The majority of the offseason’s most valuable trade chips have already been dealt, but there are still a few coveted veterans who could be on the move before the start of spring training in February.

Complementary veteran pieces are still available for the right price. Oftentimes, those are the types of acquisitions that set the offseason’s successful teams apart from the pack. While the big prizes of the winter are the ones that lead to the most improvement, the extra pieces take a team over the top.

There are several of these pieces still available on the trade market, and two of them have made headlines in early 2015. Below, you’ll find an analysis of the latest buzz surrounding their current situations.


Dan Haren

Dan Haren wasn’t fond of his trade from Los Angeles to Florida, and’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Miami Marlins are working on finding a deal that would move him back to the West Coast. “From what I’ve heard, there is a market for Haren, and the Marlins will do their best to work out a deal that accommodates both parties. Those talks are already underway,” Frisaro writes.

Fox Sports’ Joe Morosi adds to Frisaro‘s report:

There are a few teams who could presumably be in the running for the 34-year-old right-hander. The Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres are certainly in the discussion considering how close they are to contention, and a dark horse could be the Oakland Athletics, the team Haren pitched for from 2005 to 2007.

The Los Angeles Angels general manager, Jerry Dipoto, has said that his team won’t reacquire Haren, who pitched for the team from 2010 to 2012. Los Angeles presumably has a need in the rotation, though, with Garrett Richards a question mark and Tyler Skaggs scheduled to miss all of 2015 after Tommy John surgery.

If the Halos are indeed not interested in a reunion, then it will come down to the other four teams mentioned above.

Check out their full rotation options below:

Haren would be a strong fit on any of these clubs because of the veteran leadership he can provide those young pitchers, but it comes down to which team feels as if it will compete at the highest level next season.

One would assume that the A’s will regress given the roster overhaul they’ve undergone, so it’d be interesting to see them jump into the discussion. Plus, they have injured arms A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker expected to return from Tommy John surgeries at some point in 2015.

San Diego has been the most active team this offseason, though we’ve yet to see GM A.J. Preller address the rotation outside of reclamation project Brandon Morrow.

San Francisco were in the hunt for James Shields in December, so it’s clear that the Giants want arms. Haren represents an affordable option there.

As for Seattle, it’d be odd to see them go after Haren. Promising young arms James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Roenis Elias are vying for rotation spots behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

That would point to the Giants as the favorites if we’re going off need, but any of the teams could make room for a successful veteran who would be happy to pitch near his home.


Ben Zobrist

The Giants should also be considered the favorites for Ben Zobrist at this point given the mammoth hole in left field, though any number of teams have the need for an affordable veteran who can play nearly any position on the field.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported on the size of Zobrist‘s market:

Zobrist, 33, has one of the biggest trade markets out there. The super utilityman is being pursued seriously by the Giants, Nationals, Angels, and Cubs. The Rays recently acquired Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year deal, sparking further speculation that Zobrist might be on the move. The Rays are said to be asking for at least one top prospect and a mid-level one.

Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News echoed that every team in existence could benefit from having him on a roster:

Despite the fact that a high percentage of teams will likely call the Tampa Bay Rays in the coming days, the Giants stand out as the best fit. Coming off the World Series victory, San Francisco must now look to fill the void left by Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Casey McGehee can’t do that by himself, so adding a consistent bat to play left field should help to deepen the lineup. At the very least, the Giants’ motivations for wanting Zobrist should trump the field.

Plus, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow seems to think he’s exactly the type of player team GM Brian Sabean seeks, saying via, “He’s a good player. He’s a Sabean-type player.”

Besides Zobrist‘s obvious fit in left, he would also act as an insurance policy should Joe Panik regress significantly in 2015.

Each passing day means the chances of a Zobrist trade increase. Asdrubal Cabrera will man second for the Rays next year, and Yunel Escobar will play shortstop. Third base and the outfield are covered. The time is now for the Rays to capitalize on Zobrist‘s value and get back prospects in return before he inevitably leaves in free agency next winter.

Look for him to be in orange and black by the time spring training rolls around.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn

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