The annual Winter Meetings in Orlando might be in the rear-view mirror, but that doesn't mean the MLB Trade Rumors haven't slowed down at all.
The shock and the outrage over Jayson Werth's deal with the Nationals has subsided, being replaced by the shock and outrage over Carl Crawford's mega-deal with the Red Sox. Whoever offered Cliff Lee the seventh year on a contract offer was being kept undisclosed like a military secret, and there was talk of the other owners possibly amounting to what would be an alliance to raise the luxury tax for the Yankees and the Red Sox.
I thought Disney World was supposed to be The Happiest Place on Earth.
Anyway, there are still big names out there to be had, and here's the latest on some of those names.
We'll start with the best free-agent available, and someone whose negotiations might belong in the Pentagon rather than in Arkansas. It's been long, somewhat confusing and extremely odd, with a mystery team offering Lee a seventh year which, according to reports, was actually the Red Sox baiting the Yankees to offer a seventh year. Meanwhile, there were reports the Nationals and Angels were in on him, while the Rangers were sending a convoy to Arkansas to meet with Lee and still feel good about their chances.
In short, the Rangers and Yankees are fighting it out and it looks like the Lee talks will go into next week.
The latest on a possible trade of the slugging first baseman is still that the Dodgers and Orioles (and now the White Sox) are interested but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that nothing is imminent yet with a Fielder trade. But the observations of what the top free agents have been getting on the open market this year are leading some media members to assume that the Brewers won't be able to bring Fielder back and might trade him.
According to a tweet by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, GM Dayton Moore said the Royals are in "listen only" mode on Greinke. Like many other teams with big stars, they're keeping it very close to the vest for obvious reasons. Toronto was one of the rumored teams interested last week, as well as the Phillies. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that five teams are serious about Greinke and that Toronto, Texas, Washington and the Dodgers are interested.
Nothing is imminent on Young, who's spent his entire career in the Texas infield. But it's been pretty widely reported that the Rangers' brass are discussing deals including Young, especially involving the Colorado Rockies. Although Fox Sports is reporting that the likelihood of a Young deal is "less than 50 percent" and Daniels came out earlier this week and said he would prefer to keep Young.
The potential suitors for Beltre have been all over the map. He may have priced himself out of the market at least for right now, but the Angels are expected to make a big push for Beltre now that Crawford spurned them. Oakland had offered a deal and could still be a possibility. Texas has been rumored as well, which would give credence to the Young trade rumors.
The Cubs filled their first-base hole by signing Carlos Pena, and rumors are they might be adding another Ray in Garza. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweeted that the Rays will definitely trade Garza, something that Buster Olney validated by writing that teams will look at Garza as a less expensive option to Greinke. There was a rumored trade that would send Garza to the Cubs, which Price included in his tweet as the likely landing spot.
The latest news on the closer came today as the Orioles (both Beltway teams extremely active in free agency, though that's more the Orioles' M.O. than the Nationals) offered him a deal worth $8 to $10 million a year according to the Baltimore Sun. Rosenthal reported that there are other teams involved in the closer, including the Nationals, Pirates, Rockies and Red Sox.
A year or two ago, he would've been one of the more desirable names on the free-agent market, assuming he got to that point. Now Martin is, according to his agent, deciding between the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays for a contract. The Blue Jays might have an edge because Martin is Canadian, but the other two teams are said to be hotly pursuing him.
The last time Pavano was this wanted by MLB teams, the Red Sox had just won the World Series.
The Twins are still in to keep Pavano, after he pitched well for them last season. The Brewers were interested but are now apparently out after not wanting to sign Pavano to a multi-year deal. The Washington Post reported that the Nationals don't want to offer more than two years like Milwaukee, but still are in talks with Pavano's agent.
For a closer who had the numbers of Soriano, the market on him has been somewhat quiet.
As of this posting, the only team that seems to be heavily in on him is the Angels, and expect them to ratchet it up even more now that he is the main focus. If that's the case, then all the leverage would go to the Angels since they'd only be bidding against themselves. Although there have been pieces written that with time the market on Soriano will get hotter.