The Winter Meetings have begun, which means so has all the wheeling and dealing. Traditionally, this is where the biggest deals go down in the off-season, both for free agents and trades. We all know who the big name free agents are this winter, but who are the major trade chips that could get dealt before the meetings in Nashville come to a close.
Really, this could be any of the Rays starting pitchers from Price to Hellickson to Cobb, but Shields is the leader in the clubhouse to get dealt away. The free agent pitching market gets real ugly real fast after Zack Greinke, who is expected to sign somewhere at the Winter Meetings. Once that happens, it should take all of a nanosecond for Greinke's scorned suitors to descend on the Rays to try and pry loose a pitcher from their plethora of quality arms. Shields may not be an ace, but he is good pitcher and a lock for 200+ innings. The best part about him not being quite an ace means that he should be affordable for most teams, at least until the bidding war begins.
The game of center field musical chairs is slowly coming to an end with Michael Bourn and Angel Pagan still left as the best two prizes. However, there are still more teams in need up the middle than there are quality free agent options. The Rockies recently let it slip that they were shopping Dexter Fowler, who is coming off the best season of his career. Colorado will probably ask for an arm and a leg for him, but whoever gets left holding the bag when Bourn and Pagan sign might feel better making a trade for Fowler than accepting the consolation prize that is Shane Victorino.
The Diamondbacks claim that they aren't shopping Upton anymore. Yeah, we've heard that one before. You can't place a guy on the trade block every six months without eventually trading him. This market seems to be particularly short on impact bats, so Upton will definitely be in demand. That being said, the price will be sky high for him, so this isn't a deal that will come together quickly or easily.no comments