Major League Baseball's winter meetings are always a hotbed of activity. After a long season and a little rest, front offices around the league are looking forward to next season and trying to determine the best course of action to bolster their rosters for 2014.
With an already lackluster free-agent group being further weakened by some marquee signings, the trade talk is picking up quickly as that avenue becomes the preferred method to upgrade. Whether all the talk leads to a blockbuster or two is the biggest question mark.
As fans around the league await word on any big deals involving their team, let's examine some of the recent buzz from around baseball involving a trio of potential impact additions.
The Philadelphia Phillies find themselves in a tough spot. They are a team with a lot of high-priced veterans, but finished 16 games under .500 and 23 games off the pace in the NL East last season. It leaves them with a lot of questions to answer before Opening Day.
A report from Buster Olney of ESPN sheds some light on their plans. He states the Phillies are willing to listen to offers for both Hamels and Cliff Lee. Given the fact he's six years younger, Hamels would probably be the more coveted starter on the trade market.
The Phillies have indicated to other teams they are ready and willing to talk about Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 10, 2013
Hamels finished last season with a rock-solid 3.60 ERA and that was his worst mark since 2009, illustrating his high level of performance and consistency. The left-hander is also a workhorse, averaging 200 innings pitched per season for his career in Philadelphia.
There are multiple teams looking to improve their rotation and Hamels would be a great target.
Trumbo has developed into one of baseball's premier power hitters. He's racked up 95 homers over the past three seasons for the Los Angeles Angels. But with the team looking to upgrade its pitching staff, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports on a possible deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
1 possible deal on table would send cahill and skaggs to #LAAngels for trumbo— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2013
Which player do you think is most likely going to get moved?
Heyman doesn't specify whether there would be more pieces to the potential trade or it would be a straight two-for-one deal sending Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. If it's the latter, Los Angeles should jump all over it.
Trumbo provides pop, but his on-base percentage dipped below .300 last season and he's limited defensively. On the flip side, Cahill is a solid mid-rotation starter with a 3.89 career ERA and Skaggs is one of the most promising pitching prospects in baseball.
It's hard to imagine Arizona parting with both of those players for just Trumbo. That said, it could definitely use another power hitter to pair with Paul Goldschmidt.
Morrison was seemingly a key piece of the building process for the Miami Marlins as recently as 2011 when he smashed 23 home runs and had a .330 on-base percentage. Over the past two seasons combined, however, he's appeared in just 178 games with 17 homers.
Sensing a potential buy-low opportunity, as many as seven teams have already checked in with the Marlins about Morrison, reports Juan Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. No word if any progress was made toward an actual agreement, though.
According to front office man that's checked in on Logan Morrison, #Marlins have as many as seven suitors for him.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) December 10, 2013
At 26, there's still plenty of time for Morrison to turn things around and build off that potential he showed early in his career. If the Marlins do want to move him, it will be interesting what type of value they would get for a player who underperformed each of the past two years.
Ultimately, it could be one of those situations where a player just needs a change of scenery, but the Marlins must get an impact player or prospect in the deal.