The 2013 MLB offseason has been full of blockbuster signings and surprise moves, but the trade rumors have continued to fly over the last several weeks.
With huge names like Tampa Bay’s David Price, Boston’s Jake Peavy and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins reportedly on the market, the rumor mill has become a major topic of conversation.
Here are the biggest rumors circulating after the conclusion of the winter meetings.
David Price Still a Trade Target?
The Tampa Bay Rays had been reportedly talking about moving starting pitcher David Price for the right return, but the rumors have died down over the last month. Once the winter meetings began, so did the inquiries.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the activity surrounding Price has picked up:
Despite the silence, sources said the trade market remains active, with a number of teams having approached Tampa Bay with pitches for Price at the winter meetings but none having found the proper assortment of talent to pry away the former Cy Young winner.
Price is still under contract with Tampa Bay and the franchise controls his fate, but the team has shown in the past with players like outfielder Carl Crawford that it will let big names walk via free agency.
Instead of getting little in return, the Rays are better off trying to deal him at the trade deadline and find a team desperate to make the postseason that is willing to overpay. The possible deal may have weighed heavily on Price as he didn’t live up to expectations in 2013.
Price’s agent Bo McKinnis spoke about how his client is dealing with the rumors, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
We really don't know any more than everybody else. David has made it clear many times how much he likes playing for the Rays. At this point we're reading the same reports and watching and waiting to see what happens.
There is still immense value to a 28-year-old starter with as much experience and consistency as Price, but his down performance last season would not fetch Tampa Bay its asking price. The franchise must let the veteran start the season with the Rays to prove his elite status and move him to the highest bidder before the deadline.
Boston Red Sox Looking to Make a Deal?
The Boston Red Sox are coming off a World Series victory, but the team finds itself with an abundance of starting pitchers. That’s a good problem to have.
Per a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the franchise could be looking to deal one of the high-priced veterans it acquired in order to win last year’s championship:
A trade remains possible — the Red Sox are checking in with teams that need starters, sources say. Righties Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster appear the most expendable, but the Sox could get a bigger return if they moved righty John Lackey or lefty Felix Doubront.
The key in the trade to acquire Peavy was star prospect Jose Iglesias. The Red Sox may be looking to deal one or both of these veteran pitchers, but what the team would get in return is up for debate.
Boston won’t get back a prospect as valuable as Iglesias, though.
Several teams across MLB need legitimate help in the back end of their rotation, but how much a franchise on the cusp of contending would be willing to part with to acquire a 32-year-old pitcher remains to be seen.
Philadelphia Still Shopping Jimmy Rollins?
The Philadelphia Phillies have made several offseason moves, but the biggest could be yet to come. According to a report from Buster Olney of ESPN, the team is looking at one of the longest tenured players on the roster, shortstop Jimmy Rollins:
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
Rollins hit for a disappointing.252 batting average in 2013 and only amassed six home runs, 39 RBI and 65 runs. At 35 years old, the steady decline in production since winning the MVP award in 2007 is obvious.
There will undoubtedly be a team looking for help in the middle infield that will consider Rollins at shortstop. His leadership abilities and his big-game experience are unquestionable, but Philadelphia shouldn’t expect a huge return in a trade if the team finds a partner.
*All stats via MLB.com.