4 MLB Players Who Could Be Dealt Before Spring Training

John Altamura@@JohnAltamuraBRContributor IIJanuary 29, 2013

4 MLB Players Who Could Be Dealt Before Spring Training

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    Could a player such as Alfonso Soriano or Rick Porcello be dealt before the start of spring training?

    That seems to be the question of the hour as teams gear up for the start of the spring season.

    The 2013 MLB preseason schedule kicks off in earnest next month when teams report to their respective spring training homes in Florida and Arizona. Players such as Soriano and Porcello could be moved before the opening of camps.

    Here are four players who could be dealt before the start of spring training.  

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF, Chicago Cubs

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    There have been many rumors surrounding Chicago Cubs leftfielder Alfonso Soriano this offseason. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes that the 37-year-old outfielder could be moved before spring training and the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers could be possible suitors.  

    Soriano would be a good pickup for either of those teams. The Rangers lost some power production this offseason with the departure of Josh Hamilton to the Los Angeles Angels. Baltimore is trying to keep up with the perennial powers in the AL East as well as the newly-invigorated Toronto Blue Jays.

    If one of these teams could acquire Soriano without having to pay too much in contract or prospects this move should be made.

    Soriano batted .262 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI last season with the Cubs.

2. Vernon Wells, LF, Los Angeles Angels

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    Is he or isn’t he?

    That is the question as Angel fans are trying to figure out whether or not Vernon Wells will be traded before the start of spring training.

    The Angels made a big splash this offseason with the free-agent acquisition of Josh Hamilton. With an outfield of Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, and Hamilton, it seems that Wells could be the odd-man out.

    One of the hot rumors on the trade front earlier this offseason involving Wells was a possible move to the Philadelphia Phillies. However, with the signing of Delmon Young that destination no longer seems to be a tangible possibility.  

    CBSSports Danny Knobler now believes that there is a good possibility that Wells could be riding the Angels bench for 2013.

    Stranger things have happened before and even though it seems Wells may be staying put don’t count out Angels GM Jerry Dipoto from making a last-minute deal. A team such as the Baltimore Orioles could be interested in trading for Wells if the Angels were willing to eat some of the remaining $42 million left on his contract.

    We’ll see!

3. Andre Ethier, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The Andre Ethier trade rumor odyssey has been one of the most intriguing storylines this offseason. The 30-year-old outfielder has been rumored to be headed to several places including the Seattle Mariners.

    One aspect that could be preventing any possible trade is the large sum of money still owed to Ethier. He is still due to make $85 million dollars and there are very few teams with the amount of financial resources to swing such a deal.

    So, who could make a trade for the slugger? The New York Yankees could be a possibility. A straight-up trade for Curtis Granderson would work if the Dodgers were willing to eat some of the money remaining on Ethier’s contract.

    Granderson has $15 million left on his contract and will be a free agent after the 2013 season.

    So, who do you believe?

    If you were going to believe Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, you’d think there is zero possibility that Ethier gets traded. Even Ethier seems to believe that he is going to be wearing Dodger blue in 2013.

    “I haven’t looked too much into it,” Ethier told Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. “It’s something I see as rumors. I think Ned was pretty quick to say there was nothing to it. That was enough to ease my mind, even though obviously there was a lot following that. I wasn’t going to let it consume me. Just keep going about my business, trusting in Ned and what Stan [Kasten, CEO] had to say with me being in their plans, and no plans to move me, unless it was an offer they can’t refuse, which is understandable.”

    There have been way too many Ethier rumors to believe that there isn’t any validity to the possibility of a move. If a team likes Ethier and is willing to pay some of his remaining contract there is a possibility he could be moved before the start of the season.

    Case closed!   

4. Rick Porcello, SP, Detroit Tigers

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    There is always a premium on pitching.

    So it seems there is no surprise the Detriot Tigers starter Rick Porcello has been garnishing so much trade buzz this offseason.

    One of the latest rumors has Porcello being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed and an unnamed pitching prospect.  

    The 24-year-old righthander has put together a decent four-year career with the Tigers—posting a 48-42 record over that span. His role with the 2013 Tigers is still up in the air as he has been pegged by manager Jim Leyland to compete for the number five starting role with Drew Smyly.

    A trade for Porcello would make a lot of sense for many teams lacking starting pitching depth. It would also make sense for the Tigers who are looking to restock their minor league system.

    Does this trade happen?

    There is a good chance that the Tigers will trade Porcello at some juncture during this year. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski may wait a little bit though to let Porcello’s trade value rise. For the moment, Porcello seems to be confident in the fact that he will be pitching for Detroit at the start of the season.

    “Right now, I’m preparing like I would any other year, getting ready to go down to spring training and win a job,” Porcello told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. “Those decisions are not my job. My job is to prepare and get ready and help the Tigers win, and if something changes, then I’ll adjust accordingly.”  

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