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A summary of baseball rumors and a Winter Meetings open thread

Mystery teams are checking in on mutual interest for an opt-out with a minor league deal

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MLB: Winter Meetings Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Meetings have begun in Las Vegas, which usually marks the apex of baseball trade rumor season. So here is a summary of notable trade rumors around baseball.

The Indians could be trading a starting pitcher.

Cleveland’s desire to deal its starters does not end with Bauer or Kluber. The Indians also have discussed Danny Salazar, the talented but oft-injured right-hander who missed all of 2018 with a shoulder injury, according to sources.

The Dodgers have inquired about Jose Abreu.

The Sox’s best hitter and a two-time Sliver Slugger, Abreu’s name came up in another trade rumor last week. This time, it’s the Dodgers who have reported interest.

Entering the final year of his contract, Abreu has repeatedly said he’s open to an extension and wants to be with the White Sox when they turn the corner.

The Twins are hoping Nelson Cruz falls into their lap.

Those could end up being their most noteworthy acquisitions. The only chance the Twins could pull off a surprise is if someone such as Nelson Cruz becomes affordable enough to make him the full-time designated hitter in 2019. They prefer to use different players in the role next season, but that is the only position where they could add a player.

The Red Sox seem likely to have interest in Kelvin Herrera.

The Red Sox need a closer and that is exactly what Kelvin Herrera represents when healthy. Add in the fact that Dave Dombrowski tried trading for the 28-year-old at the non-waiver trade deadline and there would seem to be plenty of smoke and fire.

Rangers reliever Jose LeClerc is in high demand.

They have already received calls from most MLB teams on right-hander Jose Leclerc, who finished 2018 as the closer and was one of the game’s top relievers. The Rangers have a glut of left-handed-hitting corner outfielders, and Daniels has indicated a willingness to move one of them.

The Rays have asked about Edwin Encarnacion.

One of those directions is a potential trade for Edwin Encarnacion or Yandy Diaz. Teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays have asked about them and the Indians are listening.

The Yankees reportedly won’t go over $300 million for Manny Machado.

Half of baseball is interested in trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Marlins have interest from no fewer than 14 teams for star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who seems likely to go. While the Marlins suggest they wouldn’t mind holding him since he’d help their young staff and would still carry a value in a half year or year, agent Jeff Berry is very likely right that he will be dealt; at least he should be.

The Mets are interested in trading for Yasiel Puig.

The Mets are expected to at least inquire about Yasiel Puig, whom the Dodgers have on the trade block, but it’s also possible the Mets, if they didn’t acquire Pollock, would gamble on Juan Lagares, who has struggled to remain on the field the last three seasons.

But would only move Noah Syndergaard for a big return.

While the Mets are listening on their right-handed starter, they do not seem inclined to trade him barring an offer they can’t refuse...

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said the team would need a “big” return to trade Syndergaard, who has three years remaining on his contract.

”He’s a very important part of the team,” Wilpon said. “Unless Brodie gets what he feels is more than fair, I don’t think he’s going to make a deal and pull the trigger on that.”

The Reds are interested in A.J. Pollock.

Williams said the Reds can choose one of two options: a cheap defensive replacement or pay for a well-rounded center fielder. The Reds have shown interest in free agent A.J. Pollock, but he’s reportedly seeking a contract around five years, $80 million. Other veteran options could include Andrew McCutchen and Adam Jones.

The Braves are looking to trade for an outfielder.

They’ll settle for a player they like on a shorter deal – such as Markakis or Andrew McCutchen – before heaving dollars beyond their comfort zone. That is, if they can’t acquire an outfielder via trade, which seems to be the preferred route at this time.

The Cardinals are looking for bullpen help.

In order to fill their needs and get him more playing time, the Cardinals will also listen to offers for outfielder Jose Martinez. They want to see if they could acquire either the lefty reliever or infielder via trade.

The Cardinals have remained engaged in talks about lefties Zach Britton and Andrew Miller, and in either case the Cardinals could dangle the ninth inning as theirs for the taking.

The Brewers may have outfielders to trade.

The Brewers do have areas of depth from which they can trade, primarily the outfield and first base. Outfielders Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana had minimum salaries last season but are now out of minor-league options, and it’s unlikely both will remain. Eric Thames, signed for 2019 at $6 million with a club option for $7.5 million for 2020, lost the first base job last season to Jesús Aguilar, another minimum-salary player, and could be had in the right deal.

The Padres are talking to the Yankees about Sonny Gray.

The Giants are interested in Josh Harrison.

Joakim Soria is drawing interest from the Reds and Yankees.

Got any hot rumors? A big prediction for the Winter Meetings? In the meantime, enjoy this Winter Meetings bingo card (h/t LetsGoTribe)