2012 MLB Free Agency: Updating Free Agent/Trade Rumors for Every Team

Mark MillerCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2011

2012 MLB Free Agency: Updating Free Agent/Trade Rumors for Every Team

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    A week after the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Angels solidified themselves as the biggest players this offseason, there are still a number of names left to find new homes.

    Teams who have been feeling out the markets for their targets are beginning to work towards deals, be it via free agency or trade.

    Some teams are buying while others are selling. At any rate, every organization appears poised to make something happen this winter.

    Here are some moves that teams have, are or will be contemplating before spring training approaches.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Joe Saunders

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    Despite being non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team still intends on making an attempt to sign Joe Saunders to remain a part of the team's rotation in 2012 and beyond.

Atlanta Braves: Nick Punto

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    In an effort to solidify their bench, the Atlanta Braves appear to be considering signing utility infielder Nick Punto to fill in as needed.

    He won't start at any position, but with good speed and an ability to play solid defense in the middle of the infield, Punto could be a valuable piece that wouldn't come at much of a price.

Baltimore Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen

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    Having already signed Tsuyoshi Wada to a contract, the Baltimore Orioles appear to be pursuing another Japanese pitcher that could contend for a spot in the starting rotation.

    Wei-Yin Chen is a left-handed starter with a fastball reaching the mid-90s and a slow curveball that keeps batters off balance.

    Chen does not need to pass through the posting process like top pitching target Yu Darvish.

Boston Red Sox: Michael Cuddyer

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    After early visits to the east coast this offseason for Michael Cuddyer, the Twins outfielder still finds himself without a contract. The Philadelphia Phillies made the first strong push for Cuddyer, but have since pulled back.

    With the Colorado Rockies apparently leaning towards Carlos Beltran in the outfield and the Twins signing Josh Willingham, Cuddyer could rethink his asking price and find himself more in a range the Red Sox could work with.

Chicago Cubs: Prince Fielder

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    With Theo Epstein holding the keys to the Chicago Cubs future, it was assumed that there would be some big moves made this offseason.

    Despite not making that big move during last week's winter meetings, the team still appears to be a target for Prince Fielder. With fans looking for a big move to be made, it wouldn't be entirely surprising to see him find a home in the Windy City.

Chicago White Sox: John Danks

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    With the Chicago White Sox in rebuilding mode, it appears they're looking to sell high on some of their top pitchers.

    Gavin Floyd and John Danks have been mentioned as the most likely trade targets, with Danks drawing the most interest.

    The Yankees appear to be the most interested team, with top pitching prospects in the mix as potential compensation.

Cincinnati Reds: Jair Jurrjens

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    Jair Jurrjens is getting interest from a number of teams who would love the young righty on their staff but more so than other teams, the Cincinnati Reds appear serious about getting a deal done for Jurrjens.

    With uncertainty in the staff in Atlanta, their GM may be reluctant to pull the trigger, but the right package could end up getting a deal done.

Cleveland Indians: Casey Blake

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    At season's end, the Los Angeles Dodgers declined the 2012 option on Casey Blake, paying him a buyout and making him a free agent.

    With a third of the league interested in bringing Blake on as a utility player, it would seem that a deal shouldn't be difficult to complete, with the Indians appearing to be the most likely destination.

Colorado Rockies: Carlos Beltran/Michael Cuddyer

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    With the Colorado Rockies in on Josh Willingham, Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Beltran for outfield help, any number of moves could have been made.

    Willingham is off the market after signing a three-year deal with the Twins, increasing chances that one of either Beltran or Cuddyer end up in a Rockies uniform.

Detroit Tigers: Martin Prado

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    As the Detroit Tigers look to potentially add additional infield depth, they appear to be considering a pursuit of Martin Prado to provide another option at third base.

    The move could appear less likely with the team already signing Ramon Santiago, but a deal still can't be ruled out.

Houston Astros: Jason Varitek

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    With Kelly Shoppach signing a contract with the Boston Red Sox, it's appearing increasingly likely that Jason Varitek's time with the Sox is over.

    With the Rays and Astros among teams looking for help at catcher and Rodriguez reportedly interested in playing in Tampa, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Astros put out some feelers for Varitek this winter.

Kansas City Royals: Edgar Renteria

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    In an effort to add a formidable utility infielder this offseason, the Kansas City Royals are interested in the services of Edgar Renteria to fill the role.

    At this point it also appears that Mark DeRosa and Orlando Cabrera are viable options.

Los Angeles Angels: Luis Ayala

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    With a number of relief pitchers making their moves in a deep bullpen market, Luis Ayala has been getting more and more attention this fall. 

    The 33-year-old righty went 2-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 52 appearances with the Yankees, and could potentially end up joining one of the bigger players this offseason, as the Los Angeles Angels have indicated an interest in the reliever to accompany their acquisition of LaTroy Hawkins.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Hiroki Kuroda

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    It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Hiroki Kuroda would re-sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason, since he had previously indicated that he had no other destinations in mind and could possibly head back to Japan.

    At this point it seems fairly unlikely, but with Kuroda still available, it's possible that with his desire to stay out west a deal could get done. 

Miami Marlins: Hanley Ramirez

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    With the bulk of the attention surrounding the new additions to the Miami Marlins roster, there's also a bit of an in-house issue as the talk of Hanley Ramirez's potential departure is gaining steam in the media.

    It remains to be seen whether or not a deal is imminent, but it looks like if he was to realistically hit the trading block, there would be no shortage of teams making the call to the Marlins.

Milwaukee Brewers: Prince Fielder

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    As the 2011 season wound down, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Prince Fielder was playing his final games in Milwaukee. After the season, ownership wasn't as quick to call it quits.

    Since then, it seems to have gone back and forth a time or two, with Fielder possibly leaning towards teams like the Rangers or Mariners.

    But as time passes and teams like the Blue Jays voice an unwillingness to extend Fielder the contract he desires it appears there could still be a window of opportunity to keep Fielder in a Brewers uniform.

Minnesota Twins: Edwin Jackson

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    With Josh Willingham headed to Minnesota, the Twins will now look to address their starting rotation that struggled mightily in 2011.

    The Twins appear to be turning their attention to Edwin Jackson, who may very well be out of their price range, but is one of the best starting pitchers available this offseason and would make an immediate impact in the rotation.

New York Mets: Jonathon Niese

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    Despite the number of big name sluggers entering the free-agent market this offseason, the number of pitching possibilities is even larger.

    With that also comes the opportunity teams see in dangling top talent as trade bait to make room for future or immediate moves.

    It appears the Mets are listening on Jonathon Niese (who would probably come at a cheaper price than Gio Gonzalez), although no deal with a particular organization appears to be in the works.

New York Yankees: Matt Thornton

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    As will continue to be a trend this offseason, Chicago White Sox players are finding themselves mentioned in trade talks with any number of teams while the team looks to rebuild to contend again in the AL Central.

    Under contract through 2013, Matt Thornton's name hasn't been thrown out there much, but with the White Sox open to dumping his salary a team like the Yankees—who have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Thornton—could be in the mix.

Oakland Athletics: Andrew Bailey

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    It hasn't happened yet, but Andrew Bailey's name has been thrown around non-stop as a trade target in recent weeks.

    At one point, ESPN's Buster Olney noted that the chances of Bailey being traded are 100 percent.

    It still remains seen where Bailey will end up, but along with Gio Gonzalez, he's a pitcher that very well could find himself in a different uniform next season.

Philadelphia Phillies: George Sherrill

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    Two pitching options connected to the Philadelphia Phillies recently are Dontrelle Willis and George Sherrill.

    With Willis signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Phillies yesterday, it looks like the team may turn their attention back to the bullpen as they continue to consider Sherill.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Derrek Lee

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    With the acquisition of Casey McGehee, it appeared that the Pittsburgh Pirates were ending their experiment with Derrek Lee.

    Now it seems that's not necessarily the case, as Jon Heyman notes that the team is still interested in bringing Lee back to play first base in 2012.

San Diego Padres: Carlos Quentin

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    Carlos Quentin's name has at times surfaced with an exact destination in mind, as the San Diego Padres appear to at least be considering filling their outfield void with Quentin.

    Quentin had a breakout season in 2008 when he hit 36 home runs in 130 games and finished fifth in MVP voting. His average may have declined since then, but he's still averaged 24 home runs and 73 RBI in his past three seasons.

    Given the rebuilding mode the White Sox are in, there doesn't appear to be a player that's off limits, so Quentin could very well end up moving.

San Francisco Giants: Jason Kubel

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    The San Fransisco Giants were expected to be priced out of the market with regards to outfielders such as Josh Willingham, Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer.

    With Willingham now in place in Minnesota, it's likely that other outfielders will begin to move, possibly leaving Jason Kubel to play the waiting game as more high-profile names take priority.

    Kubel is a young and effective hitter that can play the outfield sufficiently and would come at a cheaper price than other players once targeted by the bay.

Seattle Mariners: Prince Fielder

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    It's a rumor that won't go away, and while it would seem that Prince Fielder's more likely destinations would be somewhere like Texas or Chicago, Seattle continues to be a team mentioned on a short list for Fielder's services.

    Whether or not they're able to get a deal done remains to be seen, but with the winter meetings in the past and other moves beginning to fall into place, it's looking more and more like deals will be getting done before the calendar turns over to 2012.

St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse/Jake Westbrook

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    As the St. Louis Cardinals cautiously look for ways to improve pitching, it appears they're not looking past trading pieces they currently have in place.

    It has been noted that both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook are open for discussion in St. Louis and could find themselves out of the World Series champions' clubhouse.

Tampa Bay Rays: Ivan Rodriguez

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    With Kelly Shoppach headed up the coast to catch for the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays will no doubt be looking to add a backstop this offseason.

    According to CBS Sports analyst Jon Heyman, it appears the Rays are interested in bringing Ivan Rodriguez to catch.

Texas Rangers: Darren Oliver

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    With C.J. Wilson already departed from the Lone Star State, the Rangers will be looking to free agency to improve their rotation.

    In the bullpen, it appears increasingly likely that we'll see 41-year-old Darren Oliver return for another season. He was effective in 2011, appearing in 61 games while putting up a 2.29 ERA and 5-5 record.

Toronto Blue Jays: Prince Fielder

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    At one point during last week's winter meetings, it appeared that the rumors surrounding Prince Fielder heading north of the border to Toronto were gaining some traction.

    They've since subsided after it was noted that the team wasn't willing to give Fielder the length of a contract that he desired.

    Fielder still hasn't found a home, however, and along with the Mariners and Rangers, the Blue Jays still appear to be on a short list of Fielder's serious suitors.

Washington Nationals: Greg Dobbs

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    The Washington Nationals have been considering signing former Florida Marlins utility player Greg Dobbs to provide a more stable backup option.

    Dobbs hit .275 in 2011 and would be able to give the Nationals an option in both the infield and outfield while providing a better bat off the bench.