The Major League Baseball offseason is in full swing as free agents continue their search for new homes and clubs look to retool heading into the new year.
Several notable names have already changed locations over the past six weeks since the World Series concluded, but more are sure to follow suit.
Here we will break down some of the latest buzz surrounding the major leagues this winter.
Phillies Looking to Move a Pair of Big Names?
The Philadelphia Phillies appear ready to part ways with some established veterans after another disappointing season, including shortstop Jimmy Rollins, according to ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney on Twitter:
PHI has made clear to other teams, as it did during the summer, that it is very willing to move Jimmy Rollins. Has a no-trade clause, tho.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 16, 2013
Olney adds that Rollins has a no-trade clause in his current contract that could make moving him difficult.
Although Rollins has spent the past 14 seasons in Philadelphia and helped the Phillies win it all in 2008, his 39 RBI and six home runs were his lowest totals since his debut season in 2000, when he only played in 14 games.
Clearly, Rollins' production at the plate has fallen off over the past few seasons. Having turned 35 last month, it's no wonder the Phillies are ready to move on and make a change at shortstop.
However, Rollins isn't the only aging star the Phillies are looking to move this offseason. Olney adds that Philadelphia is "extremely motivated" to trade relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon this winter:
Folks who've talked with PHI say they're EXTREMELY motivated to move Papelbon. Could cost $39m for 2014-2016 seasons if '16 option vests.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 13, 2013
Philly signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal after the 2011 season and has seen the 33-year-old right-hander go a combined 10-7 over the past two seasons with a 2.68 ERA. Philadelphia has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons since signing Papelbon.
While he still has plenty to offer, it appears that Papelbon's best baseball is behind him at this point. He made his mark with the Boston Red Sox years ago, delivering some clutch postseason pitching during the Sox's World Series title run in 2007.
Cubs Eyeing Jonathan Sanchez?
The Chicago Cubs are one of "several teams" reportedly looking at free-agent left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, according to The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales:
The Cubs envision Sanchez as a reliever, according to a source. Several other teams interested in Sanchez prefer to employ him as a starter -- a role that Sanchez has performed for most of his career.
The 31-year-old Puerto Rico native has a lot to prove wherever he lands this offseason. After beginning the 2013 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sanchez was let go after just four starts. He posted a horrendous 11.85 ERA over that time and wound up being picked up by the L.A. Dodgers and finishing the year with Triple-A Albuquerque.
It will be interesting to see whether the Cubs' desire to utilize Sanchez as a reliever impacts where he signs this winter. Sanchez has been a starter for the majority of his career, emerging as a solid option against left-handed batters with the San Francisco Giants a few seasons ago. If another team is willing to offer him that role, the Cubs may have to continue their search elsewhere.
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