The MLB offseason figures to be a busy one for many teams across the league, and we can expect to see many familiar faces in new places once the dust settles.

Some notable transactions have already come to fruition, most recently a one-year deal for A.J. Burnett with the Pittsburgh Pirates. With a healthy amount of coveted players sitting on the free-agent market or rumored to be involved in trade talks, there will be no shortage of gossip floating around the Web any time soon.

A few pieces of information regarding some of the league’s well-known players have recently surfaced from trusted sources across the Internet. Here’s a look at the latest and greatest rumors as a frenzied offseason continues.


Jon Lester Latest

Lester really stepped up during his short time with the Oakland Athletics last season. Through 11 starts with the club, he allowed 66 hits, 20 earned runs and 16 walks while striking out 71 for a 6-4 record and a 2.35 ERA. He also tallied one complete-game shutout over that span.

That late-season success has piqued the interest of several clubs, via Peter Gammons:

Although, two stand out above the rest as very intriguing options.

According to Jeffery Flanagan of Fox Sports, the Kansas City Royals had discussions with the southpaw’s agents. This is interesting considering Lester pitched against the Royals in the American League Wild Card Game, going 7.1 innings and allowing eight hits and six runs for a 7.36 ERA.

The Royals have a phenomenal bullpen but could use some depth in their starting rotation, making Lester a nice fit.

Perhaps more interesting is discussions between Lester’s camp and his former team, the Boston Red Sox. The left-hander was traded to Oakland after spending the better part of nine seasons with Boston, and now it appears as though they want him back.

According to Gordon Edes of, the interest is expected to be real, and he gives some insight into what the team could be offering:

By now, both sides have a pretty good idea what it will take to get a deal done. Agent Seth Levinson would not be wasting Lester’s time, nor his own, with this meeting unless he had received a direct signal, from Cherington or, just as likely, Lucchino, that the Sox are prepared to make an offer that will not insult the intelligence of the parties involved.

That means an offer of at least five years, more likely six. Anything below $120 million is probably a nonstarter.

We probably shouldn’t expect a deal of this magnitude to be completed once the meeting ends; however, we should have a great idea of just how good the changes are of these parties hammering out a deal.


Jason Heyward Latest

There’s a strong possibility the Atlanta Braves will look to deal Heyward during the offseason. The 25-year-old outfielder is entering the final year of his contract, and there’s a chance Atlanta may not be able to ink him to a long-term deal.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, the Braves are looking to add pitching, and if they do enter a rebuilding phase, a trade could be expected:

Whatever the eventual stated goal is, it became pretty clear to me the past few days that the Braves are likely to trade at least one of their corner outfielders, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, both of whom are eligible for free agency a year from now and can probably expect to command long-term contracts worth at least a combined  $35 million annually and perhaps closer to $40 million annually.

If Atlanta does look to trade Heyward, which team is a likely suitor?

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports did tweet that several teams have already called about the outfielder:

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the St. Louis Cardinals “are said to like Heyward.”

St. Louis will be looking to improve its lineup, and Heyward would be a valuable addition. The outfielder tallied 74 runs, 155 hits, 26 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 58 RBI, 20 stolen bases and batted .271 last season. He’s a do-it-all player on offense.

Heyward has really improved his fielding as well over recent years. He only recorded one error last season and was responsible for nine assists and two double plays while maintaining a .997 fielding percentage.


Justin Masterson Latest

Masterson spent the better part of six seasons with the Cleveland Indians until he was dealt to the Cardinals last season. He appeared in nine games for St. Louis, starting six, and didn’t produce as efficiently as expected, totaling a 7.04 ERA during that span.

Interestingly enough, the Indians could be thinking about bringing the right-hander back to Cleveland, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain DealerHoynes put it simply, “Yes, the Indians have talked to Masterson about returning to Cleveland.”

If the Indians do offer the pitcher a deal, expect it to be a short one—perhaps just a year. After all, the team couldn’t have much confidence in Masterson after he slipped from its No. 1 starter to No. 5 in its rotation before being traded.

Bringing the pitcher back would most likely hinge on Cleveland thinking he can get back to the form he displayed in his All-Star 2013 season.

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