After one of the most active winter meetings in recent memory, several general managers have planted the seeds for potential dealings in the coming weeks of the offseason.

Many teams were active while in San Diego, making huge trades and signings that have already shaken up the landscape of the upcoming season. The MLB trade rumors won’t stop just because the meetings are over, however.

There’s still plenty of time for GMs to rekindle talks that began over those several days. Most subsequent trades will be a result of what teams did in San Diego. Clubs who didn’t acquire a top starter will be on the prowl for one when he becomes available, for example.

Plenty of intriguing rumors are still buzzing around the rumor mill. Read on to catch up on the latest rumblings.


Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond posted his worst season since his breakout in 2012 last year, posting an OPS of .743. That mark still ranked fourth in baseball amongst shortstops, however. He ranked toward the top in most offensive categories for shortstops, as shown below:

Scheduled to hit free agency following the upcoming season, Desmond is a prime trade chip for the Washington Nationals. Sure, it won’t be easy to replace his production, but the potential haul is certainly worth it.

One team reportedly interested in the 29-year-old is the Seattle Mariners, tweets ESPN’s Jim Bowden:

Seattle’s interest in Desmond is interesting considering the team has young shortstops in Chris Taylor and Brad Miller, who both have the potential to be solid major leaguers in the near future. Of course, neither gives the Mariners the immediate production that Desmond would.

Even in a down year, Desmond was a top-five shortstop in baseball last season. Seattle would benefit from adding that type of bat to the lineup, especially after adding Nelson Cruz.

This team isn’t far from a playoff berth. Another right-handed bat would aid the cause. This would also give the Mariners the flexibility to trade Taylor or Miller to a shortstop-deprived team in hopes of adding talent at first base or in the outfield.

One of Seattle’s young shortstops would have to go back to Washington in the deal. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would likely ask for Taijuan Walker or James Paxton back as well, but Bowden’s report clearly indicates that Seattle doesn’t want to part with either.

Rizzo would do well to acquire Miller or Taylor and Roenis Elias from the Mariners in exchange for Desmond. Elias, a 26-year-old lefty, posted an ERA under four in over 160 innings in his rookie campaign.


Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau, the top hitter in the National League last year with a .319 batting average, is one of the few power-hitting first basemen who could be available on the market this winter.

The Miami Marlins, who have already shown commitment to improvement by acquiring Dee Gordon and Dan Haren, may not be done making moves yet. Tom Singer of tweets that Miami has shown interest in the 33-year-old:

First base was an issue for the Marlins last season. The position produced a 0.1 WAR last season, per FanGraphs, so it’s obvious that the team will seek an upgrade. Morneau produced an .860 OPS and hit 17 big flies last year. He’s definitely an upgrade. 

His age is an issue, however, and CBS Sports’ Chris Towers tweeted his opinions on the matter:

Morneau’s production last season should quell most of the worries regarding his age, but the fact that he’s reached the 150-game mark only once (2013) since 2009 is alarming.

Even still, the Marlins know there aren’t too many options left. President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald just that.

The focus is narrowing,” Hill said. “The field of candidates we are considering is narrowing. In situations where there are potential deals, the structure of the deals are becoming more defined.”

Morneau is a clear fit in a lineup slowly becoming more impressive, but it’s unclear as to why the deal could be falling apart. Miami doesn’t have much to deal, but there is still some young talent in the system who should interest the Colorado Rockies.

Given Miami’s aggressiveness this winter, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them strike a deal.


Erisbel Arruebarrena

ESPN reports that Jimmy Rollins has finally been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning that young Erisbel Arruebarrena is now expendable. 

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets that the team is willing to move him:

Not many people are familiar with Arruebarrena, a Cuban defector who is 24 years of age and has one of the most impressive gloves in the minors.’s Jonathan Mayo heard from a scout about his skills prior to when he signed in February:

He’s a very good defensive player. His glove is very close to the big leagues. The bat, you kind of think he’s one of those guys who’ll bat down in the order. He can really play shortstop, if that’s the type of player you’re interested in. He’ll be a quality defensive shortstop in the Major Leagues, but you wonder if he’s going to hit. Some of the others who have come recently – Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechavarria — I felt more confident about the bat.

Even a player who doesn’t hit incredibly well has value at the shortstop position, especially for the dollar amount that he is owed moving forward.

Several teams have major holes at the position. There should be no shortage of interest in Arruebarrena as a result. The Dodgers aren’t a team with many holes following their many splashes in San Diego, but there’s always a need for young pitching.

One team with an excess of young arms is the New York Mets. Rafael Montero would presumably interest Los Angeles, and a deal centered around him makes sense.

Some are already preparing for Arruebarrena to be dealt to the Mets, even if there has been nothing on the subject as of yet. Michael Mayer of is one of those people:

There’s really no pressing need for the Dodgers to move Arruebarrena, so don’t expect them to settle. They’ll talk business if the Mets come calling, but nothing is close to imminent.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn

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