The beauty of the MLB offseason is that you never know if the biggest move of the winter has been made.

Each day brings the potential for a move that’s bigger than the moves from days prior. Such is the case now. While the trades of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Jimmy Rollins, Wil Myers and Jeff Samardzija could be categorized as the top deals so far, the potential for even bigger things is on the horizon.

Cole Hamels and Troy Tulowitzki have found themselves the focus of trade rumors for longer than just the past few months, but this offseason has featured the most serious talks for both players.

Where will each superstar play in 2015? They’re members of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies, respectively, for now, but that could change in an instant. Read below to find out the most recent buzz.


Cole Hamels

The San Diego Padres are in the midst of a roster overhaul, having acquired Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Derek Norris in the past few weeks. They might not be done dealing.

Hamels, a native San Diegan, can be had for the right price. Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reported Sunday that the Padres were interested in making a deal: “The Padres have had discussions about trading for San Diego native Cole Hamels with new outfielder Wil Myers as potential bait, according to a baseball source.”

Trading Myers would be bold. Even though he wasn’t all that productive last season, the 24-year-old outfielder has untapped potential and could become one of the best right-handed hitters in the division as soon as next season.

A conflicting report from Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego suggests the Padres recognize that and aren’t willing to trade him: “Indications from sources within the organization, however, are that the Padres intend on playing all three of their newest outfielders, including Myers. The early plan is for the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year to start in center field.”

Trading Myers in a deal for Hamels isn’t a far-fetched idea, though.

For one, Hamels would approve a trade to the Padres, reports USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale:

The Padres have a wealth of capable outfielders. Myers, Upton and Kemp are slated to start, but Cameron Maybin, Seth Smith, Will Venable, Abraham Almonte, Carlos Quentin and Rymer Liriano are also worthy of playing time. Obviously, it is impossible for a team to play nine outfielders.

Philly should be interested in bringing in outfield help. Marlon Byrd could be dealt, but he and Ben Revere are the only capable players they have to roam Citizens Bank Park. Myers and someone such as Liriano could pique the interest of general manager Ruben Amaro.

Hamels has been successful in San Diego, owning a 1.78 ERA and a 5-1 record in eight starts at PetCo Park. But that’s not the only reason he’s worth acquiring.

The Padres have a budding young rotation, headlined by Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. Ian Kennedy, Odrisamer Despaigne and Robbie Erlin round out the group. The latter two pitchers could easily be replaced by Hamels, giving San Diego one of the top staffs in the National League.

It makes a ton of sense for these two clubs to strike a deal. Padres general manager A.J. Preller isn’t messing around in his first offseason with the team, and a move for Hamels would represent the icing on the cake.


Troy Tulowitzki

Tulowitzki is the top shortstop in baseball when healthy, though that’s the operative word here. He’s rehabbing as you read this, but he could also be scouring the rumor mill for his name.

He told’s Thomas Harding that he’s aware of the recent trade rumors: “I’m keeping up but I’m not worrying about it. I’m just doing my rehab and want to get back on the field. That’s my main focus.”

Those rumors involve the New York Mets, who are in desperate need of someone not named Ruben Tejada or Wilmer Flores to play shortstop.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman has the latest: “The Mets maintain interest in Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but it’s clear there’s a major gap to bridge in negotiations between the teams, with differences in ideas of player compensation and financial considerations, as well.”

It’s easy to see how player compensation could be a potential snag in talks. The Rockies likely want multiple top prospects for Tulo. Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and other young players are must-haves for Colorado.

Of course, the Mets probably recognize the shortstop’s extensive injury history. Newsday‘s David Lennon opines that his history with the disabled list should convince the Mets to stay away:

The reality, however, suggests the short-term benefit of Tulowitzki would not outweigh the lasting fallout from the huge price for an aging, injury-prone star at a high-impact position.

Tulowitzki is rehabbing from hip surgery, which is something that’s expected for your grandma but alarming when it happens to a 30-year-old shortstop. He played only 91 games last season and has averaged 88 since 2011, when he made it all the way to 143.

He was phenomenal in 91 games last season, though, slashing .340/.432/.603 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI. The thought of plugging that into the lineup is certainly intriguing.

It might be safer for the Mets to avoid dealing for Tulowitzki, but it’d be hard to justify not bringing him in if the Mets can get him at their price. They are not far from contention. The only thing holding them back is their offense.

Pairing Tulowitzki with Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson in the middle of the lineup could be what finally brings the Amazins back to the postseason.

A deal doesn’t appear likely at this point, but no one should be surprised if it happens.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn

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