MLB Trade Rumors: Where Will the 10 Biggest Names On the Block End Up?

Allen KimSenior Analyst INovember 29, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Where Will the 10 Biggest Names On the Block End Up?

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    MLB trade rumors are picking up steam as the annual Winter Meetings are set to begin next week.

    While free agent signings will most likely take precedent after salary arbitration is complete, teams that missed out on the offseason action will surely look to make a splash in the trade market.

Justin Upton

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    Picked No. 1 overall in the 2005 MLB draft, Justin Upton has become a hot target for teams around the league since his name was put on the trade block.

    The only roadblock in any deal involving Justin will be the asking price of Diamondbacks' GM Kevin Towers.

    The Red Sox may attempt to go after Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth in free agency first, rather than give up the farm in order to obtain Upton.

    However, Boston certainly has the assets to make a deal. If the team was so inclined, they have young pitching prospects in Casey Kelley and Stolmy Pimentel, shortstop Jed Lowrie and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury or Ryan Kalish. A deal packaged around a handful of these players may be just enough to get the deal done.

    Likely destination: Boston Red Sox

B.J. Upton

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    The older of the Upton brothers, B.J. is an attractive player to go after.

    B.J. is incredibly versatile, able to play anywhere from center field to shortstop. He is an elite defensive player and he would be a great asset to any team in center field.

    Upton is also one of only two players to get 60 extra base hits and steal 40 bases last season.

    With Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano set to leave the team, Tampa Bay may look to trade Upton in order to reload their depleted roster.

    B.J. is still under contract until after 2012, so the Rays may not be inclined to pull the trigger immediately. But it seems that Upton will eventually be traded, especially with some potentially expensive arbitration years coming up.

    With the way Upton's production has dropped off in recent years, the Rays may not be able to get more from him next year if he continues his downward spiral.

    Likely destination: Staying put, for now

Zack Greinke

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    Falling just short of taking home a World Series title, the Rangers will be looking to bolster their pitching rotation with Cliff Lee likely headed elsewhere.

    Greinke's value is unlikely to be higher than it is now, and with Kansas City not likely a part of Zack's future plans, the Royals would be wise to move him now. He has a 15-team no-trade clause that kicks in for 2011 that would hamper any potential trading partners right now.

    Zack had a down year last season after winning the Cy Young Award the year before, but he's easily one of the best pitchers purportedly out on the market.

    Likely destination: Texas Rangers

Prince Fielder

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    Milwaukee doesn't appear to be in any rush to trade Fielder, but they may have no choice with Scott Boras representing the slugger.

    Prince is likely to demand a contract extension well above his market-value, and with only one year left on his deal, the Brewers would be best off trading him now and seeing what they can get in return.

    The White Sox had discussions with the Brewers regarding a deal, but they ended up going nowhere once Milwaukee asked for Gordon Beckham.

    However, Chicago has made no secret of their desire to land a left-handed slugger and Prince fits the billing. If the White Sox were to alter their demands, the deal could pick up more steam and it won't be long before Prince is wearing black and white.

    Likely destination: Chicago White Sox

Adrian Gonzalez

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    Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is a prime target to be traded this season.

    Coming off of shoulder surgery, it would make sense to trade Adrian now while his stock is still high. While the surgery is unlikely to have any impact on his trade value, it could hurt if he has a poor showing in spring training or early in the year.

    Boston has the assets to make a deal, it's just a matter of both sides agreeing on terms. This would also help the Red Sox forget about the loss of Victor Martinez. The Red Sox must make some big moves this offseason if they want to have any shot of competing in the AL East.

    Likely destination: Boston Red Sox

Paul Konerko

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    Paul Konerko is coming off arguably the best season of his career.

    He was offered arbitration by the Chicago White Sox, but he's likely to turn that down in order to find a multi-year deal elsewhere, which would take him out of any potential trade.

    Paul has been linked to the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the close proximity to his home in Arizona.

    However, the team may not be able to afford him. Arizona has glaring holes in their roster and Konerko will not be enough to pick up the slack.

    This is where the Texas Rangers can come in and pick Konerko off. Texas has been looking for another bat, and since they failed to get Victor Martinez, Paul may be their target replacement.

    Baltimore is also in the mix with a need to fill in their corner infield.

    Likely destinations: Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles

Jonathan Papelbon

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    Papelbon made $9.35 million last season, and he's likely to get even more this upcoming season through arbitration.

    With Billy Wagner retiring, the Braves need to replace him in the lineup.

    The Red Sox also have Daniel Bard waiting for his opportunity, and moving Papelbon would be the only way to make that happen.

    However, Papelbon's massive salary stands in the way of any reasonable deal happening. The Red Sox would have to eat a significant portion of his contract to make any deal happen.

    Likely destination: Staying put, with a glimmer of hope for the Atlanta Braves

Francisco Cordero

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    The relief pitcher out of Cincinnati has purportedly been made available to the highest bidder.

    Cordero is set to turn 36 and he'll be making $12 million in 2011, so he would be a hard player to move. However, with a widespread need for relief pitching , suitors may come calling.

    According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, the Reds may even go as far as chipping in cash in order to get a club to take the pitcher off their hands. But that cash commitment would likely be worth more money than it's worth to deal the pitcher.

    Likely destination: Staying put

Colby Rasmus

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    Colby has a tenuous situation in St. Louis. Albert Pujols once called him out for not being a team player, and he has a shaky relationship with manager Tony La Russa.

    Not the type of player you want to keep around the club house.

    Rasmus is still a productive player capable of playing at a high level, so any deal would not come cheap. However, given an enticing enough offer and the Cardinals may be inclined to move him.

    Atlanta has attempted to trade for Colby in the past. The Braves are in need of an outfield slugger and they have the pieces to get a deal done.

    Likely destination: Staying put, with a glimmer of hope for the Atlanta Braves

Jose Reyes

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    Once considered to be an untouchable asset, Jose may soon find himself with a new home.

    With new GM, Sandy Alderson in place for the New York Mets, he may be looking to make over the current roster and rebuild.

    Reyes is only 27 and is still considered to be an elite player, despite his recent inconsistent and injury riddled seasons.

    The Mets exercised their $11 million team option for Reyes, so the team has control of his contract and future.

    Ideally, the Mets would like to get rid of Carlos Beltran and his crippling contract, so pairing the two together would make for an enticing package.

    However, if they can't pair the two, Reyes should be able to fetch several marquee prospects to help shape the Mets future.

    The San Francisco Giants, fresh off a World Series win, are in the hunt for a shortstop and Reyes could be the answer to all their problems.

    Likely destination: Staying put, with San Francisco Giants possibly in the running