Major League Baseball is gearing up for the free-agency period as some of the best players in the sport begin tense negotiations with teams to ensure the best dollar amount possible.
With a number of big names on the market and a handful of clubs looking to make a splash, the hierarchy of both leagues will be altered significantly heading into 2014.
Here's a look at the latest buzz surrounding some big names on the market.
To no surprise, the offseason storylines have been dominated by Robinson Cano feeling out the free-agency period. And the news gets more and more juicy by the minute.
After talks publicly fell apart between Cano's representatives and the Yankees, the skilled power hitter's agent, Jay Z, reportedly met with Mets brass Tuesday, according to Associated Press (via USA Today).
The most interesting dynamic of the situation? Cano contacted general manager Sandy Alderson and the Mets, not the other way around.
"They requested a meeting," Alderson said Tuesday. "We talked generally and that was it. As I said, we were approached. Having said last week that I didn't foresee contracts in the $100 million range for the Mets this season, I think that statement still attains. On the other hand, we are committed to improving the team and we will explore whatever possibilities arise, however remote an eventual outcome."
While talks are in the preliminary stage and no signs point to a deal getting struck up any time soon, Cano's courting of other suitors—especially the Yanks' crosstown rival—is certainly churning the wheels of speculation for baseball fans.
ESPN SportsCenter summed up where the Yankees and Cano currently stand:
On the surface, Cano's courting of the Mets looks like nothing more than a negotiation ploy to prove something to the Yankees. But if New York's front office continues to play the stern card, Cano's likelihood of departing Yankee Stadium will continue to skyrocket.
Wednesday's news surrounding Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp wasn't good for L.A. fans who are hoping to see the big bat stay put.
According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Kemp remains resistant toward getting traded, but he and agent Dave Stewart understand why he could be moved and would only ask to join a winning team.
"If that does happen, the only thing we can hope for is that he goes to a team with an opportunity to win," Stewart said. "That's first and foremost, if it does happen."
Stewart also added, per Rosenthal, that "a surplus of outfielders" that the Dodgers currently boast could end up forcing Kemp as the odd man out, although he iterated—unsurprisingly—that Kemp provided the most value of the four.
However, Kemp is still recovering from two surgical operations to end the season, and that would undoubtedly immerse some complication into trade talks, according to Rosenthal.
This latest news reiterated the notion that Kemp may have already played his last game as a Dodger, but it's unclear when or how a trade would take place.
The former Cincinnati Reds pitcher is now shopping himself on the market and admitted to a handful of teams showing interest in him.
On a talk show interview on 660 WFAN Radio (as reported by CSN Philadelphia), Arroyo stated that the Phillies, Orioles, Angels, Dodgers, Giants and Twins have all made phone calls to the 36-year-old.
Arroyo later added in the 660 WFAN interview that he would rather play in the NL "in a perfect world," but he acknowledged that "it's not going to dictate my whole thing."
Rosenthal, however, envisions a scenario where Arroyo can reunite with Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace (the two worked together in Boston from 2003 to 2004):
It's no surprise that this list of teams has emerged for the veteran. At 36, Arroyo doesn't have many years left, but his durability has not wavered nor has his impact as a formidable part of a rotation.
That works well for contenders looking for that missing piece, as clubs can throw a lot of money Arroyo's way without having to make a long-term investment.
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