The 2015 MLB winter meetings have not disappointed, as several high-priced players have been made available either through free agency or via trade.

Yet, the market for offensive firepower has been relatively quiet to this point, but with the winter meetings set to close at the end of the day Thursday, we could see some last-minute deals done before the general managers part ways.


1. Jason Heyward makes his long-awaited decision

It seems clear that Jason Heyward is going to make his decision before the winter meetings draw to a close.

Heyward is the key to opening up the outfield free-agent market, as Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are all waiting to see how much the lefty is offered before agreeing to contracts of their own.

The Cardinals and Cubs appear to be at the forefront of the conversations surrounding Heyward, who will ultimately decide which NL Central club is more appealing. St. Louis was the best team in the major leagues during the regular season, winning 100 games while winning the division crown.

But the Cubs were arguably the most surprising team of 2015, and their surplus of young talent should appeal to Heyward.

Theo Epstein isn’t afraid to pay free agents, as evidenced by the Ben Zobrist signing, but St. Louis will likely emerge victorious in this bidding war.

After seeing how valuable Heyward was at the plate and in the field, it just wouldn’t make sense for the Cardinals to let him go. Heyward gets paid and will be a Cardinal for years to come.


2. Chris Davis returns to Baltimore

One of the biggest sluggers on the market, Chris Davis, remains available, although several teams seem reluctant to pay a guy who struck out 208 times the $200 million he is supposedly requesting.

The Orioles were one of those teams reluctant to meet that price tag but still remain the favorite to land Davis.

However, Davis has 126 homers over his past three seasons, which has to intrigue some teams who struggled to hit the long ball in 2015.

The Orioles seem to have shown the most interest in Davis throughout the offseason and would be willing to reopen previous talks if his price comes down.

In the end, Davis signs with Baltimore for less than he is currently asking for after realizing he’s not likely to get the same long-term deal from other teams.


3. Todd Frazier heads to Cleveland

Cincinnati has a slugger of its own in Todd Frazier, one it had to trade in order to truly kick off the great Reds rebuild of 2015.

Frazier is an intriguing option for many teams, as his 35 home runs make him a middle-of-the-order threat. What makes him even more valuable is his defense, as he finished as a Gold Glove finalist at third base in 2015.

At first, it seemed the Angels were a perfect fit, but their weak farm system and unwillingness to pay the luxury tax have likely soured any deals for a player of Frazier’s caliber.

Cleveland has emerged as a front-runner in the Todd Frazier sweepstakes, and it has enough young pitching depth to make the deal happen. The Indians would likely have to part ways with a starting pitcher such as Carlos Carrasco to make the trade happen, but they appear to have enough depth to consider it as a possibility.

Carlos Santana led the Indians with just 19 homers in 2015, so Frazier could step in and become the power threat this team desperately needs.

Right now, Cincinnati’s asking price seems to be too high for Cleveland to agree to a deal, but if the Reds bring down their offer, expect the Indians to pounce and make a trade happen.

So now we’ve talked about some of the big bats on the market, but how about those remaining pitchers that could be available?


4. Johnny Cueto becomes a Cardinal

Johnny Cueto is now the most sought-after starting pitcher on the free-agent market. Cueto‘s performance in Game 2 of the World Series only increased his value, and the fact he is still 29 years old makes him an easy long-term commitment.

Despite both the Dodgers and Giants acquiring starting pitchers this offseason, Cueto remains linked to the NL West rivals. However, the Dodgers appear more inclined to work on their bullpen, while the Giants are targeting outfield help as a main priority.

St. Louis is a potential landing point; however, many Cardinal fans still remember this moment in one of the ugliest brawls in recent memory. 

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, though, Cueto‘s agent sees the Cardinals as a likely fit for his client’s services.

Houston and Seattle are also looking to fill voids in their starting rotations, but Cueto‘s asking price will likely be out of either team’s range, especially with cheaper options on the market like Scott Kazmir.

In the end, St. Louis will sign Cueto to a large deal, and all will be forgiven in St. Louis when he leads the Cardinals back to another division title in 2016.


5. Andrew Miller is traded to the Dodgers

The last deal that has some potential would be a trade between the two wealthiest teams in baseball: the Yankees and the Dodgers. 

After seeing their trade for Aroldis Chapman go absolutely haywire due to possible domestic violence charges, the Dodgers appear to have moved on and set their sights on Yankees closer Andrew Miller.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports believes Miller is now the top priority for a Dodgers team seeking bullpen help.

While he doesn’t throw 100 miles per hour on a regular basis like Chapman, Miller still features a dominant fastball and a nasty slider.

L.A. seems to have made it a priority to add another solid bullpen arm to go alongside Kenley Jansen, and Miller fits the bill perfectly.

The Astros were the other team with major interest in Miller, but after trading for Ken Giles, their interest in the Yankees lefty has waned. 

With a strong farm system and enough of a budget to take on incoming contracts, a deal between the Dodgers and Yankees seems highly likely. 

With spring training still almost three months away, all we can do is wonder how each offseason move will impact teams in 2016.

But if the last day of the winter meetings is anything like the first three, we’re in for a roller-coaster ride full of trades and giant contracts for players who could be leading their new teams to playoff success in 2016.

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