Still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting, the MLB rumors surrounding some of the biggest trade targets are hotter than ever.

The hot stove has been set ablaze with rumors swirling about both Cole Hamels and Troy Tulowitzki. Even recent acquisitions by teams might be up for discussion with the San Diego Padres looking to deal one of their biggest assets.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves might actually be keeping one of their most coveted players heading into the season. Prior to the start of the new year, here’s a look at the latest rumors surrounding the MLB.


Cole Hamels

This offseason, the hotbed for trade rumors has been in San Diego. The Padres have been dealing for several huge bats, but they might now be looking to acquire a true ace for their rotation.

San Diego’s latest inquiry has reportedly been on Hamels, who is coming off a career year with the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News passes along the latest on Hamels: 

“The Padres have had discussions about trading for the lefthanded ace, who happens to be a San Diego native,” Lawrence writes. “With newly acquired outfielder Wil Myers as potential bait, according to a baseball source.”

Hamels, 30, posted a career-low 2.46 ERA last season with 198 strikeouts and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting, per Baseball-Reference. Even on a team that finished 16 games under .500, Hamels was sensational on the rubber.

He might also be a great fit for San Diego due to his contract, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

While the Padres have made great strides with the additions of outfielders Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, they still need to upgrade the rotation. In a division that includes the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants—each of which have true aces—Hamels would immediately add that presence for San Diego.

Even if it gives up Wil Myers, the return in Hamels seems worth it. This is a deal the Padres need to make to not only compete in the NL West but also in the postseason.


Troy Tulowitzki

Unlike the Padres and the Phillies, the Colorado Rockies have been mostly reluctant to deal their biggest names.

In Colorado, Tulowitzki remains the best potential trade target for any team looking for a power bat. Now, the Rockies are talking about a move involving Tulo with a familiar team, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports:

The Mets and Rockies have been quietly discussing a potential Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster for weeks, though it isn’t known yet whether New York will have a decent chance to complete such a deal.

Prized Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is said to be the centerpiece of discussions revolving around a potential package of young players in a possible deal for Tulo, though it seems like there is still quite a ways to go to have a chance to complete such a monster trade.

In the early portion of last season, Tulowitzki looked like a MVP candidate for Colorado. Through 91 games, the 30-year-old finished with a .340/.432/.603 slash line and 21 home runs, but injuries cut his season short.

The New York Mets have already signed Michael Cuddyer and could be looking to pair him with a familiar face at shortstop; however, injury concerns for Tulo should eventually outweigh the Mets’ need to acquire his offense in their lineup.


Evan Gattis

This offseason has been similar to a fire sale for in Atlanta. Already dealing away the likes of Jason Heyward and the aforementioned Upton, the Braves might actually be keeping one of their best young remaining bats.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post offered the latest rumor about Evan Gattis:

Given the way the offseason has gone for Atlanta, moving Gattis might seem like a good idea to continue the rebuild; however, he is just 28 years old and hit 22 home runs last year while improving his batting average, OBP and slugging percentage.

Having Nick Markakis in right field and Gattis in left, Atlanta would still have a supply of power in the lineup. If Christian Bethancourt can grab the reins behind the plate, this might be a young team that can still compete—even in a rebuilding year.


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