The top names like Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and Brian McCann have been signed. The biggest trade we’re likely to see this offseason—Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler—has been completed, too.

So what’s left?

Well, while there are still second-tier free agents like Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana available, there are also some intriguing players still possibly available on the trade block. Let’s break down some of the latest trade rumors in Major League Baseball.


David Price and Jeff Samardzija, SP

Without question, the biggest name remaining on the trade block is David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. The 28-year-old went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 2013, but he is due approximately $13 million and could bring back a lot of young talent in a deal.

Plus, the Rays have plenty of young talent in the rotation. So why hasn’t he been traded?

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the answer:

With the start of spring training now closer than the end of the season, the Rays’ position appears to be the same as it was. They are willing to listen on Price, who has two seasons until free agency, but it’s going to take a lot—in terms of young talent—to get him. Fair conclusion: They haven’t been made a good-enough offer yet.

So what might the Rays want for Price? Well, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe has more on that (along with providing an update on Jeff Samardzija‘s status with the Chicago Cubs):

On the trade front, the Rays and Cubs want at least three very good players for Price and Samardzija, respectively, major league-ready or top prospects. The team that trades for Price must figure out a long-term agreement with him. And that goes for Samardzija, as well.

Samardzija has emerged as a very good starting pitcher in the past two seasons and finished 2013 with an 8-13 record, 4.34 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 214 strikeouts. While Price is the more appealing starter based on his track record, Samardzija surely could be had for cheaper. 

Of course, as Cafardo notes, neither player is likely to be dealt until Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Golden Eagles is signed by an MLB team (if he is at all). Meanwhile, free agents like Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Bronson Arroyo also remain available for teams as cheaper alternatives to Price.

Thus, it’s very possible Price will remain with the Rays for at least one more season. A team willing to pay the right price can have him, but it sounds as though that price will be rather steep.


Brett Gardner, OF

After signing both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran this offseason, the Yankees have a total of six outfielders: that pair, along with Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells.

General manager Brian Cashman has already said the team won’t go into the season with six outfielders, but who will be moved? 

While Gardner will likely stick around and man left field, Cafardo believes the team will listen to any serious offers for the outfielder:

Have you noticed that every time Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi are asked about the Gardner-Jacoby Ellsbury situation, they indicate they have two center fielders?

Given his contract, we’re assuming Ellsbury is going to play center, and the last time Ellsbury played left field he collided with Adrian Beltre, broke five ribs, and played in 18 games in 2010.

The Yankees are trying to reinvent the Ellsbury-Shane Victorino dynamic by having two center fielders playing their toughest outfield spots, which are left and center at Yankee Stadium. However, even with their declaration that Gardner won’t be traded, they would listen to the right deal.

The one reason to deal Gardner, quite simply, is that he would bring back the most in any potential trade, likely for a pitcher to add to the Yankees rotation. He was solid in 2013, hitting .273 with eight home runs, 52 RBI, 81 runs and 24 stolen bases. 

While the Yankees would certainly be strong in the outfield with he and Ellsbury—and have plenty of speed on the basepaths—the Yankees may yet be tempted to deal their best trade chip from a position of strength.

Ultimately, it comes down to what they can get for Gardner in return and if they trust Ichiro or Wells to handle the third outfield spot with Soriano likely be the designated hitter.


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