Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings is coming up fast, with the event to be held on Dec. 9-12 in Orlando, Florida.
With front-office personnel and executives present from all 30 teams, the Winter Meetings typically produce both big-name free-agent signings and blockbuster trades.
Unlike in the NFL, where the league’s premier free agents seemingly sign within a matter of days, MLB’s top free agents (and their respective agents) will let the market unfold so as to drive up their respective price tags.
This year, the big names on the open market are outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, along with second baseman Robinson Cano. While none of the aforementioned players are expected to sign before the start of the meetings next month, they’ve quietly transformed this year’s free-agent market into one that favors sellers rather than buyers.
Additionally, because teams will hold onto the hope of signing one of the aforementioned players, it creates a potential opportunity for other organizations to cash in on the value of its current players via an offseason trade. Therefore, with the deals that have already taken place this offseason, namely the Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, it’s a safe assumption that even more high-profile players will be on the move in the coming months.
If we learned anything from last year’s offseason trades of Trevor Bauer, Travis d’Arnaud, Wil Myers and Noah Syndergaard, it’s that prospects have the potential to be the deciding factor in a blockbuster trade. And considering how the market is expected to unfold, there may be even more prospects changing teams in the near future.
Here’s a look at 10 prospects who could be major trade bait at the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings.