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Hot MLB Rumors the Linked Teams Should Avoid at All Costs

Ben BerkonContributor IDecember 10, 2013

Hot MLB Rumors the Linked Teams Should Avoid at All Costs

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    This offseason has been particularly busy. But the winter meetings have traditionally been the greatest vehicle for wheeling and dealing.

    To date, only a few trades have gone down, with the three-way deal between the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels being the most significant. According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, Mark Trumbo will head to the Diamondbacks, Adam Eaton to the White Sox and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels.

    With all the swirling rumors and ample time left in the winter meetings, several more free-agent signings and trades could go down. Yet not all of the latest rumors are necessarily beneficial for the involved teams.

    Read on to see all the hot MLB rumors the linked teams should avoid at all costs.

     

    All statistics sourced from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com.

Mets Signing Bronson Arroyo

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    The New York Mets were dealt a huge blow in late-2013 when the team announced ace Matt Harvey would undergo Tommy John surgery and subsequently miss all of 2014. And while the Mets certainly need a warm body to fill the vacant rotation spot, there’s little reason to do so with Bronson Arroyo, as scooped by ESPN’s Darren Wolfson

    Arroyo, 36, has enjoyed a solid major league career, owning a 4.19 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 104 ERA+), 1.29 WHIP and 2.37 strikeouts per nine innings. Considering the right-hander has also averaged 211 innings since 2005, Arroyo has proven to be a quality innings eater too.

    But the free agent is likely seeking at least a three-year deal, which would be through age 38. Considering the Mets could sport a rotation of Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard in 2015 (and beyond), throwing at least $12 million per season at Arroyo would be a waste of resources. 

    The Mets would be better served by instead signing Bartolo Colon to a one-year deal—or perhaps taking a chance on the maligned James McDonald.

Acquiring Domonic Brown

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Phillies are dabbling with the idea of blowing up their roster. Some of the high-priced chips could even be starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman

    But the Phillies aren’t stopping there. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, they're also reluctantly open to discussing deals involving Domonic Brown. 

    Brown finally broke out in 2013, posting a .272 batting average, 7.2 percent walk rate, park-adjusted 123 OPS+, 27 home runs and eight stolen bases. And while the Phillies are entitled to ask for two or three young players in return, prospective suitors shouldn’t cave so quickly.

    The left-handed hitter only owns a career .235 batting average and .670 OPS versus southpaws. Brown was also brutal defensively in left field, gloving a minus-7 DRS according to The Fielding Bible.

    It’s possible Brown could learn to hit left-handed pitching and field his position better, but at the cost of several top prospects, it’s a bit risky.

Swapping Daniel Murphy for Dylan Bundy

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    The New York Mets have put Daniel Murphy on the block—but don’t plan on giving him away for nothing. According to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, Sandy Alderson asked the Baltimore Orioles for top prospect Dylan Bundy in return. 

    Even though Bundy is recovering from Tommy John surgery, most executives would agree that the 21-year-old still has a bright future ahead. Between three minor league levels in 2012, the right-hander combined for a 2.08 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 4.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    And while Murphy collected a .286 batting average, park-adjusted 108 OPS+, 13 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2013, the second baseman has some blatant weaknesses too. The 28-year-old only posted a 4.5 percent walk rate and was the second-worst defensive second basemen in baseball, according to The Fielding Bible, gloving a minus-13 DRS.

    Essentially, acquiring Murphy could be a smart move for the Orioles, but not at his current cost.

Texas Rangers Inking Nelson Cruz Instead of Shin-Soo Choo

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    With the Arizona Diamondbacks acquiring Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, the Diamondbacks might now back off from pursuing Shin-Soo Choo. 

    This should be good news for the Texas Rangers, who met with Choo’s agent yesterday, according to Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant. But the Rangers are also interested in retaining oft-injured slugger Nelson Cruz.

    Even though Cruz has averaged 27 home runs since 2009, the 33-year-old’s one-dimensional skill set doesn’t bode well for the future, as analyzed by FanGraphs.com’s Dave Cameron. And it's worth mentioning that Cruz was one of the big-name players involved in the Biogenesis scandal too.

    Choo won’t come cheaply, but at least the Rangers would be up against far less teams than the beginning of the offseason.

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