MLB Trade Rumors: Projecting Every GM's Trade Plans for 2012

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Projecting Every GM's Trade Plans for 2012

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    It's almost here.

    Less than five days from now, the regular season starts in earnest, and teams are scrambling to make their final roster decisions.

    Of course, even the best laid plans often need to be altered over the course of the year.

    Whether it be poor performance, injuries or a combination of both, nearly every team will finish the season with a different roster than the one that they start the year with.

    Let's take a look at what each team's general manager could have in store for 2012.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Kevin Towers

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    Immediate Needs

    The Diamondbacks are in good shape entering the season, with a plethora of starting pitching waiting in the minors should Joe Saunders or Josh Collmenter struggle.

    One thing to keep an eye on could be Stephen Drew's continued recovery from ankle surgery. If Drew has a setback and the combination of Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald filling in for Drew struggles, Kevin Towers could make a move to acquire a veteran replacement in the last year of their contract.

    Left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski has drawn interest around the league according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler. Wth both Craig Breslow and Joe Paterson also left-handed options for the bullpen, Zagurski could be moved.

    Down the Road

    An unfortunate reality for Kevin Towers and the Diamondbacks is that Miguel Montero, their starting catcher and part of the organization since 2001, is likely not part of the long-term plan in Arizona.

    Montero, who will turn 29 before the end of the season, is said to be seeking a contract similar to the four-year, $52 million deal that Victor Martinez signed with the Detroit Tigers last year, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

    To that end, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Towers and his front office have targeted 10-to-15 catchers at either the major or minor league level as long-term replacements for Montero.

    Towers has insisted that he has no interest in trading Gerardo Parra, pushed to the role of fourth outfielder after the signing of Jason Kubel this offseason according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.

    If Towers stays true to his word and does not deal Parra, the Diamondbacks only other area of surplus is in the starting rotation, where they have five major-league-ready arms down on the farm: Trevor Bauer, Charles Brewer, Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley and Tyler Skaggs.

    One or more of those arms, along with Parra, could be used to bring in a young backstop under team control who would serve as Montero's backup in 2012 (current backup Henry Blanco is 41 years old) and become their starter in 2013.

Atlanta Braves: Frank Wren

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    Immediate Needs

    Frank Wren is looking to add a right-handed hitting third baseman or outfielder, as well as another experienced arm to their bullpen in the wake of Arodys Vizcaino's Tommy John surgery, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

    Even after the acquisition of backup third baseman Juan Francisco, a lefty, from the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, it is conceivable that Wren is still looking to add a right-handed hitting outfielder.

    In recent weeks, the Braves have been linked to Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd (per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe), Xavier Nady of the Washington Nationals (per Bowman) and Will Venable of the San Diego Padres, only to be rebuffed by Padres GM Eric Byrnes, according to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.

    Down the Road

    What Wren and the Braves do as far as replacing Chipper Jones at third base for 2013 and beyond remains to be seen. Martin Prado is an obvious choice but he only has one more arbitration year remaining, then he can become a free agent.

    The future of the position for the Braves may lie in the hands of Joey Terdoslavich. Selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Braves, the 23-year-old is making the jump from High-A Lynchburg to Triple-A Gwinnett and he is switching positions, from first base to third, according to Guy Cutwright of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

    How he progresses with the bat and glove will dictate whether Wren needs to make a move to acquire his third baseman of the future.

Baltimore Orioles: Dan Duquette

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    Immediate Needs

    With the Orioles in full rebuild mode, Dan Duquette is looking to move some contracts to save some money this season, as he opined to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun: "“We have a few player contracts we need to resolve in camp, and we have had some tertiary trade discussions, so we will see.”

    Specifically, Duquette would like to rid himself of the contracts belonging to corner infielder Mark Reynolds and relief pitcher Kevin Gregg, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler. Doing so figures to be a difficult task as both carry significant price tags: Reynolds, who is due $7.5 million this season and either $11 million in 2013 or a $500,000 buyout and Gregg, who is due $5.8 million this season and has a team option for $6 million in 2013.

    Down the Road

    Duquette will continue to try and acquire young, inexpensive talent that is under team control as he tries to build a contender with manager Buck Showalter.

    The continued development of Baltimore's young pitching, specifically Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman would go a long way towards allowing Duquette to focus on re-tooling the offense around catcher Matt Wieters, second baseman Robert Andino and outfielders Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.

Boston Red Sox: Ben Cherington

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    Immediate Needs

    It's not so much a need as a want, but Ben Cherington and the Red Sox may try and acquire a player other than Chris Carpenter from the Cubs in exchange for Theo Epstein, per Michael Silverstein of the Boston Herald. Carpenter underwent surgery last week to remove bone spurs but this wasn't a case of Theo Epstein sticking it to his former employers. Boston had access to all of Carpenter's medical history and Carpenter, who has had a history of elbow problems, passed physicals for both the Cubs and Red Sox.

    Aside from that, the Red Sox have been linked to free-agent starter Roy Oswalt for months and could make a move to sign him at some point, though they will have to open up their wallets to do so, says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Daisuke Matsuzaka is out until June at the earliest and if Daniel Bard or Felix Doubront struggles in the rotation, Chernigton's hand could be forced to make a move.

    If Oswalt's asking price is too high, Cherington could potentially look to acquire a starter via trade, perhaps dangling first base prospect Lars Anderson as bait, seeing as how Anderson's path to Boston is blocked by Adrian Gonzalez.

    Down the Road

    The continued development of their top prospects, including catcher Ryan Lavarnway, shortstop Jose Iglesias, right fielder Bryce Bentz and third baseman Will Middlebrooks will go a long way towards mapping out Cherington's plan moving forward.

Chicago Cubs: Jed Hoyer

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    Immediate Needs

    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that Hoyer and the Cubs are looking to acquire bullpen help now that Jeff Samardzija is a member of their starting rotation.

    Additionally, the Cubs are listening to offers on outfielder Marlon Byrd, who Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times says was offered to the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitching help. The Atlanta Braves have also been linked to the Cubs outfielder (per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe). Moving Byrd would seemingly open a path for über-prospect Brett Jackson to play everyday for manager Dale Sveum.

    Down the Road

    While Jed Hoyer has said that he prefers to build around starting pitcher Matt Garza rather than trade him, according to ESPN's Jim Bowden, some in baseball expect that Hoyer will move him at the trade deadline, according to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.

    I concur—Garza will be moved at the deadline for multiple pieces.

Chicago White Sox: Kenny Williams

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    Immediate Needs

    Chicago could use another starting pitcher or two, with only John Danks and Gavin Floyd sure bets to count on. How Phillip Humber, Jake Peavy and converted relief pitcher Chris Sale will perform in 2012 is a major question mark for first-time manager Robin Ventura.

    Down the Road

    The White Sox are in rebuilding mode, and unloading the contracts of Matt Thornton, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn would certainly make Kenny Williams a very happy man.

    While Dunn and Rios remain virtually untradeable, Matt Thornton, who will cost $12 million through 2013 ($5.5 million each of the next two seasons plus a $1 million buyout of 2014) still has some value around the league as a left-handed reliever and is someone the White Sox will actively look to move, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman says that the Seattle Mariners have a lot of interest in White Sox super utility player Brent Lillibridge, but that Kenny Williams is not interested in moving him. The two teams could revisit the idea as the season progresses.

    John Danks has a new five-year extension to stay with the White Sox, one that includes a full no-trade clause in 2012 and a partial no-trade clause in 2013. Gavin Floyd has neither, and multiple teams, including the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, have expressed interest in recent months, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

    Unless the White Sox are in contention for a playoff berth, look for both Floyd and Thornton to be dealt by the trade deadline, with Kenny Williams reducing his incredibly high asking price for Floyd to get a deal done.

Cincinnati Reds: Walt Jocketty

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    Immediate Needs

    The Reds are banking on Zack Cosart being able to handle the load at shortstop, and thus have had discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies about Paul Janish, accoring to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Enquirer. Janish likely wouldn't bring back anything other than a low-level prospect.

    After that the Reds don't have much in the way of prospects to offer, having sent top prospects Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal to the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitcher Mat Latos.

    Down the Road

    The two years and $23.5 million left on his contract makes him virtually untradeable, but you have to think that moving Bronson Arroyo would be something that Walt Jocketty would love to accomplish as moving Arroyo opens up a permanent spot in the rotation for Aroldis Chapman.

    Ryan Ludwick is not the long-term answer in left field, and the development of Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey will go a long way towards solidifying the position for a number of years. Drew Stubbs regressed at the plate in 2011 and needs to rebound in 2012.

    If Frazier, Heisey and Stubbs all struggle, Jocketty may need to start looking for another outfielder as well.

Cleveland Indians: Chris Antonetti

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    Immediate Needs

    The Indians have been searching for an upgrade in either left field or center field, preferably a right-handed one says Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. They almost had a deal finished to acquire Bobby Abreu from the Los Angeles Angels before backing out over a disagreement over how much of Abreu's $9 million salary they would pick up, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

    So the search continues, and one would have to think that Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs could be a potential target for the Tribe.

    If we are being honest, the Indians at this point lack a true ace of their staff. Ubaldo Jimenez was mediocre at best last season for the Indians and there were questions as to whether he was really an ace coming out of Colorado. Derek Lowe is close to the end of the line. Justin Masterson is better served as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. Jeanmar Gomez is an unknown commodity. Down on the farm, only Zach McAllister is close to being ready to contribute on the major league level.

    The point is, the Indians can use some help in the starting rotation and they, like a number of other teams, will be on the hunt for pitching as the season gets underway.

    Down the Road

    The Indians gave up four prospects to acquire Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies last season and Jimenez struggled through his 11 starts in Cleveland, pitching to a 5.40 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Thus, teams called the Indians this winter inquiring as to his availability—at that point, the Indians had no interest in moving him, says Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

    That being said, if the Indians are out of contention when the non-waiver trade deadline rolls around and someone is willing to overpay—with a major league ready outfielder and starting pitching included in a deal—I think the Indians would (and should) seriously consider moving him.

Colorado Rockies: Dan O'Dowd

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    Immediate Needs

    The Rockies could use another front-end starting pitcher, as could a number of teams. Aside from Drew Pomeranz, the Rockies don't have a starting pitcher in the rotation that has front-of-the-rotation stuff, and that includes Jeremy Guthrie and Juan Nicasio, two solid but not spectacular starters.

    On the farm, Alex White doesn't project as more than a back-of-the-rotation arm and both Tyler Anderson and Chad Bettis are still a few years away from making an impact, so Dan O'Dowd would have to strike a deal to bring in another arm to help this year's team.

    Down the Road

    Jack Etkin of Baseball America says that shortstop prospect Josh Rutledge could see time at second base this season since Troy Tulowitzki has the position locked up for the foreseeable future in Colorado.

    If Rutledge is unable to handle the position, O'Dowd may have to look outside the organization for the Rockies' second baseman of the future.

Detroit Tigers: Dave Dombrowski

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    Immediate Needs

    As my B/R colleague Robert Knapel pointed out last week, the fact that the Tigers have been playing Brandon Inge at second base says all you need to know about how they view Ryan Rayburn. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says that Dave Dombrowski has been trying to convince Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Philadelphia Phillies to trade for Inge, thus far to no avail.

    The team has also been on the hunt for a fifth starting pitcher and have been said to have interest in John Lannan of the Washington Nationals, though Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says that interest is lukewarm.

    An upgrade at both positions would be nice, but neither is necessary for the Tigers.

    Down the Road

    The Tigers are in good shape heading forward, and short of a few minor tweaks here and there, Dave Dombrowski doesn't have much work to do to the roster.

    Top prospect Nick Castellanos, a third baseman, has his path to Detroit blocked by Miguel Cabrera. If a game changing pitcher were to become available, I could see the Tigers including him, and perhaps either Jacob Turner or Drew Smyly in a deal.

Houston Astros: Jeff Luhnow

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    Immediate Needs

    The Astros are a mess and new GM Jeff Luhnow is just starting to get his hands around the situation.

    Unloading the contracts of first baseman Carlos Lee, due $18.5 million this season and starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, owed at least $25.5 million over the next two seasons, would be a herculean feat for Luhnow.

    Aside from unloading some salary, every move Luhnow makes is geared towards the future.

    Down the Road

    All isn't bad in Houston however, with Jose Altuve, Jordan Lyles and J.D. Martinez serving as building blocks.

    Even so, the Astros are years away from contending and Luhnow will continue to look to add pieces throughout the season.

Kansas City Royals: Dayton Moore

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    Immediate Needs

    Dayton Moore has done an excellent job of building the Royals from within, and seems to have most of his pieces either in place on the major league roster or on the cusp of joining the big club in the minor leagues.

    Salvador Perez's knee surgery was a setback for the Royals, who went out and acquired Humberto Sanchez to split catching duties with Bryan Pena until Perez is able to return.

    If Perez is slow to recover and Pena or Quintero cannot handle the position, Moore may have to look elsewhere for a stopgap solution.

    Down the Road

    The Royals will make smaller moves as needed, but Moore has the team headed in the right direction. As long as their young talent continues to improve as many expect that they will, Moore could have this team contending for a playoff spot in the very near future—maybe even this season.

Los Angeles Angels: Jerry Dipoto

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    Immediate Needs

    Jerry Dipoto has the Angels in great shape heading into the season.

    Adding a veteran arm to the bullpen could be something that he looks to do, but no major holes exist on the roster.

    Down the Road


    Moving one of their excess outfielders is something that the Angels are going to have to deal with sooner rather than later, as Mike Trout is simply too good of a player to keep in the minors for long.

    They thought that they had a deal with the Indians where Bobby Abreu was headed to Cleveland, only to see it fall apart over a disagreement about how much of his salary the Indians would pay. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the two teams revisit the idea.

    Finding a taker for Vernon Wells and the $63 million that he is owed over the next three seasons would be nothing short of a miracle, but Dipoto will likely try, no matter how fruitless the effort may be.

    The Angels have been linked to free-agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt, and as recently as last week were called the front-runners to acquire him by ESPN's Jim Bowden and while no trade was completed, it's a situation worth keeping an eye on.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Ned Colletti

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    Immediate Needs

    The Dodgers can use upgrades at first base, second base and third base, but they are not necessities—James Loney, Mark Ellis and Juan Uribe are solid players.

    A.J. Ellis will be handling the catching duties for the Dodgers this year but he's not a long-term solution, nor is he irreplaceable.

    Down the Road

    With their ownership situation finally settled, the Dodgers could turn to free agency to fill their needs following this season.

    They have a farm system full of pitching prospects and it would not be surprising to see Colletti package some of them to acquire their future starter at any of the aforementioned positions.

Miami Marlins: Michael Hill

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    Immediate Needs

    Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, still cannot get a visa to travel to the United States from the Dominican Republic and, once he does finally return, faces a six-to-eight week suspension from MLB, according to the Miami Herald's Ben Jackson.

    Oviedo, who was expected to set up closer Heath Bell, will be replaced by Edward Mujica, though the Marlins could look to fill the position via trade.

    Down the Road

    You can never be sure what to expect from Carlos Zambrano, and if he struggles, Hill won't hesitate to look for a replacement both in-house and out of the organization.

    All things considered, the Marlins are in pretty good shape heading forward and Hill may not have many moves that he needs to make.

Milwaukee Brewers: Doug Melvin

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    Immediate Needs

    Aside from wondering whether Mat Gamel can produce at the major league level and right fielder Corey Hart's recovery from knee surgery earlier this month, the Brewers enter the season with little in the way of major question marks on their team.

    Down the Road

    Should the Brewers fall out of contention or talks on contract extensions not get anywhere, it's conceivable that Doug Melvin would look to trade Zack Greinke and/or Shawn Marcum at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Minnesota Twins: Terry Ryan

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    Immediate Needs

    Terry Ryan is open to acquiring a utility player from outside the organization, says Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Bollinger goes on to say that Ryan isn't opposed to promoting players from Double-A, just not for the purpose of filling a utility spot.

    Their rotation is full of questionable starters, and only Liam Hendriks appears ready to contribute on a regular basis when looking at their starting pitching prospects. Matt Maloney, originally pegged as part of the bullpen, is being stretched out in case he needs to start in place of Scott Baker who is currently on the 15-day DL and Jason Marquis, who has been away from the team for a while as he tends to a personal matter.

    It's fair to think that Ryan will kick the tires on inexpensive, back-of-the-rotation starters who may become available as teams trim their rosters.

    Down the Road

    The Twins have position players in their minor league system who figure to hit the majors in two-to-three years with shortstop Levi Michael, second baseman Eddie Rosario and third baseman Miguel Sano,

    Acquiring the young pitching to go along with that group, amongst others, will be an ongoing pursuit for Ryan and company.

New York Mets: Sandy Alderson

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    Immediate Needs

    The Mets have a number of areas of need, including center field, left field, the back of their rotation and catcher, yet the chances of them addressing these things during the season remain slim-to-none.

    Down the Road

    It is virtually impossible to figure out if Sandy Alderson actually has a plan in mind for this team or not as he has been handcuffed by the Wilpon's involvement with Bernie Madoff. With that case now settled, Alderson may finally be in a position to start making some moves.

    While the team would undoubtedly like to find a taker for Jason Bay and his bloated contract, it's unlikely that Alderson will have any luck on that front.

    As the Mets fall further and further from contention, Alderson should give serious consideration to moving his biggest asset, third baseman David Wright. Wright, as long as he is healthy, could bring back multiple pieces that the club needs to re-build.

New York Yankees: Brian Cashman

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    Immediate Needs

    Brian Cashman's Yankees enter 2012 in pretty good shape, with the only major question mark being whether Raul Ibanez will produce as the designated hitter against right-handed pitching.

    To that end, the Yankees have gone out and signed a cast of mediocre sluggers to minor league contracts, including Russell Branyan, Jack Cust and Steve Pearce.

    Down the Road

    You can never count the Yankees out from making a trade, but Cashman has done an excellent job of holding onto his top prospects over the past few seasons.

    It will be a relatively quiet summer for Cashman as he will not making a big-time trade, only smaller deals to tweak things here and there.

Oakland A's: Billy Beane

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    Immediate Needs

    The A's could use a third baseman, as the platoon of Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard does little to strike fear in the hearts of the competition.

    Down the Road

    A's starting catcher Kurt Suzuki has drawn interest from the Tampa Bay Rays, who Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says have pushed hard to acquire him. On the other hand, ESPN's Buster Olney says that the two teams have not discussed Suzuki. The teams likely did discuss him, but how far the talks got remains to be seen.

Philadelphia Phillies: Ruben Amaro Jr.

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    Immediate Needs

    With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list and not much faith in Ty Wiggington and Freddy Galvis to replace them, the Phillies are still searching. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the Phillies will have "their eyes and ears open" for another infielder, even after signing Andres Blanco.

    To that end, the Phillies have so far been able to resist Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and his efforts to convince the Phillies to trade for veteran infielder Brandon Inge, says Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.


    Down the Road

    With no real replacement in the system for Utley, Amaro may have to give some serious thought to looking outside the organization for that player.

    If talks on an extension break down between Cole Hamels and the team, it wouldn't surprise me if Amaro shopped Hamels at the deadline to see what he could get in return.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Neal Huntington

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    Immediate Needs

    Neal Huntington has the Pirates headed in the right direction and the team is likely only a few years away from having a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

    Neither Rod Barajas or Mike McKenry are solutions behind the plate, either as short-term fill-ins or long-term solutions, and the team would like to shore up that position, along with adding another left-handed reliever to the mix, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.


    Down the Road

    The Pirates lack a true ace of their staff, but with Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon working their way through their minor league system, two front-line starters should arrive no later than 2014.

    Third base has to be a concern, no matter how Huntington spins it. Rumors abounded that Alvarez would start the season at Triple-A, something that Huntington quickly denied to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    Huntington will continue his process of building from within, looking to add pieces when they become available but not at the expense of their top prospects.


San Diego Padres: Josh Byrnes

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    Immediate Needs

    The Padres could use upgrades at a number of positions, including the back-end of their starting rotation, second base and shortstop.

    Down the Road

    Outfielder Will Venable has generated interest recently from the Atlanta Braves, but Josh Byrnes told Frank Wren that the speedy Venable was not available, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. While that stands to be the case now, if a team were willing to overpay to acquire him, Byrnes would have to give a deal serious consideration.

    With their ownership situation still in a state of flux, Josh Byrnes will continue to look to add pieces towards building the club into a contender. This winter's trade of Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds brought back two important building blocks in first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal, and Byrnes will look to make deals that bring back multiple pieces.

San Francisco Giants: Brian Sabean

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    Immediate Needs

    The Giants lack depth in the starting pitching department and are said to be nervous about it heading into the season, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

    Down the Road

    The Giants are trying to sign starter Matt Cain to an extension before he hits free agency following the 2012 season, and talks are picking up in advance of this Friday's 'deadline', according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.

    That being said, if talks break down, it would not be shocking to see Sabean shop Cain around to the highest bidder, as the multiple pieces he could bring back in trade, even as a rental player, would be substantial.

Seattle Mariners: Jack Zduriencik

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    Immediate Needs

    Justin Smoak is a big question mark at first base and, unless he capitalizes on his considerable talent this season, could be replaced.

    After Felix Hernandez, their rotation is questionable, though Hector Noesi does project to be a solid back-of-the-rotation arm.

    Seattle's bullpen is a mess, aside from closer Brandon League, and they could use help there as well.

    Down the Road

    The Mariners are in the midst of rebuilding their roster, so Zduriencik will continue to look to add pieces to the equation.

    Dealing Brandon League to a contending team at the trade deadline makes sense for the Mariners as he could bring back another building block to pair alongside catcher Jesus Montero, second baseman Dustin Ackley and King Felix.

St. Louis Cardinals: John Mozeliak

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    Immediate Needs

    With Chris Carpenter out for an undetermined period of time due to a nerve problem, Lance Lynn has been stretched out in spring training and will take Carpenter's spot in the rotation.

    Should Lynn struggle, the Cardinals have options internally (über-prospect Shelby Miller), but are more likely to look outside the organization for a short-term fix, allowing Miller to continue his development at Triple-A Memphis, which is where I presume he is heading.

    The Cardinals have been linked to Roy Oswalt for months, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post said as recently as last week that Oswalt still prefers to pitch for the Cardinals over anyone else.

    Down the Road

    Mozeliak has the Cardinals in pretty good shape going forward. Should the team fall out of contention for a playoff spot early, Mozeliak has veteran pieces that have value—namely first baseman Lance Berkman and right fielder Carlos Beltran—that could bring back additional pieces.

    I don't expect the Cardinals to be very active on the trade front, with a midseason signing of Roy Oswalt being their biggest move.

Tampa Bay Rays: Andrew Friedman

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    Immediate Needs

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Rays were trying very hard to trade for Oakland A's catcher Kurt Suzuki, only to be rebuffed by Billy Beane who had minimal interest in the two pitchers Tampa was dangling, Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann.

    At the same time, ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Rays and A's have had no discussions about Suzuki.

    With Sam Fuld and B.J. Upton on the disabled list to start the season, Tampa is in the market for an outfielder or two, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    Down the Road

    Friedman has a wealth of pitching in the Rays system, and while they are expected to be contenders for the foreseeable future, I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility that they deal James Shields at the trade deadline for help and depth in other areas. The Rays hold a $9 million option on Shields for 2013.

Texas Rangers: Jon Daniels

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    Immediate Needs

    Daniels has the Rangers in good shape heading into the season and they only need to make minor moves here and there.

    The team would like to acquire a right-handed bat who can play first base and left field, along with a utility infielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, and are using relievers Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara as the bait.

    Down the Road

    The Rangers will find takers for both Uehara and Lowe at some point this week, picking up the extra pieces that Daniels and manager Ron Washington believe that they need.

    Short of that, don't expect any big moves deep in the heart of Texas this season.

Toronto Blue Jays: Alex Anthopolous

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    Immediate Needs

    The Blue Jays don't really have an obvious need—if anything, they have a surplus of talent at some positions that other teams would like to get their hands on.

    Down the Road

    Outfielder Travis Snider's value is down, and so is he, banished to Triple-A in favor of prospect Eric Thames. With that, the Blue Jays are likely to keep him rather than deal him for less than market value, according to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.

    If the Blue Jays decide to make a big splash, it could come via moving J.P. Arencibia, their starting catcher who has tremendous power potential but struggles to hit for a high average. With Travis d'Arnaud waiting his turn in the minors, Arencibia could bring back a sizable return.

    At the end of the day, I don't expect any big moves to be made in Toronto simply because they don't need to make a big move—this is a talented team that is ready to compete for a playoff berth.

Washington Nationals: Mike Rizzo

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    Immediate Needs

    The Nationals need an upgrade in center field, and his name is Bryce Harper.

    Down the Road

    Rizzo could eventually move John Lannan, who has been rumored to be available, for a need that arises during the season, as both Ross Detwiler and Chien Ming Wang, once he returns from a hamstring injury, provide insurance for the rotation.

    I expect Lannan to be moved by the trade deadline, and either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel to be moved to make room for Harper once he is ready.