MLB Trade Rumors: Every Team's Biggest Trade-Rumor Magnet
With the winter meetings now underway in MLB free agency, trade rumors have been heating up quickly. Players are being targeted by different teams, and in trade rumors, the same player-team combinations tend to pop up more and more often.
Whether this is due to mutual interest, the player meeting with the team or just us sportswriters trying to figure out what player would be the best fit for the team we cover, players naturally end up attached to the same team or group of teams after a time.
Here is every team's biggest trade-rumor magnet, whether it's a free-agent signing or a trade that a team wants to make.
Baltimore Orioles: Huston Street
Huston Street has been a consistently good closer for many seasons, but he has never been a dominant one.
The Orioles are presuming that this is due to playing in Coors Field, as they are considered a team with huge interest in the closer.
Street's under contract for one more year with a 2013 option, so it's an easy piece for Colorado to trade.
Besides, even Street's bad years were better than a typical Kevin Gregg year.
The closer market is deep, so a trade may not be likely—but you never know.
Once thing is certain: Baltimore is most likely to be active in the trade market instead of free agency, and they're going to want pitching.
Boston Red Sox: Gio Gonzalez
It's a no-brainer that the Red Sox will re-sign David Ortiz to me.
Besides him, the player most connected is, surprisingly, not a free-agent starter.
Instead, they seem interested in the starting pitcher trade market, and the one most connected to them is Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez.
There's no question that Gio Gonzalez is a rising star, pitching very well in 2.5 starting seasons, with the only weakness so far being a too-high walk count.
The Red Sox are discussing Gonzalez widely in-house, as are sportswriters, and it seems like he could be an ideal addition to their rotation.
New York Yankees: Mark Buehrle
My first thought was to place C.J. Wilson on here, but the latest rumors say there's almost no chance he ends up there.
I also considered Yoenis Cespedes, whose name has popped up recently, but instead, I'm hearing a lot more about a connection to Mark Buehrle.
There are a lot of teams interested in the pitcher, and the Yankees have been in talks with his agent.
While talks have subsided on him for a bit, there's no question that they are looking for reliable pitching depth, and Buehrle absolutely provides that.
Talk has died down regarding the Yankees and free agency in general, but once the winter meetings get going I expect this to bounce back to what we saw at first.
Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Morrison
Logan Morrison may have been known more for his Twitter than his playing during his stint with the Marlins, but he may not have to worry about that long, since he is a major subject of trade rumors.
The Rays are reportedly very interested in Morrison, and the feeling is mutual.
They would have to part with James Shields to get him, which is a fairly steep price, and as a result it will be a wait-and-see game.
Toronto Blue Jays: Prince Fielder
The Blue Jays are planning to be very aggressive at the trade meetings.
How aggressive are they planning to be?
Well, aside from looking for a starting second baseman and rotation help, they are considered one of the favorites to land Prince Fielder.
Fielder would be a great fit with Toronto, and they can move Adam Lind to left field, so that would not be an issue.
Talk for Fielder won't get huge until Pujols is close to a contract, but until then, Toronto is a name that keeps popping up.
Chicago White Sox: Yonder Alonso
There has been little talk of the Chicago White Sox buying—most of the discussion involves trading away players, so it seems they are about to enter full rebuilding mode.
Chris Sale, Carlos Quentin, John Danks, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton could all be out of Chicago, and they seem to be overselling them.
As a result, they are likely to get a slew of prospects, the biggest one being Yonder Alonso.
The first baseman in the Reds' group would cost at least Danks, but it's looking increasingly likely that the Reds and White Sox will work out a deal.
Cleveland Indians: Carlos Pena
Only a few names have been popping up for the Cleveland Indians, but one that has been the most consistent is Carlos Pena.
The first baseman could slide right in for Matt LaPorta and plateau with Travis Hafner if needed.
Besides, the Indians need an everyday first baseman but can't afford Fielder or Pujols, so the move makes sense on both sides.
Detroit Tigers: Yoenis Cespedes
The Tigers are looking to add to a strong hitting team, even though they most need help in the back end of the rotation.
The player most frequently moved around is Yoenis Cespedes.
The Cuban defector has been playing in the Dominican Republic, and as a five-tool outfielder he could replace the spot vacated by Magglio Ordonez without any issue.
Kansas City Royals: Backup Infielder
I have a feeling that the Broxton and Sanchez trades were the Royals' big splash, and from here on out things will be quiet.
Others feel the same it seems, as rumors have died down regarding anything Kansas City-related.
The only rumors I've seen involve the Royals being interested in acquiring a backup left-handed infielder.
There are only a few of those on the market, with the most likely pickup being Willie Harris or maybe Craig Counsell, but I've heard of few other potential moves.
Minnesota Twins: Edwin Jackson
The prime rumor target for the Twins was originally Chris Capuano, but he has since signed with the Dodgers.
Since then, however, the stakes have been raised, and the recent hot rumor is that the Twins will pick up Edwin Jackson.
Jackson is young and might want a contract beyond the Twins' reach, but right now they don't have much in the starting rotation—especially if Francisco Liriano continues to be inconsistent.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: C.J. Wilson
Imagine a rotation starting with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson.
The Angels like the sound of that, because they've been aggressive in trying to acquire C.J. Wilson, and that has been one of the major rumors out there.
That move would give the Angels perhaps the best rotation in the division.
Aramis Ramirez has also been bounced around in trade rumors, but not to the extent of Wilson just yet.
Oakland Athletics: Prospects
The Athletics are definitely looking to be sellers during the winter meetings.
They have Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey, who are both garnering interest, so it doesn't seem like they will acquire anyone big.
I don't like going the uncertain route in the titles, but until they make a decision on whether they're moving to San Jose—and even after that—I don't see them acquiring anyone besides prospects this year.
Seattle Mariners: Prince Fielder
I have heard so many varying rumors about Prince Fielder that it's actually tough to keep them in check.
Mariners management seems to badly want Fielder, yet they are not sure if they have the money.
There's no question Fielder helps them, and there's no question of interest—it will just come down to money.
Texas Rangers: Andrew Bailey
It seems increasingly likely that the Rangers will lose star C.J. Wilson and will put closer Neftali Feliz in the rotation in his place.
They may lose Wilson to a division rival, but they could be just as likely to acquire a closer from within the division.
Andrew Bailey is on the market, and the Rangers have expressed a lot of interest.
While still young, Bailey has been a great, underrated reliever, and adding him would make the Rangers' pitching stronger for next year.
Atlanta Braves: Seth Smith
Surprisingly, the big rumor news is that the Atlanta Braves are sellers, with Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens possibly on the way out.
As a result of that, the big trade rumor has been Seth Smith for Martin Prado in a Rockies-Braves trade.
While that trade now looks unlikely due to the Braves wanting more, that could always be worked out during the winter meetings.
Miami Marlins: Jose Reyes
Pretty much everything we have heard about the Miami Marlins the past couple weeks has involved Jose Reyes, and there is no question the two sides are mutually interested.
In short, I would be quite shocked at this point if Reyes did not end up a Marlin, given how rampant the rumors have been, and given that reports now say he is officially signed.
New York Mets: Jon Rauch
There is no question that the Mets will sign at least one, possibly two, closers this offseason, and the question of who they will select has run wild.
While he is likely not the front-runner, the pitcher popping up most frequently is Jon Rauch.
The Mets are hoping Rauch returns to 2010 form with the Twins, which could happen, since his last NL journey was good.
Another name popping up on the radar is Andrew Bailey, though I see the Mets going the free-agent route rather than trading.
Philadelphia Phillies: David Wright
With the addition of Jonathan Papelbon, it's tough to say whether or not the Phillies have made their big move.
Aside from needing to make a decision on re-signing Jimmy Rollins, the next-biggest rumor has been with David Wright.
I highly doubt this will happen, but I've heard a lot of rumors about the Phillies potentially acquiring Wright.
They would have to give up Polanco, Domonic Brown and probably others, so it would be expensive. I feel that it's too expensive, but who knows what the Mets will do?
The Michael Cuddyer rumors are a lot more realistic for Phillies fans.
Washington Nationals: Mark Buehrle
The Nationals are that team where rumors fly with pretty much every prospect on the market, and this year is no exception.
Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols were rumored for a while, but that didn't hold since they have Mike Morse.
Mark Buehrle, on the other hand, has become a very hot rumor of late, and one that makes sense.
A Strasburg-Buehrle one-two punch gives them a more formidable rotation than they've had in some time.
Chicago Cubs: Albert Pujols
There's no question that the Cubs want to snag Pujols from their bitter rivals, and they have the open position and money to do it.
As a result, rumors are rampant about this combination.
The likelihood may not be great, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out during winter meetings.
Cincinnati Reds: James Shields
There's no question that the Reds are looking for some pitching help, and they will likely trade prospect Yonder Alonso to acquire some.
As for whom they might get, Andrew Bailey was tossed around for a while, but the hottest rumor has been James Shields.
The Rays are in need of a first baseman, and while Shields might be off the table due to a career year, that is a straight-up move that has gained steam of late as one that benefits both sides greatly.
Houston Astros: Prospects
Pretty much everywhere I look, I see notes that until a GM signing is confirmed, the Astros are not going to do anything, which likely includes trading Wandy Rodriguez or Carlos Lee.
As a result, the likely guess from me is that they will go in full rebuilding mode, picking up prospects.
If they sign any free agents, it will be late in the game on a low-risk, high-reward type of player.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Rollins
There's no question that the Brewers are looking for bullpen help, but when it comes to acquiring a great infielder, that's the hot rumor, and that player is Jimmy Rollins.
The Brewers are reportedly very interested in acquiring him, and he would fill the weak spot at shortstop easily.
He may be a tough sign, but he'd certainly be easier than Prince Fielder.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Aaron Cook
It's perhaps surprising that there are trade rumors out there for the Pirates, but that certainly is the case this offseason.
Rafael Furcal has been one that's been around, but the most frequent one has been Aaron Cook.
Cook has had a couple poor seasons of late, so it's surprising that the Pirates are as interested as they seem, but it's a low-risk situation that could work out for a team that needs rotation help.
St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols
There are other players that the Cardinals are looking at, such as Matt Thornton, but the biggest name is really a no-brainer as they look to re-sign Pujols.
After all, if he signs elsewhere, any other moves would no longer feel all that good.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Hiroki Kuroda
It originally seemed like the Diamondbacks were going to be quiet this offseason, save some back-of-the-rotation or bullpen help.
Recently, though, a hot rumor has made its way around involving Pirates' outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
I don't buy that at all, but I do buy the rumor involving pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, which has gotten going recently now that he's clearly on the open market.
Adding him would give the Diamondbacks one of baseball's best rotations, and if a prospect gets going they'll only have him a year or two.
Colorado Rockies: Martin Prado
The other side of the Atlanta Braves slide, the Rockies are highly interested in Martin Prado.
He seems likely to leave Atlanta, and if the Rockies are as aggressive in acquiring him as the rumors are making them out to be, it seems likely that it's where Prado will end up.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Prince Fielder
The big extension with Matt Kemp will likely be the Dodgers' biggest move, as the new owner isn't going to spend all the money the first season.
Nonetheless, the Dodgers and Prince Fielder continue to be connected time and time again.
The odds of the Dodgers signing Fielder or Pujols are very slim, however, as much as that team may want either of them.
San Diego Padres: Andrew Bailey
With the departure of Heath Bell, the Padres suddenly need a closer.
Instead of going through the bloated closer free-agent group, they seem interested in Andrew Bailey.
There's no question Bailey would put up great numbers in San Diego, but there might be a question of whether the Padres have the pieces to pull off such a trade.
Carlos Quentin's also an option, but the White Sox and Padres trade history has not necessarily been the best.
San Francisco Giants: Alex Gonzalez
The Giants will likely be happy if they just re-sign Carlos Beltran, but they are looking for middle infield help as well, and one name that has been tossed around is Alex Gonzalez.
The veteran shortstop won't provide too much with the bat, but he's still a solid defender who has spent his career in the National League and would be a nice pickup.