The MLB offseason has only been going on for a few weeks, but it's already been quite a busy one in 2013, as rumors about a number of big players continue to come up.
Several big players have already been traded this offseason. Prince Fielder was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler, who is now a member of the Detroit Tigers, according to Richard Durrett from ESPN.com. Jerry Crasnick from ESPN.com also reported that David Freese had been traded to the Los Angeles Angels.
With a number of big-time free agents looking to get huge contracts and star players likely to be traded, let's go ahead and take a look at some of the most recent rumors surrounding key names in the MLB.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Free Agent
In his first season with the Cincinnati Reds, it's safe to say that Shin-Soo Choo was a productive player. Now that his contract has expired and he's a free agent, other teams have started to take a look at him.
It appears that the Tigers are one of those teams that would be interested in Choo. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, several evaluators believe that the 31-year-old will play in Detroit and move to left field.
Some rival evaluators believe that Shin-Soo Choo will now land in Detroit, to play LF. We'll see.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 21, 2013
By bringing in Choo, the Tigers would have a solid outfield that would include him, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. While the move to left field could be a bit awkward, his value on offense makes him well worth it.
Choo had arguably the best season of his career in 2013. He finished the year hitting .285 with an on-base percentage of .423 while scoring 107 runs and driving in 54 more. He could certainly come in and be the leadoff hitter, allowing Kinsler to come in and hit just behind him.
With how well Choo played last season, he's likely to get a pretty sizable contract, and it looks like the Tigers might be willing to give it to him.
Carlos Beltran, OF, Free Agent
After a strong regular season and an even more impressive postseason, veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran is now a free agent. He may be getting up there in terms of age, but he still has quite a bit left in the tank, and a number of teams are in talks with him.
One team in particular that's interested in Beltran is the Boston Red Sox. According to Scott Lauber from the Boston Herald, the two sides are engaged in talks, saying:
According to a major league source, the Sox have had "serious dialogue" with outfielder Carlos Beltran, though indications are that the sides are nowhere close to a deal. The eight-time All-Star could fill a need in the outfield in case Jacoby Ellsbury signs elsewhere and in the middle of the order if Mike Napoli should leave.
Beltran would certainly be an interesting player to add, as he would be moving from the St. Louis Cardinals to the team that beat them in the World Series. He had a great run in 2013, hitting .296/.339/.491 in the regular season and was named an All-Star for the eighth time in his career.
The biggest concern for the Red Sox is that Beltran will likely be asking for a longer deal. He's currently 36 years old, and he could be asking for a contract that lasts until he's over 40.
Still, with how well Beltran played this past season, the Red Sox would be smart to sign him if the price is right, because he's shown that he can still play at a very high level.
Matt Kemp, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers had to be frustrated seeing Matt Kemp sit out so much in 2013, as he only played in 73 games. While he's still a terrific player, there's a chance that the Dodgers trade him away.
According to Nick Cafardo from Boston.com, the Red Sox have inquired about bringing in Kemp, with the report saying:
The Red Sox are one of several teams who have made inquiries on Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp according to a major league source. The Red Sox have probably made a few dozen of these types of calls on trades and free-agents, but Kemp is certainly intriguing.
The Dodgers, according to the source, have not been shopping Kemp, but teams have inquired. The Dodgers were reportedly recently in trade talks with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.
Should the Dodgers trade Matt Kemp?
With the possibility of Jacoby Ellsbury signing somewhere else, the Red Sox are likely keeping their options open to add some talent to their outfield. While he's only played in 179 games over the past two seasons, Kemp is still an incredibly productive player, hitting .293/.350/.493 with 157 home runs and 162 stolen bases during his eight-year career.
Kemp's contract is what could keep him from being traded, as it is certainly a big one. According to Spotrac, Kemp is due $127.5 million over the next six years, making this a very big investment for any team looking to trade for him.
These two teams are quite familiar with each other, as the Red Sox sent off Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett last year, and that could make this trade involving Kemp possible.