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MLB Trade Ideas Based on Offseason Week 10 News, Rumors and Speculation

Unlike the rest of the baseball universe, MLB‘s rumor mill doesn’t get time off to partake in New Year’s Eve festivities. There are no parties or concerts; no hanging out in New York’s Time Square to watch former pop sensations suffer embarrassing “technical difficulties.”

While the first week of a New Year is too early to proclaim that MLB teams still looking to improve their rosters are facing difficulties of their own in that regard, the clock has officially begun to tick. With just over six weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, time is not on their side.

As luck would have it, there are still a slew of notable names who remain available on the free-agent market and some clubs that remain open for business on the trade front. The opportunity to improve remains alive. What follows is a look at four trades that would help teams do just that.

Keep in mind these proposed deals are only ideas and speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there’s no indication any of them have been discussed.

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MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 Catchers to Watch

Whether it’s at the lowest levels of amateur baseball or in MLB, few positions have a bigger impact on a team’s success—or lack thereof—than catcher. Not only are these players expected to contribute offensively, but they must masterfully handle a pitching staff and control the opposition’s running game.

Teams spend years trying to develop them and, when they develop a keeper, are hesitant to let one get away. For it can take years to find a suitable replacement. Just ask the Chicago White Sox, a team that has yet to recover from A.J. Pierzynski’s departure as a free agent following the 2012 season.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a list or ranking of the best catchers in baseball—that’ll come as we get closer to Opening Day. Rather, this is a look at catchers who, for a variety of reasons, are among the most intriguing at their position as spring training approaches.

It’s a list that includes current (and former) highly thought of prospects, as well as players who are working their way back from injuries. There’s even one catcher who, thanks to his athleticism and his team’s needs elsewhere, could transition from a full-time backstop into a utility player, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

About whom, and what, are we talking? Let’s take a look.

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New Year’s Resolutions for All 30 MLB Teams in 2017

If baseball is America’s favorite pastime, the country’s second favorite is making New Year’s resolutions—and breaking them. Doing so might result in some extra pounds in the spring or more clutter in the garage, but typically, it’s nothing that’s going to impact our 2017 negatively.

The same can’t be said for each of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams.

Some of these resolutions revolve around adding (or subtracting) pieces to a team’s roster. Others have to do with ensuring a team can keep its best player—or players—around for the foreseeable future. There are even a few that have nothing to do with the on-field action.

But one thing is for sure: Not following through on these resolutions will have consequences, some that resonate well past the upcoming season.

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Fact or Fiction on All of Week 9’s Hottest MLB Free-Agency, Trade Rumors

Fact—New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. Fiction—all of MLB‘s big-name free agents who remain unsigned will find new homes before the ball drops.

As you’d expect, having so many notable players still in search of employment has led to increased activity in the rumor mill. Now that Edwin Encarnacion has come off the board, some of those players who were seemingly in holding patterns are finally seeing significant interest from multiple suitors.

Free agents aren’t the only ones receiving attention, though, as the trade market remains active with plenty of speculation surrounding a pair of the American League Central’s best.

Will Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier or Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana be traded? Will Matt Wieters wind up spending the 2017 season close to where he played his college ball? Where will the “Party at Napoli’s” break out next?

We’ll hit on all that and more in this week’s edition of “Fact or Fiction.”

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MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 9 News, Rumors and Speculation

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically a quiet one in the Major League Baseball universe. General managers are spending some much-needed time away from the office with their families, more focused on assembling the toys that Santa delivered for their kids than building a roster for the 2017 season. 

Yet they can’t ever fully escape their day jobs. Conversations with other GMs are assuredly taking place, providing the rumor mill with just enough speculation to satisfy ravenous fans who want to know what their favorite teams are doing to improve. 

That speculation revolves around three big names—two bats and a pitcher—who have been the focus of trade rumors for weeks. We’ll delve into potential deals involving that trio of game-changing talent on the pages that follow. 

Keep in mind these proposed deals are only ideas and speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there’s no indication any of them have been discussed.

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MLB Fanbases with the Most to Be Excited About This Christmas

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all through MLB, fanbases were stirring, from Seattle to Miami.

Some of those fanbases are stirring with giddy excitement about the possibilities for their favorite team in 2017. Others are stirring because the team they cheer for has yet to make a big splash, or perhaps—(audible gasp)—they’ve even taken a step backward this winter.

But we’re focused on the positive this holiday season. What follows is a look at the teams whose fanbases have the most to be excited about this Christmas—and from what that excitement stems.


Atlanta Braves

Rather than rely on a bunch of inexperienced youngsters, veterans Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia now follow staff ace Julio Teheran in the rotation. Full seasons from Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp and Dansby Swanson will bolster the lineup, which still features a perennial MVP candidate in Freddie Freeman.

The farm system is still one of baseball’s best, teeming with high-end talent, including second baseman Ozzie Albies, who could easily supplant Jace Peterson at the keystone in spring training.

It’d be premature to say that the Braves are once again contenders—or that their rebuilding process is complete—but Atlanta looks like a team that can cause problems for the rest of the National League in 2017.


Boston Red Sox

You don’t replace David Ortiz—and to their credit, the Red Sox haven’t tried to. Rather than sign free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion, a player many believed was destined to take over as the team’s full-time designated hitter, Boston went in a different direction to bolster its roster.


Instead of jacking home runs over the Green Monster, Chris Sale will keep the opposition from going yard at Fenway Park. With Sale, David Price and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello atop the rotation, Boston is well-equipped to find continued success in a post-Papi world.


Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox

Whether your rooting interest lies on the North Side or the South Side, there’s plenty to be excited about this holiday season.

The Cubs, still basking in the glory of the franchise’s first World Series crown in more than a century, return the bulk of the team that won it all and wasted little time in bolstering the back end of their bullpen, trading part-time outfielder Jorge Soler to Kansas City for All-Star closer Wade Davis.

Meanwhile, the White Sox took their first step toward a return to relevancy, dealing ace Chris Sale to Boston for a package of four youngsters that included Yoan Moncada, baseball’s best prospect.

With a slew of valuable trade chips left to play, including new ace Jose Quintana, third baseman Todd Frazier and closer David Robertson, chances are there’s more young, controllable talent on the way, though it’s going to arrive after ChiSox fans have opened all their Christmas gifts.


Cleveland Indians

It might have felt like Santa left coal in Cleveland’s stockings after the Indians blew a 3-1 lead over the Cubs in the World Series, but jolly old St. Nick made sure to give Cleveland fans something to smile about just in time for the holiday season, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported:

Certainly, Encarnacion elevates Cleveland’s offense to an entirely new level. But perhaps the most exciting part of his arrival for fans is that, for once, the stars aligned for a small-market club to dip its toes into the deep end of the free-agent pool and land the biggest fish out there.


Houston Astros

Sure, there are still questions about the back end of Houston’s rotation—sorry, Charlie Morton—but the Astros wasted little time in adding firepower to an offense that finished a mediocre eighth in the American League in runs scored last year.

Not only do Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick bring a wealth of experience and power to Minute Maid Park, but they provide what was a predominantly right-handed lineup with some much-needed balance.

More importantly, acquiring the trio cost Houston little in the way of prospects, leaving the Astros well-equipped to make another significant move before Opening Day should the opportunity present itself.


New York Yankees

Whether real or perceived, the Hot Stove League isn’t officially underway until the New York Yankees have been linked to a high-profile free agent or trade acquisition. There’s been no shortage of that this winter, with the club’s most recent speculative target being Chicago’s Jose Quintana, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi noted:

In the past, the team would have gone out and swung a trade for Quintana as its “answer” to Boston’s addition of Sale. But cooler heads have prevailed, and the Yankees have held on to the high-upside prospects they’ve developed and those they spent the second half of the 2016 season adding.

That the club looks intent on building a perennial contender from within, something that hasn’t occurred in the Bronx since the early ’90s, is a reason for Yankees fans to celebrate excitedly.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us at B/R!

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Fact or Fiction on All of Week 8’s Hottest MLB Free-Agency, Trade Rumors

Normally, the week before Christmas is a busy time in baseball, with teams looking to finish up deals with free agents and complete trades before the game goes on an unofficial hiatus until we ring in the new year.

That hasn’t been the case in 2016, leaving us with a rumor mill that’s bursting at the seams with speculation about the immediate futures of some big names. 

Will two of those big names wind up with teams in smaller markets, moves that would obliterate the notion that small-market clubs can’t contend with the “big boys” in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York? Has an injury limited the market for one of the better pitchers left unsigned?

We’ll hit on all that and more in this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction.

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MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Offseason Week 8 News, Rumors and Speculation

Week after week, we take the juiciest trade rumors and speculation making the rounds on MLB‘s rumor mill and try to concoct deals that make sense for both teams. Unfortunately, not every rumor lends itself to such an endeavor.

Take, for instance, the news this week, courtesy of MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, that the New York Yankees have interest in Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox. Could the Yankees use a pitcher like Quintana? Of course they could. Nobody disputes that.

But the cost of acquiring Quintana is prohibitive. As’s Andrew Marchand notes: “The White Sox want a boatload of prospects. The Yankees have been disinclined to trade any of [theirs].” There’s just not a deal that makes sense for both sides—so you won’t find that deal on the pages that follow.

What you will find, however, are a pair of deals involving the other team in New York, along with two American League contenders bolstering their respective rosters for what they hope will be deep playoff runs in 2017.

Keep in mind these proposed deals are only ideas and speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there’s no indication any of them have actually been discussed.

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Big MLB Offseason Values Still Available on Free-Agent, Trade Markets

Nestled somewhere between the Hot Stove League’s big-ticket items and bargain bin you’ll find baseball’s biggest values. Superstars they’re not, yet these players provide teams with an excellent return on their investment.

If they were items on a restaurant’s menu, the players we’re talking about would likely be served as part of brunch: “It’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don’t get completely what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal.”

While much of the offseason focus remains on unsigned studs like Edwin Encarnacion and yet-to-be-traded assets like Chicago’s Jose Quintana, teams in the market for a first baseman or starting pitcher would be wise to turn their attention to some of the players on this list.

They may not deliver the same level of production as their more highly touted counterparts, but these players aren’t going to cost a fortune to acquire, either. Of course, values can be found around the diamond, not just on the mound and at first base.

What follows is a look at five of the biggest values that remain available, either as free agents or via trades.

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Fact or Fiction on All of Week 7’s Hottest MLB Free-Agency, Trade Rumors

What do baseball’s rumor mill and winter storm Decima have in common? Both are running roughshod across the country and it’s anyone’s guess as to how much of what they’re spitting out is actually going to stick.

Can a team ever have too many outfielders? Is it a former All-Star closer’s destiny to wind up in Washington, D.C.? Can two big market teams really be out of spending cash?

Hopefully our predictions are more accurate than your local meteorologist’s as we’ll hit on all that and more in this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction.

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