Sports fans may have their attention firmly turned toward football and basketball around the holidays, but pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than two months. That means MLB teams are running out of time to make any corresponding roster moves. 

Naturally, there are rumors circulating around the league regarding the futures of some players who could potentially switch teams before late February.

Here is a look at some of those rumors.


Cole Hamels and the San Diego Padres

Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego passed along the latest on any potential interest between the San Diego Padres and Cole Hamels:

The Padres are believed to have at least some interest in Phillies ace Cole Hamels, a left-hander and native San Diegan who could put their rotation over the top. …

According to a Philadelphia Daily News report, the Padres have had discussions about Hamels and could use Myers as trade bait.

Indications from sources within the organization, however, are that the Padres intend on playing all three of their newest outfielders, including Myers.

Wil Myers won the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year award and was a major part of an outfield overhaul for the Padres that also included Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. Considering how much noise came with those three additions, it would be somewhat surprising if San Diego moved one before the season started.

Manager Bud Black discussed his new outfield and where everyone potentially fits, via Lin: “Upton, I think, is maybe best in left (field). We’re going to continue to look at Wil Myers in center field as a possibility. These are things that we’ll talk about as the winter continues and we get into spring.”

Myers is certainly an intriguing piece at 24 years old with plenty of upside, but Hamels is a proven ace. What’s more, Myers regressed during the 2014 season from his impressive 2013 campaign, with his batting average dropping 71 points, his home runs falling from 13 to six, his on-base plus slugging falling from .832 to .614 and his wins above replacement going from two to minus-0.9, per

Perhaps it was nothing more than a sophomore slump for someone in his second season, but there is at least some reason for concern there.

Still, the Padres would have to give up more than just Myers to land Hamels, so it is understandable that a team that has already lost many of its young pieces (including Joe Ross and Trea Turner in the effort to land Myers) this offseason would be hesitant. 

San Diego certainly hopes Myers reverts back to his 2013 form.


Dan Haren 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports passed along an update on Dan Haren:

Haren has spent the majority of his career out West with the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, so it is no wonder, then, that he would like to head back there, especially when family ties are considered.

For now, though, the 34-year-old righty appears set to start the season with the Miami Marlins, barring that potential trade he hopes unfolds. He turned in his best season since 2011 ERA-wise last year for the Dodgers when he finished with a 4.02 ERA, 13-11 record and 1.18 WHIP, and Miami would be more than pleased with a repeat performance.

Haren’s best days may be behind him, but he is still a valuable innings-eater who has pitched at least 169 innings the past 10 seasons, including seven years of more than 200 innings. 

Whether it is with the Marlins or a team out West, Haren should be a reliable middle-of-the-rotation option this season.


Toronto Blue Jays Looking for Closer 

Heyman noted that the busy Toronto Blue Jays may not be done this offseason:

It is interesting that Toronto will apparently look to trade first considering there are still some options available via free agency. Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford and Brian Wilson are all familiar names who could be available for significantly less money than they would have been in past years.

Sometimes buy-low options are the best bets, especially if they bounce back with something to prove after receiving a contract smaller than in their prime.

However, there are some options on the trade market as well. Perhaps Toronto can pry someone like Jonathan Papelbon or Tyler Clippard away from the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington Nationals before pitchers and catchers report, although anytime there is a trade it means giving something up in return. 

For the win-now Blue Jays that have already acquired Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson and Michael Saunders, that probably won’t be an issue.


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