bronson Arroyo. Story has been filed to twincities.com. Should be up soon.

     

    Analysis

    With a starting pitching ERA of 5.26 last year, which was a full .45 points higher than the next-worst team, it's no surprise that the Twins are looking to upgrade their rotation.

    The team opted to go with a trio of low-cost, midlevel arms in an effort to improve the staff last winter, but look to be willing to spend a bit more this time around. The 36-year-old Bronson Arroyo was still going strong this last year, in what was his eighth season with the Reds, going 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA. He would immediately become the ace in Minnesota.

Houston Astros: Jason Castro Drawing Interest, Unlikely to Be Traded

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Brian McTaggart of MLB.com on Nov. 12:

    “I’m not surprised that there would be interest in Jason. He’s clearly one of our most valuable players. I’m never going to say someone is untouchable. But we fully expect Jason to be on our club for a long time to come," said GM Jeff Luhnow.

     

    Analysis

    The No. 10 pick in the 2008 draft, Jason Castro finally broke through in what was his first full year in the big leagues with 120 games. The 26-year-old hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI to earn the Astros' lone All-Star nod, and his 4.3 fWAR ranked fourth among catchers in 2013.

    Though impressive numbers have several teams inquiring on his availability this offseason, and while the rebuilding Astros will no doubt listen, chances are he winds up signing an extension sometime soon and serves as a core piece of the rebuild alongside Jose Altuve.

Los Angeles Angels: Big Market for Mark Trumbo, Angels Would Like to Keep Him

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Nov. 13:

    Mark Trumbo, a 30-homer hitter, is by far the Angels' most coveted player in trade. They could solve some of their pitching issues if they would trade Trumbo.

    However, the Angels are very reluctant to deal him. Of all their players being talked about in trade, he's the one they most want to keep.

     

    Analysis

    If the Angels are going to have any chance of living up to the lofty expectations they have brought on themselves with the last two offseasons of spending, they will have to improve their starting rotation. The easiest way for them to do that may be to move slugger Mark Trumbo, and there is no shortage of interested teams.

    A 30-home run bat from the right side is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, and Trumbo, 27, has averaged 32 long balls over his three full big league seasons. There are a number of other Angels drawing interest, with Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Peter Bourjos among them, but Trumbo remains their top trade chip.

Oakland Athletics: Could Nelson Cruz Be a Rare Splash Free-Agent Signing?

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Nov. 13:

    There's a surprise entry in the Nelson Cruz sweepstakes, and it's the Oakland A's.

    A's general manager Billy Beane likes to pick his spots for the big play, and Cruz is apparently a player Beane likes from Cruz's early days in the A's organization.

     

    Analysis

    As with Trumbo, right-handed sluggers are hard to come by. So despite the fact that his season essentially ended on a 50-game PED suspension, there are a number of teams interested in slugger Nelson Cruz.

    The 33-year-old had 27 home runs in 409 at-bats when he was suspended in early August, and his 135 long balls since the start of 2009 rank 17th in the MLB. While he certainly fills a need for the A's, it does come as a surprise that the team is interested, given the fact that there is draft-pick compensation tied to Cruz's signing. The A's, of course, generally don't like to part with that sort of asset.

Seattle Mariners: Dexter Fowler on List of Outfield Targets

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    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Morosi of Fox Sports via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    #Mariners have #Rockies CF Dexter Fowler on their outfield wish list for trades, sources say. Fowler is available in the right deal.

     

    Analysis

    The Mariners are casting a wide net in their search for an impact bat in center field this offseason. And while they are certainly still in the running for the top free-agent options on the market, a deal with the Rockies for table-setter Dexter Fowler could be a good fit for both sides.

    With the Rockies likely looking for pitching and the M's having plenty to work with, the pieces are there for a deal. The 27-year-old Fowler does not have elite power or speed, but his .365 career on-base percentage makes him an ideal leadoff hitter, and he's a plus defender in center.

Texas Rangers: Pushing Hard to Sign Brian McCann

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    FWIW, one baseball source said Texas pushing hard for McCann. '"They're knocking his door down," source said

     

    Analysis

    Catchers the caliber of Brian McCann don't often hit the open market, and with seemingly every big-spending team looking for a backstop this offseason, there's a very real chance McCann could net a contract north of $100 million.

    The Rangers settled for signing A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal last offseason, and while he provided decent power numbers, his .297 OBP was the worst of his career. Adding McCann would give them a left-handed bat to slot between Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios in the middle of the lineup, and a bridge to top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro.

Atlanta Braves: Could John Lackey Replace Tim Hudson as Braves' Veteran Starter?

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Rumor

    David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Twitter on Nov. 10:

    If #Braves lose FA Hudson and want a high-quality veteran in rotation, how about this as potential option: Boston's John Lackey.

     

    Analysis

    After pitching to a 5.26 ERA his first two seasons in Boston then missing all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery, John Lackey finally gave the Red Sox some positive production in 2013. He went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA during the regular season and then came up with some huge starts in the playoffs.

    A free agent after the 2014 season, the Red Sox could certainly try to shop him this offseason, especially if they sign one of a handful of starters they're currently targeting. This thought is nothing more than a passing suggestion from a Braves beat writer, but it's a move that could be a fit for Atlanta if Tim Hudson does winds up walking.

Miami Marlins: Logan Morrison Drawing Significant Trade Interest

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports via Twitter on Nov. 14:

    Morrison, after Stanton, was most asked about #Marlins player at GM meetings. Teams looking for power, 1B a position of increasing scarcity.

     

    Analysis

    As the Marlins continue to insist that Giancarlo Stanton is not available in trades, the team's most coveted trade chip has become first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison. He too may be unavailable, as Joe Frisaro of MLB.com pointed to him as a building block back in July, but the team is no doubt more open to listening on him than Stanton.

    Morrison is still just 26 and already has four big league seasons under his belt (though injuries have plagued him the past two years). In his lone full season back in 2011, he hit 23 home runs and drove in 72 runs in 462 at-bats. Clearly, he has plenty of upside from a power standpoint.

New York Mets: Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy on Their Way Out?

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Nov. 14:

    The Mets appear increasingly likely to move first baseman Ike Davis, who is drawing interest from about a half-dozen clubs, according to major-league sources.

    Don’t be surprised if the Mets also trade second baseman Daniel Murphy, one of their best hitters. Murphy is drawing interest from clubs that envision him at second, third or as a super-utility type, and while his departure would hurt the Mets short-term, he is unlikely to still be with the club by the time it contends again.

     

    Analysis

    In what promises to be a busy offseason for the Mets, two of their top incumbent bats look like they could be on the move, as first baseman Ike Davis and second baseman Daniel Murphy both appear to be available.

    Davis looked like a key piece of the future when he put together a strong rookie season in 2010, and he managed 32 home runs and 90 RBI in 2012 despite a rough first half. But he struggled mightily this past season and finished with a line of just .205/.326/.334 and only nine home runs in 317 at-bats.

    Meanwhile, Murphy had a terrific 2013 with a .286/.319/.415 line and career highs of 13 home runs and 78 RBI. The 28-year-old, however, likely is not a part of the Mets' long-term plans and has value now with two years of team control left.

Philadelphia Phillies: Willing to Trade Domonic Brown?

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Nov. 13:

    The real question, though, is whether the Phils would trade Domonic Brown and open a spot for another corner outfielder who would arrive via free agency or trade.

    The Phillies dismiss such talk, saying they value Brown and that he is the type of player they want to build around. Others in the industry, however, say the Phillies are indeed willing to move Brown, citing his below-average defense as one factor.

     

    Analysis

    As Rosenthal conveys above, there are conflicting reports right now on whether or not Domonic Brown is actually available. And, if nothing else, the Phillies are likely willing to entertain offers for the 26-year-old this offseason.

    Dealing him would be the Phillies attempting to sell high on a breakout season, as the former top prospect finally broke through in 2013 with a line of .272/.324/.494 to go along with 27 home runs and 83 RBI. However, he went homerless and managed just five RBI over his final 91 at-bats, spanning 31 games.

Washington Nationals: Looking for a Left-Handed Reliever

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Nov. 13:

    The Nationals have already reached out to several free agent lefty relievers, including Boone Logan of the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants’ Javier Lopez.

     

    Analysis

    The Nationals bullpen was without a proven left-handed arm last season, and while Fernando Abad (39 G, 3.35 ERA) and Ian Krol (32 G, 3.95 ERA) were solid, the team is targeting a left-handed setup man here in the early stages of the offseason.

    Boone Logan (61 G, 3.23 ERA, 11.5 K/9) and Javier Lopez (69 G, 1.83 ERA, 8.5 K/9) were two of the best in the business last season, and Scott Downs (68 G, 2.49 ERA, 7.7 K/9) is another solid option, so expect the team to make a solid push to land one of those guys.

Chicago Cubs: Targeting Kurt Suzuki as Backup Catcher

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com on Nov. 12:

    The Cubs don’t plan to make a huge investment in a free-agent catcher like Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

    Instead, sources say, the Cubs have Kurt Suzuki on their radar as they try to find a catcher to complement building-block piece Welington Castillo.

     

    Analysis

    The bright spots were few and far between for the Cubs in 2013, but the emergence of Welington Castillo (.274/.349/.397, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 3.2 fWAR) as their catcher of the present and future was certainly a plus.

    The team also struck gold on the one-year deal it gave Dioner Navarro to be his backup, as the journeyman hit .300/.365/.492 and blasted 13 home runs in 240 at-bats. That will no doubt net Navarro a solid payday elsewhere, and the Cubs are eyeing Kurt Suzuki to replace him. The 30-year-old averaged 14 home runs and 68 RBI from 2009 to 2011 as the A's everyday catcher.

Cincinnati Reds: Re-Signing Shin-Soo Choo Is Still a Possibility

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Nov. 14:

    The Reds haven’t given up on re-signing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, but probably would need to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips and possibly right-hander Homer Bailey to create the necessary payroll room, sources said.

    All that might be too much to ask to accommodate the signing of a $100 million-plus free agent, but the Reds envision Choo playing center field for one more season before yielding to Billy Hamilton and moving to left. If they lose Choo, they likely would go with Hamilton and acquire a veteran complement in center.

     

    Analysis

    Headed for a $100 million-plus contract and with speedster Billy Hamilton in place to take over for him, it looked like the Reds would let Shin-Soo Choo walk in free agency this offseason. While there is still a good chance he winds up elsewhere, the Reds are apparently not completely resigned to losing him just yet.

    It would definitely take moving Brandon Phillips and a decent chunk of the $11 million he is owed in 2014, and perhaps moving starter Homer Bailey, who will likely make over $8 million in his final year of arbitration, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Choo posted a .423 OBP and scored 107 runs atop the Reds lineup in 2013.

Milwaukee Brewers: Re-Signing Corey Hart Is Team's Preferred 1st Base Solution

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Nov. 12:

    It appears Milwaukee may favor a return of Hart over some other first-base options, such as Ike Davis and Justin Morneau, though there are concerns about Davis' double knee surgery.

    A Brewers person didn't look overly enthused when asked abut Davis, who's available via trade, or Morneau, a free agent.

     

    Analysis

    With Corey Hart out for the season with a pair of knee surgeries, the Brewers' first base situation was a mess this past season, as a group headed by Juan Francisco and Yuniesky Betancourt combined to hit just .206/.259/.370 on the year.

    There are a handful of first base options on the free-agent market, and Ike Davis looks likely to be moved in New York, but the Brewers' preference at this point appears to be re-upping with Hart. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported back in September that the 31-year-old would take less money to return to Milwaukee.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Would A.J. Burnett Consider a Prorated Deal?

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    David Maxwell/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Tom Singer of MLB.com on Nov. 10:

    Burnett is torn between his real family and the Pirates family...Burnett could satisfy both of those conditions by making a midseason return, a la Roger Clemens a few years back. That would allow Burnett family time, and for the Bucs to shoehorn the prorated portion of an eight-figure salary into their budget.

     

    Analysis

    Thanks to the money the Yankees chipped in when they traded him, the Pirates have paid A.J. Burnett just $5 million and $8 million the past two years, rather than his actual $16.5 million salary. Now they are faced with the dilemma of trying to re-sign the 36-year-old veteran.

    The team did not make him a qualifying offer and likely need him to sign for less than that $14.1 million mark. This rumor was simply an idea thrown out by Singer, but if Burnett is serious about not playing anywhere other than Pittsburgh in 2014, it's one that could help the two sides come to an agreement.

St. Louis Cardinals: Reportedly Turned Down a Shelby Miller for J.J. Hardy Deal

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Nov. 13:

    The Orioles and Cardinals had trade talks revolving around Shelby Miller and J.J. Hardy, but St. Louis told Baltimore there's no deal to be made.

    There'd been some buzz that the Cardinals might consider moving Miller despite his brilliant rookie campaign and immense talent, but there was no suggestion of such an interest in this dialogue.

     

    Analysis

    Rumors will likely continue to swirl in St. Louis until the team finds an upgrade for Pete Kozma at shortstop, as the team has already been tied to Troy Tulowitzki as well, per Dayn Perry of CBS Sports, and could also make a run at Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta in free agency.

    The Cardinals boast as complete a roster as any in baseball but managed just a .222/.280/.303 line and four home runs from the shortstop position in 2013. With an abundance of high-end, young pitching talent, they have the pieces to make a move, and Shelby Miller gives them a fantastic trade chip. However, the team was apparently not interested in moving him for J.J. Hardy, who provides plus offense and defense but is a rental player at this point.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Interested in Trading for Nate Schierholtz

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Morosi of Fox Sports via Twitter on Nov. 12:

    Diamondbacks would like to add a corner bat and have interest in trading for Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz, sources say. @FOXSports1

     

    Analysis

    The Diamondbacks have pointed to finding a power bat to protect Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup as one of their biggest offseason needs, per Jack Magruder of Fox Sports, with left field or third base (if Martin Prado shifts to left) being the two spots they could look to upgrade offensively.

    Nate Schierholtz may not be the sexiest name on the market, but he did manage 21 home runs in 462 at-bats for the Cubs last year while posting a solid .770 OPS. He doesn't hit left-handed pitching well, so he's essentially a platoon player, but paired with a healthy Cody Ross he could be a productive addition.

Colorado Rockies: Casting a Wide Net in Their Search for a 1st Baseman

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Troy Renck of the Denver Post via Twitter on Nov. 14:

    The #Rockies have checked ion free agents James Loney, Justin Morneau, Mike Napoli...and called about Ike Davis.. Casting wide net.

     

    Analysis

    For the past 17 seasons, the Rockies have been able to pencil in Todd Helton at first base, but with his retirement this offseason the team finds itself with a hole to fill at the position.

    James Loney, Justin Morneau and Mike Napoli are the three top options on the free-agent market, and Ike Davis looks like a safe bet to be moved by the Mets. The Rockies have reportedly checked in on all of them. The team could also look to add a right fielder and move Michael Cuddyer in to play first, or could even make a push to sign a veteran catcher while shifting Wilin Rosario to first.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Brian Wilson Wants Closer Money, Open to Setup Role

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    Rumor

    Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    Sounds like Brian Wilson would be open to returning to the #Dodgers in a non-closing role if they pay him like a closer.

     

    Analysis

    The Dodgers gave Brian Wilson a chance to audition for a big payday this offseason when they signed him at the trade deadline this past season, and he made the most of it, posting a 0.66 ERA in 18 regular-season appearances and then throwing six scoreless innings in the playoffs.

    That will likely be enough for someone to offer him a job as a closer and the salary that comes along with it, and while Wilson expects to be paid like a premier reliever, it comes as some surprise that he is open to returning to the Dodgers in a setup role. However, after the Brandon League debacle last offseason, the Dodgers may not be too eager to hand out big bucks to a reliever again. 

San Diego Padres: No Plan to Extend Chase Headley Right Now

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    Rumor

    Buster Olney of ESPN on Nov. 14 (subscription required):

    The Padres have not spoken with Chase Headley about a possible long-term deal this offseason, and there are currently no plans for negotiations. 

     

    Analysis

    A breakout 2012 saw Chase Headley hit .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI, and his name was kicked around plenty last offseason in trade rumors as he had two years of team control left on his contract.

    The Padres opted to hold on to him but also decided against extending him, and he fell flat in 2013 with a line of just .250/.347/.400 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Now entering his final year of team control, the Padres will likely wait and see how he opens 2014, and he could be the prize of the trade deadline if he returns to his 2012 form.

San Francisco Giants: Interested in Free-Agent Starter Jason Hammel

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Rumor

    Jon Morosi of Fox Sports via Twitter on Nov. 13:

    #SFGiants have interest in free agent starter Jason Hammel and have requested his medical records, sources say. @FOXSports1

     

    Analysis

    The departures of Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Chad Gaudin leave the Giants in the market for at least one starting pitcher this offseason—perhaps two, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 and return to their previously dominant form on the mound.

    Jason Hammel is one name they've been linked to recently, and he's a solid midlevel option that could thrive in AT&T Park. The 31-year-old was 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts in 2012, earning the Opening Day start for the Orioles this past year. His numbers slid to 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA, but a move to the NL and out of the AL East could help him turn things around.

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