While free-agent signings are the priority for most teams during the winter, there are still a number of general managers who are also focused on trying to pull off a blockbuster trade.
Groundwork for these trades often gets laid early during the offseason and during the winter meetings.
This winter has already seen one massive deal with Prince Fielder heading to the Texas Rangers in return for Ian Kinsler. There could certainly be another major trade or two that occurs before the season begins.
Since moving to the Chicago Cubs rotation in 2011, Jeff Samardzija has looked like a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. While his record is not great, Samardzija has posted a 4.10 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP and 394 strikeouts over 61 starts.
With Samardzija unable to reach a contract extension with the Cubs during the season, it now appears that the team will trade him. David Kaplan of CSN Chicago has cited a source as saying there is a 99 percent chance that Samardzija is traded.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been keeping an eye on him, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. This would make sense for the Diamondbacks as they aim to strengthen their rotation to help them compete in the National League West.
Arizona has the prospects, such as Jake Barrett and Zeke Spruill, who could be included in such as deal.
The Boston Red Sox are going to need to find a way to replace Jacoby Ellsbury's production, and they might turn to the trade market to do it. With a glut of outfielders thanks to the presence of Yasiel Puig, Andre Either, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp, the Los Angeles Dodgers might need to make a move. It would not be surprising to see the two teams pair up for a deal.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe has mentioned that the Red Sox have already spoken to the Dodgers about Kemp.
If Kemp is able to stay healthy, he would be a huge addition to the Red Sox lineup. His 40/40 potential is virtually unmatched, and he could help bring the current World Series champions up to another level.
One concern surrounding Kemp is the remaining $128 million owed to him over the next six seasons. The caliber of prospects whom the Dodgers receive in return for Kemp would be dependent on how much of his salary they are willing to eat.
Even before the postseason officially began, ESPN noted that David Price was already aware of the fact that he may have completed his last season in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. With a player of Price's caliber on the market, it should be no surprise that there are a number of suitors.
One of the most interesting potential suitors for Price are the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated has mentioned that they could potentially put together a deal for Price involving Gregory Polanco, Alen Hanson, Luis Heredia and others.
Given the Rays' ability to develop young pitchers, adding Heredia to their minor league system could prove to be a good move for them depending on what else is available.
As for the Pirates, they would be able to put together an outstanding starting rotation. Paring Price with Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation would provide a strong one-two punch. Add in A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez, and the Pirates would have a chance to go far in the postseason next year.
The Baltimore Orioles have gotten a lot out of Matt Wieters over the past few seasons, as he has developed into one of the better catchers in baseball. However, this is turning into a problem for the Orioles, as the team's budget is tight and Wieters is going through arbitration and may eventually be looking for an extension.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that he has heard that the team is open to moving Wieters, and Rosenthal even went as far as calling the move necessary because of the team's coming payroll crunch.
While there have not been many teams that Wieters has been linked to thus far, Bleacher Report's own Joe Giglio has brought up the possibility of the Orioles sending Wieters to the Oakland Athletics for Jarrod Parker.
With the success of Sonny Gray, the return of Brett Anderson and the signing of Scott Kazmir, per Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Athletics may look to trade a pitcher. Parker would bolster the Orioles rotation and allow them to continue to compete in the American League East, while Wieters would bring power to the Athletics lineup.
The New York Mets desperately need an outfielder. Last season, Mets outfielders were the worst in the National League with a .235 batting average. Additionally, they only mustered a .304 on-base percentage and 263 runs scored. New York has already brought in Chris Young on a one-year deal, but it seems as if he is a stopgap more than anything else.
With Todd Helton retired, the Colorado Rockies are looking for a new first baseman. It seems as if there is a strong match between the Mets and the Rockies.
Fowler would provide the Mets with a good solution in center field, and his skill set would be a welcomed addition to the Mets lineup. Meanwhile, Davis' massive power potential could result in a 40-plus home run season at Coors Field.