Major League Baseball trade rumors are hot this time of year. The New York Yankees landed former Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in a deal for four minor leaguers Monday, and there should be plenty more moves on the horizon.

Rumors surrounding Colorado Rockies outfielders have been swirling this week, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. He reported the St. Louis Cardinals have talked with Colorado about trading for an outfielder, and the Rockies have three available.


CarGo Among Those Available to Be Traded

Carlos Gonzalez enjoyed a career year with the Rockies in 2015, slashing .271/.325/.540 with 40 home runs and 97 RBI. The Rockies need pitching, and the Cardinals need an outfielder after losing Jason Heyward to the Chicago Cubs in free agency.

Scott Gelman of MLB Daily Dish said a trade makes sense in regard to the positions, but Gonzalez may not be the Colorado outfielder the Cardinals need:

Colorado is reportedly shopping all three of its outfielders, but Carlos Gonzalez might not be realistic option for the Cardinals.

[Charlie] Blackmon, 29, is coming off a strong 2015 campaign during which he batted .287/.347/.450 to complement 17 home runs and 58 RBIs. He also stole 43 bases and would add a left-handed bat to St. Louis’ outfield.

[Corey] Dickerson, 26, would also add a left handed bat, but he could prove to be costly in a trade since he had a better season than Blackmon. Over 65 contests last season, Dickerson batted .304/.333/.536 to complement 10 home runs and 31 RBIs.

Gonzalez has been linked to multiple clubs this winter, and the Rockies do not appear to be lowering the price.

Regardless of whether or not it is done via a trade, the Cardinals need to add at least one outfielder. The Rockies have three productive options to choose from, and St. Louis has its share of desirable prospects.

Gonzalez is owed $37 million over the next two years, which is why Gelman feels he may not be the answer for St. Louis: The Rockies are shopping their outfielders and the Cardinals have a need. But Colorado’s asking price will likely remain too high.”

The Cardinals don’t typically throw money at high-priced free agents, so adding a 30-year-old outfielder via trade for that much money is not likely. Blackmon is eligible for arbitration in 2016 after making just $517,000 in 2015, while Dickerson is in the same boat and made $512,500 last season.

Like Gelman said, the interest is there, but the two sides may be far apart. If Gonzalez isn’t shipped to St. Louis, look for him to land somewhere else in 2016, while the jury is still out on the fates of Blackmon and Dickerson.


Teams Interested in Detroit’s Castellanos 

Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos was a first-round draft pick in 2010 but has failed to live up to expectations. In what amounts to two full seasons, Castellanos has averaged a slash line of .257/.304/.405 with 13 home runs and 72 RBI.

However, Tony Paul of the Detroit News said there is interest among MLB teams in the 23-year-old infielder: “Another Tiger who could be traded, Nick Castellanos—yes, there have been inquiring phone calls—wouldn’t be nearly enough to balance the books to sign an outfielder. Castellanos still barely makes the league minimum.”

Paul was referring to the fact Detroit is trying to stay as close to the $189 million luxury-tax threshold as it can this season, making it tough to sign a big-time free-agent outfielder, and Castellanos doesn’t do much in the way of getting money off the books.

Patrick OKennedy of SB Nation’s Bless You Boys said it would not be worth trading Castellanos because of his cheap contract and the fact his best days are most likely ahead of him:

There is no money to be saved by dealing Castellanos, who earns near the major league minimum. At best, the Tigers might be able to move him for a similarly cost-controlled player who brings more offensive production. They would need to see a greater marginal difference in the player acquired over what they have in left field, than they would lose by subbing out Castellanos for Dixon Machado or Mike Aviles. …

It would take a unique situation for the Tigers to be willing to trade Castellanos. Perhaps a team looking for a third baseman with some extra depth in the corner outfield positions could be interested in such a trade. It would be a move for instant gratification, with the risk that the Tigers’ former first-round draft pick has a breakout season at age 24 or 25, playing in another uniform. I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

OKennedy‘s points are good ones. It would be tough for Detroit to watch Castellanos excel somewhere else, much like the World Series champion Kansas City Royals would have done if they had given up on their young, struggling third baseman Mike Moustakas, who ended up in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Of course, when multiple teams are interested, it never hurts to listen. If new executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila can find the perfect fit, it might make sense to pull the trigger. However, don’t count on that happening. 

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