With the regular season coming to a close in the near future and the postseason almost ready to get underway, the focus for teams on the outside looking in is shifting toward next season.

Nailing the offseason is of the utmost importance for teams looking to rebuild or retool for next year, and with a number of impact players set to hit the open market—Steve Adams and Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com have gone through the trouble of compiling a list of said players—the rumor mill, while currently short on content, should pick up steam in the coming weeks.

Yoenis Cespedes and Marlon Byrd are two names swirling around the inner circles of Major League Baseball, and they just so happen to be among the biggest names available this offseason. So, as we turn our focus to the postseason and eventual offseason, here’s a look at the most recent rumors regarding those two players as well as predictions of where they might end up.


Marlon Byrd to Stay Put in San Francisco?

Marlon Byrd may have no say in where he ends up playing in 2016. The 14-year veteran has a vesting option written into his contract, and that option takes effect if he reaches 550 plate appearances prior to the end of the 2015 season.

Byrd is dangerously close to crossing that plate-appearance threshold and needs just 23 more in the team’s final five games to have that option vest. If it doesn’t, then the option converts to a team option, which will likely be declined. 

Operating under the premise that Byrd fails to reach 550 plate appearances, let’s assume the ensuing team option gets declined.

Even if all that happens, Byrd may end up back in San Francisco for 2016. According to Giants beat writer Henry Schulman, the Giants are interested in bringing back the 38-year-old:

Byrd has been solid in 2015 and has proved to be a worthwhile addition to the Giants roster despite the fact that they’re going to miss the playoffs this year. Over 129 games played (527 plate appearances), Byrd has compiled a .249/.294/.454 batting line with 22 home runs, 24 doubles, 72 RBI and 55 runs scored.

Byrd’s sub-.300 on-base percentage leaves a lot to be desired, and, as Schulman notes, whether he seeks a backup or starting role will be a major factor in his final landing spot. 

Prediction: Byrd re-signs with the Giants.


Yoenis Cespedes on the Giants’ Radar too?

According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, “There is speculation within other organizations that the Giants could be among the teams to pursue Yoenis Cespedes.” That said, Olney wonders if Cespedes‘ incredible second half has sent his price skyrocketing to a level the Giants would find uncomfortable.

There’s merit to both sides of the rumor.

Cespedes—with his plus defense and his ability to hit for power in pitchers’ parkswould be a great get for the Giants, who rank 12th in home runs through this point in the year among National League clubs. Additionally, the 29-year-old would be an upgrade over current right fielder and potential free agent Marlon Byrd.

Cespedes outpaces Byrd by wide margins in practically every offensive measure available—for reference, their OPS+ marks settle in at 138 and 103, respectively, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Unlike Byrd, though, Cespedes has taken off with his new club, logging an unbelievable 17 home runs, 44 RBI and 38 runs scored in just 52 games with the New York Mets. That, as Olney notes, might have pushed the price too high for the Giants, who have to worry about a Madison Bumgarner extension in a few years.

Whether the price has gone too high is irrelevant in this writer’s mind, as Cespedes‘ play in the second half has possibly earned him a blank check from the Mets as well as several other teams.

If he can get that six-year deal he told ESPN’s Marly Rivera about, then Cespedes won’t be in San Fran or Queens. 

Prediction: Cespedes spurns the Mets and the Giants and sells his services to the highest bidder.


Follow me on Twitter! .

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com