The 2015 MLB winter meetings are officially in the books, and they will likely be remembered for a flurry of activity and nonstop rumors.

A number of teams look vastly different leaving Nashville, Tennessee, than they did at the end of the 2015 campaign, including the Arizona Diamondbacks (hello, Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller), New York Mets (a brand new double-play tandem in Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker), Chicago Cubs (they added Ben Zobrist and John Lackey) and New York Yankees (plus Starlin Castro, minus Justin Wilson).

It may feel like baseball will take a backseat now and settle into the quiet portion of the offseason, but there are still a number of moves to be made. Eyes will be firmly glued on Jason Heyward, Mike Leake and a handful of potential trade targets in the coming days and weeks. 

There are still plenty of trade rumors circulating, as well, even with the MLB winter meetings in the rearview mirror. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the latest buzz from around the league.


Brandon Phillips Could Be Headed West

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has been the centerpiece of some trade discussion this offseason, and the incredibly active Diamondbacks apparently have their eyes on him.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Arizona spoke with the Reds regarding the second baseman, but it would have to convince him to waive his no-trade clause. Rosenthal said that may be easier now for the Diamondbacks, who are clearly in win-now mode after adding Greinke and Miller.

Arizona traded a number of promising prospects to get Miller, including the 2015 No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson, and adding the 34-year-old Phillips would be another step in the win-now direction.

Phillips hit .294 with 12 home runs, 70 RBI, 23 steals and a .723 OPS last season. He was a 20-20 player for three straight years from 2007-09 and is a three-time All-Star. What’s more, Phillips is one of the best fielding second basemen in the league and has four Gold Gloves on his resume.

He also accounted for 61 total defensive runs saved above average at second throughout his career, according to FanGraphs. Phillips would be an immediate upgrade compared to Chris Owings for the Diamondbacks, especially since the latter hit .227 in 2015 and has dealt with shoulder injuries in his career.

This isn’t the first time the Diamondbacks-and-Phillips connection has been made. Nick Piecoro of said Arizona and Cincinnati talked about a potential deal during the general managers’ meetings in Florida.

However, Arizona general manager Dave Stewart wasn’t willing to reveal his hand just yet, per Piecoro: “That was earlier in the week. There hasn’t been much conversation since then. (Reds executive) Walt (Jocketty) and I are friends and so we’ve had small talk but we’re not close to anything.” 

Trading Phillips would also make sense for the Reds after they finished 64-98 in the competitive National League Central. They are entering a rebuilding period and will likely not be ready to compete until their second baseman is past his prime.


Rangers and Diamondbacks Talking Potential Pitching Swap

The Texas Rangers added right-handed relief pitcher Tony Barnette Thursday after a six-year stint in Japan. That gives them a piece in their bullpen who boasts a plus-fastball and the stuff to challenge major league hitters.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News noted Barnette’s “presence would give the Rangers another bullpen option in the event they eventually trade a reliever to obtain a starter.”

Grant went on to say Texas “had significant talks about a reliever-for-starter deal during the winter meetings” and mentioned Arizona’s Archie Bradley as a particular target because the Diamondbacks are attempting to add to their bullpen.

Texas finished an abysmal 21st in the league in starting pitcher ERA last season and needs to bolster its depth behind Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels. The Diamondbacks have added two ace-level starters already this offseason in Greinke and Miller, so they have room to maneuver in the hopes of improving the bullpen.

On paper, the match makes sense, especially when Arizona’s middling bullpen from a season ago that finished 16th in batting average against and 13th in ERA is taken into account.

Bradley struggled at times during the 2015 season and tallied a 5.80 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and 23 strikeouts in 35.2 innings for Arizona. That may not seem appealing to Rangers fans on the surface, but he is only 23 years old and was ranked as the fifth-best prospect in all of baseball before the 2014 campaign by

The promise is still there, and he could learn behind Hamels and Darvish as a member of the Rangers. That would be a formidable trio entering the 2016 campaign.

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