All MLB fans want for the holidays is a big offseason acquisition to unwrap this spring.

Not everyone has thrown caution to the wind like the San Diego Padres, so several clubs are still searching for upgrades before Opening Day. With three months remaining before the season commences, plenty of time remains to complete some deals.

Several free agents are still unaccounted for, and the trade market remains open for business during one of the busier offseasons in recent memory. Here are a few more rumors that are heating up the winter. 


Rockies Talk Troy Tulowitzki with Mets

Troy Tulowtizki buzz has risen from the dead, with the New York Mets once again linked to the superstar shortstop.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote that discussions remain ongoing with the Mets and Colorado Rockies.

The Mets and Rockies have been quietly discussing a potential Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster for weeks, though it isn’t known yet whether New York will have a decent chance to complete such a deal.

Prized Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is said to be the centerpiece of discussions revolving around a potential package of young players in a possible deal for Tulo, though it seems like there is still quite a ways to go to have a chance to complete such a monster trade.

Before getting too excited, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal plotted the odds as slim.

While healthy, Tulowitzki went scorched earth on opposing pitching last season, batting .340/.432/.603 through 91 games. Had he sustained that stellar offense over a full year, he would have forced his way into the MVP picture, regardless of Colorado’s record.

Yet injuries are nothing new for the 30-year-old, who has played an average of 105 games per season over the past five years. Another six years remain on his contract, via Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and he sports a career .274/.349/.469 slash line away from Coors Field. Inside the notorious hitters’ haven, he has hit .322/.397/.565.

Road Tulo, however, still represents a monumental boost for the Mets, who received a .649 OPS in 2014. They have already poached former teammate Michael Cuddyer, but that won’t vault last year’s 21st-ranked scoring offense into the title discussion.

Ranked as’s No. 10 prospect, Syndergaard boasts rates of 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.6 walks per nine innings through five minor league seasons. The prized 22-year-old, snagged from the Toronto Blue Jays two years ago for R.A. Dickey, would immediately become one of Colorado’s top starters.

It’s a high-risk, high-reward gamble on both sides, which is why it will probably remain in rumor purgatory.


James Shields Update

With Max Scherzer looming as the top unsigned free agent, James Shields has got lost in the ruckus. The veteran starter also remains available for teams seeking a front-line starter before Opening Day.

It’s now easier to see why he remains unsigned. According to The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo, the 33-year-old righty expects to get paid like an ace.

The final Shields numbers are expected to be close to the five years and $110 million remaining (if the option is picked up) on the Cole Hamels deal, according to one major league source who was privy to Shields’s demands. The Giants and Red Sox are in the picture, and the Yankees may be another suitor.

Such lofty demands will likely delay any finalized deal. Shields is a workhorse who has logged at least 30 starts and 200 innings over each of the past eight years, but all that mileage should cause clubs to fear handing him five years.

His strikeout rate continues to dwindle, falling to 7.14 punchouts per nine innings. Even though his strong regular season led the Kansas City Royals to their first postseason and World Series in 29 years, his 6.12 playoff ERA ended his campaign on a sour note.

The Boston Red Sox could still use an anchor for their rebranded rotation, but Shields sports a 5.42 ERA through 13 career starts at Fenway Park. After retaining Jake Peavy, the San Francisco Giants would be better off rounding out a strong starting staff with Yusmeiro Petit.

Throughout the offseason, teams have displayed a willingness to dish out an extra year to get something done. If Russell Martin can get five years, someone will meet Shields’ similar demand. In order for that to happen, he’ll need to compromise on his expected yearly rate.


Market Heating Up for Asdrubal Cabrera

Despite his declining offensive production, Asdrubal Cabrera intrigues teams searching for infield depth.

Since breaking out in 2011, the 29-year-old’s slugging percentage has dropped in each ensuing year, bottoming at .387 in 2014. 

Yet that remains serviceable for a middle infielder, and he has bopped 69 homers through those four seasons. With scarce alternatives, Heyman reports several teams looking his way.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick added the Philadelphia Phillies, who recently traded long-time shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The New York Post‘s Ken Davidoff also speculated on interest from the New York Yankees after they traded Martin Prado to land Nathan Eovaldi.

Even if he never sniffs his .792 OPS from 2011, Cabrera could help any of those squads. Despite his blemishes, he finished last season with a 1.7 WAR under FanGraphs‘ metric. For the interested parties, it’s all a matter of how much he’ll cost.

No longer an All-Star, he’s still a stout big league starter who could boast his future value by shining during a short-term deal.

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