MLB Trade Rumors: Updating Top 20 Players Potentially Available This Winter

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Updating Top 20 Players Potentially Available This Winter

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    Almost every MLB team will look to the free-agent market this winter as they try to improve their chances in 2013. If they cannot find the players that they want there, then the trade market will also provide them with another way to fill their needs.

    A number of top players could be on the trade market this winter and it would not be surprising if at least a few of them found themselves on the move.

    Some teams are building for the future and will look to get young prospects back if they trade their young stars. Other teams may look to trade one talented player for another that better fits their needs.

Mike Morse

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    Depending on what happens with Adam LaRoche this winter, the Washington Nationals will have a few interesting decisions to make. They have Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in their outfield and could consider going after Michael Bourn (h/t Jayson Stark of ESPN).

    If they do sign Bourn and retain LaRoche, there is no place in their lineup for Mike Morse. According to Stark, this means that the Nationals could look to deal him this winter.

Jon Niese

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    With the New York Mets' direction uncertain, they will have a number of big decisions to make this winter. They will look into contract extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey.

    The Mets may also look to make a splash int he trade market. Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger quotes an executive that said the Mets could get two or three prospects for Niese. If that is the case, the Mets should seriously consider dealing him.

Chris Perez

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    Chris Perez made waves in Cleveland for the comments that he made about the Indians owners and front office (h/t Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer). Those comments are certainly not going to get him in the team's good graces.

    Perez may have punched his ticket out of town with the comments that he made. If he did, then there will be a long list of teams willing to take him.

Joe Mauer

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    Joe Mauer is a hometown hero for the Minnesota Twins. He has spent his whole career with them, but that could change this offseason.

    Bleacher Report Lead MLB Writer Ian Casselberry has suggested that the recent move to put Mauer on waivers this summer could foreshadow a winter deal. The Boston Red Sox would likely be interested if he does indeed become available.

Carlos Quentin

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    The San Diego Padres picked up Carlos Quentin this past offseason and it looks like an outstanding move. Quentin has put up great numbers for the Padres.

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has suggested that Quentin could be a trade target for the Boston Red Sox this winter. It seems like he would be a good fit for the organization.

Elvis Andrus

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    The Texas Rangers could have a very busy winter. Josh Hamilton is a free agent and they will try to retain him while also dealing with a number of other roster moves. With Jurickson Profar pushing for a starting job next season, the Texas Rangers will have a big decision to make.

    They could try to move Ian Kinsler to their outfield, or the Rangers could look to deal current starting shortstop Elvis Andrus. A David Price-for-Elvis Andrus deal would make sense for both the Rangers and Rays.

Brian Wilson

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    Since 2009, Brian Wilson has been one of the best closers in baseball. Unfortunately for the San Francisco Giants, Wilson missed almost all of the 2012 season as a result of Tommy John surgery (h/t Associated Press via ESPN).

    After the season, Wilson is set to undergo arbitration. Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider required) has wondered if the Giants will look to trade him instead of giving him a raise.

Justin Upton

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the enviable position of having a number of excess outfielders. That could allow them to move one or two to fill some of their other needs.

    Justin Upton could be the biggest player to hit the trade market this winter. Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider required) has spoken with multiple executives that believe that Upton will be moved.

Chris Young

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    As if moving one outfielder is not enough, the Arizona Diamondbacks may also look to deal Chris Young even if they deal Justin Upton. If the move both of these two, they could get big returns for both.

    Some rival executives believe that Young will be dealt this season as well (h/t Buster Olney of ESPN). It would certainly be interesting to see the Diamondbacks move two of their starting outfielders in one offseason.

Denard Span

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    Both Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks are pushing for a chance to win a spot in the Minnesota Twins outfield next season. The young prospects have a ton of potential and if they seem to be ready for the majors then the Twins will have some moves to make.

    Denard Span could be the odd one out in Minnesota. Phil Mackey of believes that Span may be traded at some point this winter.

Alfonso Soriano

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    Alfonso Soriano rejected a trade to the San Francisco Giants earlier this year, but that does not mean that he will be a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2013 (h/t Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago).

    While things are looking much better for Soriano this season, it seems as if he has worn out his welcome in Chicago. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has noted that the Cubs could deal Soriano this winter.

James Shields

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    Prior to the 2012 MLB Trade Deadline the Arizona Diamondbacks went after James Shields, according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. It is possible that the Diamondbacks will look to revisit the deal this winter.

    With one Upton potentially on his way out of Tampa Bay, another one could potentially go there. With the surplus of pitchers that the Rays have, they could be open to dealing Shields.

Matt Garza

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    Even though a number of teams will be looking for pitching this winter, the Chicago Cubs may not be that open to dealing Matt Garza. Instead, they may keep him to have him lead their 2013 starting rotation.

    General Manger Jed Hoyer was mentioned as saying that the Cubs are not very interested in dealing Garza (via Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune). However, they could still deal him if they are overwhelmed by an offer.

Chase Headley

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    Chase Headley has broken out in a big way this season and has emerged as one of the better third basemen in the National League. He has been an incredible run producer for the San Diego Padres this season.

    While Headley would have a ton of trade value this winter, the Padres may no longer be interested in dealing him (h/t Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports).

Shin-Soo Choo

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    Since putting up back-to-back 20/20 seasons while hitting .300 in 2009 and 2010, Shin-Soo Choo has struggled a bit. That does not mean that the Cleveland Indians outfielder is not valuable.

    Choo has picked things up again this year and is looking like the player that he once was. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Indians will listen to offers for him this year.

Asdrubal Cabrera

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    Asdrubal Cabrera has been an All-Star for the past two seasons and is one is one of the better offensive shortstops in the American League. He could be a big part of the Cleveland Indians' future.

    There are a number of other teams that would like Cabrera to be a part of their future. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks that it is possible for the Indians to listen to trade offers for Cabrera.

Justin Morneau

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    If the Minnesota Twins decide to make drastic changes this winter, it could mean that they look to deal Justin Morneau. The former American League MVP would interest a number of teams.

    Twins interim general manager Terry Ryan wants to see Morneau in a Twins jersey next season, but there is a chance that it does not happen (h/t Jim Souhan of The Minnesota Star-Tribune).

Josh Johnson

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    One of the most popular players that was not traded before the 2012 MLB Trade Deadline was Josh Johnson. At least four teams inquired about Johnson this summer, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

    If the Miami Marlins continue to dump salary this winter, then it could mean that Johnson and the $13.75 million he is owed next season could be on the move.

Clay Buchholz

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    One of the more interesting trades this winter could involve Clay Buchholz. The Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays may pull off a player-for-manager swap.

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Blue Jays should try to acquire Buchholz in return for manager John Farrell. He is the player that they wanted for Farrell last offseason.

Jeff Francoeur

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    After dominating the minor leagues this season, Wil Myers has shown the Kansas City Royals that he deserves a starting spot in their outfield in 2013. Now, the Royals just need to make room for him.

    Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star has wondered if Francoeur even fits into the Royals' plans next season and believes that a trade is a possibility. Kansas City likely won't get much for Francoeur, but it shouldn't matter as long as it allows them to get Myers into their lineup.