Although the 2015 MLB season is less than two weeks old, it’s never too early to start combing the rumor mill for the next potential trade or free-agent signing.

Right now, most teams are in the feeling-out stage. They’re seeing what they have to work with and whether any deals are necessary to serve the organizations long-term or short-term goals. It’s probably still at least a month or two before any serious moves are made.

But, you can bet that plenty of general managers are already working the phone to see who’s out there and doing a cost-benefit analysis.

Here are two players and one situation to monitor over the coming weeks.


Andy Ibanez

The Cuban influx into MLB doesn’t look to be dissipating anytime soon, and Andy Ibanez could be the next star to open up an expensive bidding war.

In February,’s Jesse Sanchez reported that as many as seven teams were interested in the 22-year-old infielder, with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres among the more likelier destinations.

On Friday, Ibanez was among a few fellow Cubans who worked out at an MLB showcase in Miami, per Sanchez:

There isn’t a ton of speculation about Ibanez’s potential suitors just yet, but the Padres might try and position themselves at the top of the list.

According to’s Steve Adams, San Diego tried and failed to sign Yoan Moncada, who wound up with the Boston Red Sox. At the very least, the team considered the idea of gambling on a somewhat unknown Cuban product.

Middle infield is one of the Padres’ bigger weaknesses, and Ibanez might be their man.


Adrian Beltre

While the Texas Rangers should improve after last year’s injury-ravaged campaign, they’re unlikely to be a serious playoff contender in a tough American League West.

As a result, Texas might be sellers at the trade deadline. Should the Rangers look to offload an asset or two, ESPN’s Jim Bowden believes Adrian Beltre may be one of the first to go. He listed the veteran third baseman among his 10 stars possibly on the move this year.

“The Rangers hope that by August, rookie third baseman Joey Gallo is healed enough from his early April foot surgery to take over third base if Beltre is traded,” Bowden wrote.’s David Schoenfield made the point in March that trading Beltre could help the franchise’s rebuild, if 2015 ultimately proves to be unfruitful:

But he does turn 36 in April, his defensive metrics — while still good — have declined a bit and after hitting 30 home runs the previous three seasons, he dropped to 19 in 2014. To keep Beltre past 2016, you’re looking at his age-38 seasons and beyond. As Branch Rickey famously said, better to trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.


If it’s going to be another lost season for the Rangers, trading Beltre may ultimately be necessary as they re-stock talent for 2016 and beyond.

The fans wouldn’t like seeing a player like Beltre sold off to the highest bidder, but it may the best move for Texas. A team preparing for the stretch run would surely surrender something of value for Beltre, especially since he’s signed through 2016.


Cleveland Indians Catchers

Losing Yan Gomes for six to eight weeks won’t completely destroy the Cleveland Indians‘ season, but it will put them at a serious disadvantage in a competitive A.L. Central. Their 3-5 start hasn’t helped matters.

The importance of Gomes isn’t lost on Cleveland’s front office, but that doesn’t mean the team will panic and frantically try to add a veteran catcher. The Indians called up Brett Hayes to serve as the backup, and according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Roberto Perez will be their guy until Gomes returns.

At least publicly, Cleveland hasn’t wavered in its belief in Perez. Both first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and manager Terry Francona have said that the 26-year-old is good enough to be a starting catcher in the league, per’s Jordan Bastian and 92.3 The Fan’s T.J. Zuppe:

It’s worth noting that Gomes wasn’t exactly a can’t-miss prospect before he emerged. Perhaps, Perez can have a similar rise.’s August Fagerstrom noted that his pitch-framing was impressive last year in the minors:

Offensively, Perez almost certainly can’t replicate Gomes‘ production. You’re asking somebody with just over 100 plate appearances in the majors to hit at a Silver Slugger level.

However, Perez might be able to compensate for that defensively and with his handling of the pitching staff.

It’s not inaccurate to say that how Perez plays might determine Cleveland’s fate in 2015.

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