With spring training just a couple of months away, the MLB trade rumors are still swirling around the league.
There have already been a lot of big free-agent signings around the league, including big names like Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. The biggest trade of the offseason so far came in November, with the Detroit Tigers trading Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler.
There's still time for some other big trades to take place, so let's take a look at the latest trade rumors heading into spring training.
Mets Still Shopping Ike Davis
The New York Mets made a big splash by signing Curtis Granderson, but it appears that they're not done yet, as they're actively trying to trade away first baseman Ike Davis.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets were unsuccessful in trading Davis to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, but the team is still reportedly talking with the Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates:
Mets have unsuccessfully tried to get pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez from Orioles for Ike Davis. Still talking to Brewers, Orioles, Pirates.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) December 27, 2013
In 103 games played this past year, Davis seriously struggled. He hit just .205 with nine home runs and 33 runs batted in, striking out 101 times. But he's been a more reliable player in previous years, hitting 32 home runs with a .227 batting average back in 2012.
The Mets are hoping that other teams believe Davis will turn it around. The fact that they haven't yet been able to trade him might say something about that, but there are still a few teams that appear to be considering adding the left-handed first baseman.
Red Sox Not Interested in Trading John Lackey
With another World Series title, the Boston Red Sox appear to be in very good shape with their roster, even without Jacoby Ellsbury. Still, teams are interested in trying to trade for a few Red Sox players, including right-handed pitcher John Lackey.
But the Red Sox don't seem interested in trading away their 35-year-old pitcher. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe had this to say about the situation with Lackey in Boston:
Lackey's name has come up consistently this winter, but the Red Sox aren't motivated to deal him. There may come a point when that changes, though his contract is team-friendly with a $15.25 million outlay and only $500,000 in a team option for 2015.
Yet if the Red Sox ever got involved in Tanaka, a veteran pitcher or two would likely go. Lackey could bring salary relief this season and also allow the Sox to fill another need and remain under the luxury tax.
Lackey was a very productive pitcher for the Red Sox in 2013. He started 29 games while posting just a 3.52 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, going 10-13 on the year. His postseason stats were even more impressive, pitching 26 innings with a 2.77 ERA and allowing just 25 hits.
While he may not be pitching much longer, the strong numbers are a good sign for Lackey as he looks to keep playing at a high level.
Teams Interested in Brett Gardner
With the New York Yankees signing Beltran and Ellsbury, the outfield for the team looks to be in good shape. However, teams are now looking at the Yankees and considering trying to make a trade for Brett Gardner.
MLB insider Peter Gammons reported that a number of teams have been been trying to shop for Gardner. Gammons had this to say about the situation:
Since the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, at least a half-dozen teams—from the Phillies to the Tigers—have taken a run at Brett Gardner, knowing he's a free agent at the end of next season. But Brian Cashman won't move him until and unless he has to for starting pitching.
Cashman loves Gardner's toughness and likens it to that of Dustin Pedroia, thinks Gardner is very similar to Ellsbury only a year or two behind in skill development, and thinks the defense and the offensive speed will play big in Yankee Stadium and in a lineup that will otherwise play for power.
It was another solid season for Gardner, as he played in 145 games after playing in just 16 the previous year. He hit .273 with 52 RBI, eight home runs and 24 stolen bases with a 4.2 WAR. He's a speedy outfielder who can play in center field, but he's not getting any younger, as he's already 30 years old.
Given his production when healthy, Gardner would make a great fit for another team. The Yankees have a ton of solid outfielders, and Gardner may be the odd man out.