MLB Free Agency 2012: Updating Free Agent/Trade Rumors for Every Team
Despite the fact that free agency is now beginning to wind down, the result of the majority of marquee free agents being off the board, there are still a few big names and many role players available who can contribute to teams next season.
All 30 MLB teams remain on the lookout for more talent. Even those that you would expect to be done on the free agent scene are still looking for any advantage they can get heading into 2012.
Here are the latest trade and free agent rumors for all 30 MLB teams, whether these involve acquiring a star or trading one of their own.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Gerardo Parra
With the recent signing of Jason Kubel, Arizona appeared to give up on acquiring Hiroki Kuroda, and Joe Saunders will not likely be re-signed at this point either.
While it's unknown who they may acquire as a fifth starter, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic notes that Gerardo Parra is the odd man out with Kubel's signing and will be used as trade bait since he fits as a defensive corner outfielder rather than a fourth outfielder.
If the Diamondbacks are still set on acquiring a bargain fifth starter, trading Parra will be the way to get him.
Atlanta Braves: Adam Jones
The Atlanta Braves are clearly trying to ship Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado, and as a result a lot of trade options have popped up—such as sending Prado to the Rockies for Seth Smith—but most have gone cold.
The most consistent name to pop up over the past couple weeks is Adam Jones, Baltimore's center fielder. At minimum, the Braves would have to give up not only Jurrjens and Prado, but two prospects, as the Orioles already rejected a deal for the above and one prospect.
Given the price tag on Adam Jones, I would be shocked if this trade happened, especially since Jones is 26 and is someone the O's could build around in the future.
Baltimore Orioles: Prince Fielder
Although Baltimore has stated that pitching will be their priority for the rest of this offseason—and rightfully so—it comes as no surprise that they would still like to ad a big bat like Prince Fielder to their lineup.
According to Jon Morosi, the Orioles want Fielder, but would want him to lower his astronomical asking price. Fielder wants more money than Pujols got, and until Scott Boras stops overselling him, any deal placing Fielder on the Orioles likely will not happen.
Boston Red Sox: Hiroki Kuroda
This is becoming a familiar theme. As has been the case all offseason, the Red Sox and Yankees are after the same player. This week, it's Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who is now hearing offers from all teams.
The Red Sox need a consistent starting pitcher, and I would have to think that they are the frontrunners to acquire Kuroda given the latest development.
Chicago Cubs: Paul Maholm
With Theo Epstein in as GM and the latest trade sending out Sean Marshall and bringing in Travis Wood, it's clear that the Cubs are in complete rebuilding mode.
To add rotation depth, they are now looking for some low-risk pieces who could take on a role as the Cubs' fifth starter. One possibility is former Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm.
If he can keep his ERA under 4.00 like he did last season, it could work out, but the rumors were primarily flowing before the Wood trade became official, so this likely won't happen unless another starter is traded.
Chicago White Sox: Yoenis Cespedes
Unlike the Cubs, who no one doubts are rebuilding, it's tough to get a handle on whether or not the White Sox are. Mark Buehrle's gone, but they recently extended John Danks' contract.
Not only that, but according to Danny Knobler, the White Sox will likely be making a big offer to Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes, and if that's the case, then that will shorten the rebuilding project by quite a bit.
Cincinnati Reds: Cody Ross
After acquiring Sean Marshall from the Cubs, the Reds don't need too much else aside from a closer, and I see Francisco Cordero re-signing. Aside from that, the Reds are taking a look at Giants outfielder Cody Ross.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty has noted an interest in Ross and Kubel, the former in particular since Kubel has signed with Arizona. However, he also noted that the Reds wouldn't give him a deal as big as Kubel got.
Cleveland Indians: Mark Trumbo
This is a situation that works out for Cleveland, or at least it should. With the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols, rookie Mark Trumbo suddenly becomes expendable and is on the trade block.
Jon Morosi writes that Trumbo is "exactly what the Indians need," and the Angels are looking for bullpen help, which happens to be the Indians' strength, making a deal very realistic.
Colorado Rockies: Martin Prado
The Colorado Rockies continue to look for pitching to be on the safe side, though they should have enough MLB-ready prospects to be alright next year.
As for a trade they could make now, they have been in discussions with the Atlanta Braves for most of the past month. The trade, Seth Smith for Martin Prado, would give the Rockies a second baseman for next year, and Seth Smith is now expendable with the Michael Cuddyer addition.
Detroit Tigers: Joe Saunders
The Detroit Tigers have a great front four in their rotation, but they lack a fifth starter due to the departure of Brad Penny. They're now looking for a bargain pickup where they can.
One pitcher they're interested in is Joe Saunders, who was let go by Arizona since he wanted a contract in the $8-9 million per year range. I can't see the Tigers paying that, but nonetheless they remain interested in acquiring him.
Houston Astros: Ivan Rodriguez
Given that the Astros are in full rebuilding mode, one would not expect them to be looking at a future Hall of Famer. Nonetheless, it looks like Humberto Quintero might be out as starting catcher.
The replacement? According to Jon Heyman, it's Ivan Rodriguez. It's not clear how far along talks are, but it's something to watch.
Kansas City Royals: Joakim Soria
There's no question that the Royals want to acquire a young starter; they were interested in Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez, but did not want to part with their top prospects.
As a result, one would expect them to be looking at starters available at a bargain. Meanwhile, teams continue to push for Joakim Soria, since the Royals haven't made him off-limits. The team most aggressive in pursuit of Soria is the Boston Red Sox, but it doesn't look like a trade will happen between those two teams.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Francisco Cordero
It seemed like a certainty that Cordero would re-sign with the Reds despite his being a free agent, but that seems less likely the further free agency goes, and other teams have jumped at the opportunity to acquire him.
One of those teams is the Los Angeles Angels. According to Alex Speier, the Angels have had talks with Cordero, though it's unclear between him and Jordan Walden who would be the setup man and who would be the closer.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Mike MacDougal
Word is that the Dodgers are pretty much done shopping around this offseason, and as a result I wouldn't expect them to do much.
One more thing they will do, however, is try to re-sign Mike MacDougal. He had a 2.05 ERA in 69 games last year, and would fill the remaining hole the Dodgers still wish to fill.
Miami Marlins: Yoenis Cespedes
For as much as the Marlins have done in free agency, they don't seem to be done yet, as they are considered the frontrunners to land Yoenis Cespedes.
Having said that, the front office does seem divided as far as how strongly to pursue him. This seems to be the case for the other frontrunners as well (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox), meaning that the bidding could get interesting.
Milwaukee Brewers: First Baseman?
After signing Aramis Ramirez, Alex Gonzalez, and Norichika Aoki, is there any position left that the Brewers could tinker with? Aside from first base, it doesn't look like it.
Derrek Lee, Carlos Pena, and Casey Kotchman are still available, but I'm finding nothing that notes that the Brewers are going after any of them. They could realistically be done with free agency this year, but they could also surprise us again.
Minnesota Twins: Roy Oswalt
Every so often, a player seems to slip down through free agency and people wonder why he's yet to be picked up. This year, it's Roy Oswalt.
The Twins were reportedly interested in him recently, but with the signing of Jason Marquis to fill the rotation, I would be surprised if they added a second starter when they have so many under contract as it is.
New York Mets: Eric Young, Jr.
Not everyone I put on this list can be a star, and the latest player the Mets are going after would not be confused as one.
Eric Young, Jr. is trade bait, and the Rockies have been looking for suitors. Adam Rubin has noted that the Mets could very well trade Justin Turner to get Young; if he plays more than 77 games next year, it would help.
New York Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda
As I mentioned in the Red Sox slide, the two teams always seem to look at the same players, and this week, that player is Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda would be a nice No. 2 guy behind Sabathia, and since their rotation is a bit more stable than last year, they don't have to force their hand too quickly.
Oakland Athletics: Andrew Bailey
After Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez left, it became clear that the Athletics were having a fire sale. The next in line, naturally, is closer Andrew Bailey.
While sources are not directly saying Bailey's involved in trade talks for outfield prospects, I think every one of us can make that conclusion, given that all the other big-time arms are gone now.
Philadelphia Phillies: Jorge Posada
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has noted that the Phillies are pretty much set with their moves, and they did in fact make a lot of them. Could they be done now that they have re-signed Jimmy Rollins?
The only name that's popping up in rumors at all is Jorge Posada over at MLBTradeRumors, but they note that the Phillies already have Thome for occasional DH and first-base work, so I see no chance of this happening.
Oh, and the David Wright rumor moving around? Absolutely nothing to it, so discard that from the memory bank.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jai Miller
The Pirates, like the Phillies, have made a huge number of moves already in free agency, so one would have to think they are pretty much done. However, after the Athletics let Jai Miller go, Keith Law noted him as someone perhaps worthy of a Pirates minor league contract.
It's not much given that he has played 28 career games and appears to be a "quadruple-A" player, but since most of the major league spots are filled it may be time to look at minor league talent.
San Diego Padres: Anthony Rizzo
There's not much of anything out there about the Padres pursuing anyone. When it comes to other teams looking at their prospects, however, there is plenty of information.
Reportedly, many teams are interested in first baseman Anthony Rizzo despite not doing much in 49 career games, the result of a great 2011 season in the minors. Among those teams are the Rays, but so far the sides are far apart.
San Francisco Giants: Boof Bonser
The Giants' top priority over the next year would have to be re-signing Matt Cain or extending his contract, but for now, there are still players the Giants are looking at.
One player the Giants are looking at is Boof Bonser, who spent 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery. They would only sign him to a minor league deal, and given the Giants' rotation it's unlikely he would make it up, but you never know what could happen.
Seattle Mariners: Jeff Francis
The Seattle Mariners are a team that needs a big power bat in the lineup. That's why rumors about them acquiring Prince Fielder have been so persistent this offseason.
The latest player they are looking to acquire is Jeff Francis. After a 6-16 season with Kansas City, he'd be the fifth starter on the team, and would basically just keep the seat warm for prospects.
St. Louis Cardinals: Coco Crisp
Despite losing Albert Pujols, the Cardinals have rebounded in free agency, signing Carlos Beltran among others.
One name that has bounced back and forth the past couple weeks is Coco Crisp. With the addition of Beltran, this move is unlikely but not impossible, as Crisp could always take a fourth outfielder role or platoon with Jon Jay.
Tampa Bay Rays: Jorge Posada
With the departure of Kelly Shoppach and the season John Jaso had in 2011, it's not too surprising that the Tampa Bay Rays are looking for a free agent catcher, even though it's a weak market for them, and they addressed that with Jose Molina.
On top of that, they have noted an interest in former Yankee Jorge Posada, though it has been noted that acquiring him would be a backup plan, and that he would split time at first base, catcher, and DH.
Texas Rangers: Yu Darvish
The Texas Rangers already won the posting bid on Yu Darvish with over $50 million, and he does fill the hole left by C.J. Wilson.
Having said that, the Rangers still have to sign him to a deal, and if they fail to, the talented pitchers will likely be gone. They will likely sign him, though, and once they do I can't see them making any more remotely major moves this offseason.
Toronto Blue Jays: Darren Oliver
Despite a big bid for Yu Darvish, it suddenly looks like the Blue Jays won't be making any big moves, whether it's Prince Fielder or someone else, the rest of the offseason.
Now, the Blue Jays are just looking for some bullpen help. One player Gregor Chisholm noted as a possibility is Darren Oliver. Oliver is 41, but he has been consistently good and would be well worth a one-year deal.
Washington Nationals: Prince Fielder
The Nationals already made their big offseason splash in acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics. That doesn't mean the Nationals will just rest, though.
Buster Olney has noted that the Nationals are likely to make the biggest offer to Prince Fielder, though he also points out GM Mike Rizzo's statement that Adam LaRoche will be their first baseman in 2011. Given that it's the Nats we're talking about, you have to keep them in the loop on-big time players.