Fact or Fiction on All the Hottest MLB Winter Meetings Rumors
Monday marked the first day of MLB's annual winter meetings in Florida, as executives from all 30 teams are gathered to discuss the current state of the game.
But they're also there to talk about possible trades and meet with agents about the prospects of signing new players. While there weren't any big deals announced on Monday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports noted that the groundwork for a lot of potential trades has been laid.
There were several rumors to come out of Monday's winter meetings, so let's take a look at the deals that could happen and the others that just don't make sense.
David Price, LHP
Scenario: David Price traded to Seattle Mariners
Analysis: Ever since Seattle signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract last week, the talented southpaw Price has been linked as a possible trade target for the team. Per Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, the Mariners remain among the favorites to acquire Price, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers.
While the prospect of adding him to a rotation that already features Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma is alluring, the Mariners might not be willing to part with top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Seattle thinks it can acquire Price if Walker is part of the deal.
But Greg Johns of MLB.com reported that Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said, "I have no intention of trading Taijuan Walker," while another exec told Heyman he wouldn't trade Walker for Price straight up at this point of their careers.
That's high praise for the hard-throwing 21-year-old who made 25 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this past year, going 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 ratio. So high, in fact, that it doesn't look this deal can be done.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Scenario: Shin-Soo Choo signs with Arizona Diamondbacks
Analysis: The top remaining free-agent slugger looks like he'll have a new team by Thursday's end of the winter meetings.
Choo figures to be in line for a similar contract to the seven-year, $153 million pact agreed upon by Jacoby Ellsbury and New York Yankees earlier this offseason. It appears that the Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers have emerged as his top two suitors, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, with Arizona popping up frequently in the most recent trade rumors.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com noted that Choo's offseason home is located in a Phoenix suburb. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Diamondbacks have been very active in possible trade and free-agent scenarios.
While Jerry Crasnick of ESPN said he had trouble envisioning the Diamondbacks shelling out enough cash to lure Choo, Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated the team will try to make a big splash to help hurting attendance figures.
It might take a big commitment to acquire Choo, but he could work wonders batting in front of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who led the National League with 36 homers and 125 RBIs in 2013.
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Scenario: Mark Trumbo traded to Arizona Diamondbacks
UPDATE: Tuesday, December 10 at 5:11 p.m.
Trumbo was traded to the Diamondbacks in a deal with the Angels and Chicago White Sox. The deal sent Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago to Los Angeles, while Eaton went to Chicago.
Analysis: While Shin-Soo Choo may be on Arizona's radar in free agency, it sounds like Los Angeles Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo is the team's top target on the trade market. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports detailed the possible trade between the two teams, with the Angels wanting some starting pitching help in return.
Earlier in the day, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports singled out the Diamondbacks as a leading suitor for Trumbo, while noting that the Angels would have to think hard about trading away their slugger, who batted .234/.294/.453 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs in 2013.
While Arizona's Tyler Skaggs may be too elite of a young pitcher to include in any potential Trumbo deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange Country Register made a case for Trevor Cahill as a valuable trade chip.
Paul Goldschmidt is locked in as the Diamondbacks first baseman, but Trumbo has limited outfield experience and could play there while providing some much needed pop to the lineup.
Chris Sale, LHP
Scenario: Chicago White Sox trade away Chris Sale
Analysis: Sale emerged as one of the top young lefties in baseball the past two years, going a combined 28-22 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 ratio in that span. As such, he would command a huge haul in a trade, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported teams are trying to see if Chicago would part with the talented southpaw.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn acknowledged the rumors surrounding his team's ace, telling Scott Merkin of MLB.com he would listen to offers for Sale. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf also commented on the possible trade of Sale to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com saying the only "untouchable" player he's ever had on one of his team's payrolls was Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.
Then again, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that another general manager dismissed Sale as available on the trading block. For now, this just seems like another product of the rumor mill, as Sale is about to start the second year of a bargain five-year, $32.5 million contract and doesn't make much sense to trade.
Domonic Brown, OF
Scenario: Philadelphia Phillies trade away Domonic Brown
Anaylsis: With the Phillies in the hunt for some starting pitching, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported the team is dangling talented 26-year-old outfielder as a possible trade chip.
Brown, who is under club control until the 2017 season, burst on to the scene last year by batting .272/.324/.494 with 27 HRs and 83 RBIs and figures to have a long list of potential suitors if available. With the team also looking to shed closer Jonathan Papelbon's big contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports speculated the Phillies could try to package Brown with Papelbon in the same deal.
Despite the various reports indicating that Brown is available, MLB Network Public Relations recently shared a comment from Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who said, "He's really what we're trying to build around."
That doesn't sound like a GM who's ready to trade one of his best young talents from a roster full of expensive veterans.