Description: Outfielder Norichika Aoki has been traded from Milwaukee to Kansas City.
Insight: Aoki hasn't shown a lot of power, but he's averaged 25 SB in his to seasons with Milwaukee. If he earns a spot at the top of the Royals lineup he could have a solid value as a No. 3 fantasy outfield. He's a career .287 hitter with a .355 OBP and a .755 OPS.
Description: Paul Konerko isn't going anywhere. The veteran first baseman has agreed to a $2.5 million contract that will keep him in Chicago for another season. SOURCE: Scott Merkin, MLB.com
Insight: Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn are likely to see most of the reps at first base which means Konerko probably won't be an everyday player anymore. Because of this, his fantasy use will be limited to AL-only formats.
Description: The Royals have offered free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran a three-year, $48 million deal and there's a good chance he'll end up taking it.
Insight: Tacoma News Tribune reporter Bob Dutton has pegged the Royals as the clear favorites to land Beltran. The 36-year-old started his career in Kansas City and enjoyed three straight 20 HR/100 RBI seasons there between 2001 and 2003.
Description: Talks seem to be heating up between free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets. SOURCE: Adam Rubin, ESPN New York
Insight: With Jacoby Ellsbury playing center field and Robinson Cano still unsigned, Granderson is no longer a priority for the Yankees. The two sides are discussing a three-year contract though Granderson's camp is pushing for a four-year pact. With the Winter Meetings coming up, Granderson should make his decision in the near future.
Description: Kelly Johnson is headed to the Yankees. According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, his new deal is worth between $2.75 and $3 million.
Insight: It's a one-year contract. Johnson (.235, 16 HR, 52 RBI) played all over the field in Tampa Bay last season including left field and three out of the four infield positions (he didn't play shortstop). He could be an option for the Yankees at second base should Robinson Cano sign with another team.
Description: Justin Morneau's new deal with the Rockies will pay him $13 million over two years. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: Morneau's power disappeared over the final month of the season but he should find it again in Colorado. Coors Field had the highest park factor in the majors last season. Twenty-five homers with an average in the .270 range seems like a reasonable expectation for fantasy owners.
Description: The Rangers sent outfielder Craig Gentry to Oakland as part of a four-player swap. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Gentry was a solid platoon guy for Texas last season, batting .280 with 22 RBI in 246 at bats. The problem is the A's already have a guy like that in Seth Smith. Gentry is only going to see playing time if one of Oakland's starters (Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick) gets injured. Until that happens, he won't have any fantasy significance.
Description: The D'Backs traded righthander Heath Bell to the Rays on Monday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: With Fernando Rodney likely to leave in free agency, Bell should take over the closer's role for Tampa Bay. It's always an adventure with Bell but the good news is, he should have plenty of opportunities for saves. He's worth thinking about in the later rounds of this year's fantasy draft.
Description: The Dodgers are close to re-signing righthanded relief pitcher Brian Wilson. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: That's not what fantasy owners wanted to hear. Wilson was hoping to land a ninth inning job this offseason but instead he's coming back to setup Kenley Jansen. Wilson could overtake Jansen if he struggles in the early going or gets hurt. Wilson's contract will be a one-year deal.
Description: The Astros acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler on Monday for Brandon Barnes and righthander Jordan Lyles. SOURCE: Rockies on Twitter
Insight: Fowler got off to a hot start lin Colorado last season but injuries led to a second half slump (.221 AVG after the All-Star break). It will be interesting to see how this trade affects the progression of George Springer, who was arguably the best hitter in minor league baseball last season. Fowler and Springer both play center field.
Description: The Rockies are close to signing Justin Morneau to a two-year contract. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau hasn't been an All-Star since 2010 and the .259 clip he hit for last season was well below his career average (.277). Then again, if he was ever going to have a bounceback season, hitter-friendly Coors Field is the perfect park for him to do it in.
Description: The Yankees and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury have agreed to a seven-year, $153 million deal. SOURCE: Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News
Insight: So much for the Yankees shrinking their payroll. In the last two weeks, they've spent almost $240 million on two players (Ellsbury and Brian McCann). Ellsbury should do well in the Bronx and could be a 20-HR threat with the short porch out in right field. More importantly though, this leaves New York with almost no money left to spend on Robinson Cano. It will be interesting to see what teams go after Cano now that the Yankees are almost certainly out of the running for him.
Description: According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, the Mariners have become a serious player for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano.
Insight: The Yankees and Cano haven't been seeing eye to eye in contract talks and at this point the odds of him returning to the Bronx are less than 50 percent. The M's are reportedly offering Cano an eight-year deal worth $200 million. The Yankees previously offered him seven years at $160 million. Cano's fantasy value could take a big hit if he left the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium to play at spacious Safeco Field in Seattle.
Description: The Marlins have signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year deal worth $21 million. SOURCE: Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
Insight: Saltalamacchia was also being pursued by Minnesota. He ended up choosing the Marlins because they were the only team that offered him three years. He's a serviceable fantasy catcher though he tends to strike out a lot (139 K's in 425 at bats last season).
Description: Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal with Boston. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: It's a nice haul for the soon-to-be 37-year-old. Pierzynski could be a liability defensively but he rarely gets injured and his .283 lifetime batting average is extremely impressive for a player at his position. The Pierzynski signing marks the end of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Era in Boston.
Description: The A's have acquired closer Jim Johnson in a trade with Baltimore.
Insight: The Orioles will receive second baseman Jemile Weeks. No player in the majors has more saves than Johnson over the last two seasons (101 saves in 113 chances). He's replacing Grant Balfour, who became a free agent after the season.
Description: Orioles closer Jim Johnson appears to be on the Dodgers' radar. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: It's unlikely the O's will be able to keep Johnson when he hits free agency in 2015 so they're looking to trade him now. It's unknown if the Dodgers would ask Johnson to close or have him setup ahead of current closer Kenley Jansen.
Description: The Yankees dealt catcher Ian Stewart to the Pirates on Monday. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: The Pirates are giving the Yanks a player to be named later. With Brian McCann inked to a five-year contract, Stewart was only going to be a backup if he stayed in New York. Then again, that's all he'll be in Pittsburgh with Russell Martin slated to get the lion's share of the work behind the plate.
Description: The Yankees are taking a hard stance with second baseman Robinson Cano. According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, they won't spend more than $200 million to keep him.
Insight: That spells trouble for Cano, who was hoping for at least a nine-year, $252 million deal. It will be interesting to see if other teams start getting involved now that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has drawn a line in the sand.
Description: Now that the A's have signed lefthander Scott Kazmir, they're probably out of the running for Bartolo Colon. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: In an unusual move, Billy Beane opened up his pocket book and forked over $22 million for Kazmir, who figures to be a four or five starter at best. Given the team's tight budget, Colon is probably out of the equation. The 40-year-old had a resurgent season in 2013 and shouldn't have any difficulty securing a new contract.
Description: Pitcher Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year deal with Minnesota, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.
Insight: It's probably a good move for Hughes to get out of New York. He has talent, but hasn't shown it since around 2010. Out of the spotlight, he may yet develop into a fantasy-worthy starting pitcher.
Description: The Rockies are hoping to sign free agent first baseman Justin Morneau before the Winter Meetings begin on December 9th. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau (.259, 17 HR, 77 RBI) was a borderline fantasy player last season and he should see a nice boost in production from the hitter-friendly conditions at Coors Field, assuming the two sides can work out a deal. Morneau would be replacing Todd Helton at first base.
Description: The Mets are making a play for free agent righthander Bronson Arroyo. SOURCE: Chris Cotillo, SB Nation
Insight: The Giants had been the frontrunner for Arroyo until they signed Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong to fill out their starting rotation. Arroyo is 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA in four career starts at Citi Field.
Description: The Giants have re-signed starter Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: The contract details haven't been released yet but it's likely he'll be getting less than the $5 million he made last season. Vogelsong (4-6, 5.73 ERA) will join Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner in the Giants' starting rotation.
Description: Righthander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a four-year, $49 million deal with Minnesota. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Nolasco isn't an ace but with such little talent in this year's free agent pool, he still got a big pay day. He'll get his 200 innings in Minnesota and has posted double-digit wins in six consecutive seasons.
Description: ESPN's Jim Bowden suspects free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will re-sign with Boston.
Insight: If Ellsbury can get a seven-year deal from Washington or Texas, he'll take it. However, it's unlikely that any team would offer him that many years and Bowden seems to believe Ellsbury would be willing to give Boston at least a little bit of a hometown discount. If Boston decides the price to keep Ellsbury is too high, they'll probably opt to use Jackie Bradley in center field next season.
Description: Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun said he'd be open to playing right field next season. SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Insight: Wednesday marked Braun's first public comments since getting suspended for performance enhancing drugs in July. Moving to right would solidify Khris Davis' place in the starting lineup, though it wouldn't have much of an impact on Braun's output. Braun, a third baseman early in his career, said he would not be open to playing that position again.
Description: If the Red Sox want to keep Jarrod Saltalamacchia, they may have to wait in line. The free agent catcher is also being pursued by the Blue Jays, Rockies and Twins according to NESN's Jen Slothower.
Insight: Boston struck out with Carlos Ruiz (re-signed with Philadelphia) and Brian McCann (Yankees), which leaves Salty and veteran A.J. Pierzynski as the top catchers left on the market. The Twins are in the running because they've decided to make Joe Mauer a full-time first baseman. Saltalamacchia (.273, 14 HR, 65 RBI) had his moments in 2013 but inconsistency caused him to lose his starting job to David Ross in the postseason.
Description: Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Jones hit .233 last season, but has some pop in his bat with 15 HR and 51 RBI in 403 at-bats. He hit 27 homers in 2012, but the Pirates obviously didn't want to pay the price needed to keep him.
Description: Righthander Dan Haren will pitch in Chavez Ravine next season on a one-year contract.
Insight: He'll earn $10 million in 2014. Haren went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.238 WHIP in Washington last season. Haren hasn't been fantasy-relevant in a few years but at least he's been able to stay healthy (30 or more starts in each of his last three seasons).
Description: Jhonny Peralta's four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals will become official as soon as he passes his physical. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: Peralta missed roughly a third of the season while serving a PED suspension last summer but when he was out there, he was very productive (.303, 11 HR, 55 RBI). The deal also represents a sizable raise for Peralta, who earned $6 million in 2013.
Description: Free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta is close to signing a multi-year deal with St. Louis. SOURCE: Jerry Crasnick, ESPN
Insight: The shortstop duo of Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma struggled mightily in the World Series (combined 1-for-20) so Peralta represents an obvious upgrade. We'll have contract details when the deal becomes official.
Description: Brian McCann's new contract with the Yankees is worth $85 million over the next five seasons. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: It makes him the second-highest paid catcher in the major leagues (Joe Mauer is the highest). McCann is a massive upgrade over last year's starting catcher Chris Stewart but it's still a slight overpay when you consider McCann is hitting just .242 over his last two seasons.
Description: Free agent catcher Brian McCann is close to joining the Yankees.
Insight: Dallas Morning News beat writer Evan Grant says the two sides are "on the verge" of an agreement. Obviously no details will be released until it becomes official but it's likely McCann will get nine figures in the deal.
Description: The Red Sox have checked in on Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: With Jacoby Ellsbury likely headed elsewhere, Kemp is about as good a replacement as you could find in center field. The problem is, he won't come any cheaper than Ellsbury would have (he still has six years and $130 million remaining on his contract) and that was the whole point of dumping Ellsbury in the first place. The Red Sox and Dodgers do have a history after 2012's mega-deal that brought Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles (the only player of note Boston received was James Loney) but a deal involving Kemp seems unlikely at this point.
Description: The Angels traded center fielder Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals Friday for David Freese and Fernando Salas.
Insight: The speedy Bourjos played just 55 games in 2013 due to injuries and hit .274 with 10 steals. He'll start in center field for the Cardinals while the team shifts Matt Carpenter to third to make room for prospect Kolten Wong at second.
Description: The Angels have acquired third baseman David Freese and reliever Fernando Salas from the Cardinals for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.
Insight: Freese, the 2011 ALCS and World Series MVP and a 2012 NL All-Star, hit just .262 with nine homers, 60 RBI and a .721 OPS in 138 games this past season before hitting under .200 in all three postseason series.
Description: The Royals added minor league RP Michael Mariot to their 40-man roster.
Insight: Mariot had 11 saves with a 3.56 ERA and 1.385 WHIP in the minors last season. The move was to protect him from being a Rule 5 Draft casualty. The Royals already have an excellent closer in Greg Holland (47 saves, 1.21 ERA, 0.867 WHIP) so Mariot likely doesn't have much fantasy value in 2014.
Description: The Rockies signed LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year, $2.25 million contract Thursday.
Insight: The 40-year-old Hawkins reportedly will serve as the Rockies closer over Rex Brothers, according to the Denver Post. Hawkins, who has been around since the mid-1990s, threw 70 2/3 innings and had a 2.93 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 13 saves this past season with the Mets. He played with Colorado in 2007 and had a 3.42 ERA in 55 1/3 innings.
Description: The Kansas City Royals signed Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract Thursday.
Insight: After four seasons with Seattle, Vargas fired 150 innings and went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 24 starts with the Angels in 2013. He'll presumably take former Angel Ervin Santana's spot in the Royals rotation. He's a mediocre fantasy option due to his high WHIP and lack of Ks.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Rangers have agreed to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder.
Insight: The Rangers wanted to open up second base for top prospect Jurickson Profar, and getting rid of Fielder's contract may allow Detroit to re-sign Max Scherzer. Kinsler has produced two 30-30 seasons but he has averaged just 16 homers, 18 steals and 72 RBI the last two seasons. His fantasy value doesn't change much from the trade.
Description: According to cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, the Tigers and Rangers have agreed to swap Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals. Fielder also has to waive his limited no-trade clause that includes Texas, but he's expected to do so.
Insight: Fielder is coming off a down year in which he hit .279 with 25 homers, 106 RBI and an .819 OPS. He's signed for another seven years. Historically, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been a much better park for hitters than Comerica Park but it wasn't last season according to MLB Park Factors.
Description: A bizarre scene unfolded Wednesday when an outraged Alex Rodriguez stormed out of his arbitration hearing after learning commissioner Bud Selig would not be asked to testify. Rodriguez is appealing the 211-game suspension he was given last August. SOURCE: ESPN New York
Insight: Multiple sources suspect Rodrgiuez's tantrum, which included him pounding his fist on the table and cursing, may have been staged. The fact that Rodriguez's representatives released a statement almost immediately after he left the hearing would lend credence to that hypothesis. This case may have to be resolved in federal court.
Description: Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter announced his retirement on Wednesday. SOURCE: Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Insight: Injuries caught up to him at the end but there's no doubt that Carpenter was one of the most successful pitchers of his generation. He'll walk away with 144 victories across 15 major league seasons.
Description: The Josh Johnson sweepstakes is over. The former Marlins and Blue Jays righthander is headed to San Diego on a one-year contract. SOURCE: ESPN.com
Insight: He'll earn $8 million next season. It's a nice haul for Johnson after his miserable 2013 campaign. A bounceback year, which seems inevitable given Petco Park's pitcher-friendly reputation, could earn Johnson an even bigger payday when he hits the market again next winter.
Description: David Murphy is headed to Cleveland. The former Texas outfielder has agreed to a two-year deal worth $10 million. SOURCE: Dallas Morning News
Insight: It's not an ideal landing spot as Murphy seems destined for a platoon with the equally inconsistent Drew Stubbs in right field. Murphy batted just .220 across 142 games last season, his lowest average in eight seasons in MLB.
Description: Free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran has had serious discussions with the Boston Red Sox. SOURCE: Scott Lauber, Boston Herald
Insight: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? After losing to the Red Sox in the World Series, Beltran is now strongly considering playing for them in 2014. With Jacoby Ellsbury likely to leave in free agency, the Red Sox should have an opening in the outfield next season. If Beltran signs with Boston, Shane Victorino would move to center field.
Description: According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Travis Sawchik, the Pirates are one of the team's righthander Josh Johnson is considering.
Insight: He'd be a nice replacement for A.J. Burnett, assuming Pittsburgh can get him for relatively cheap. 2013 was arguably the worst season of Johnson's career (2-8, 6.20 ERA) but injuries certainly played a role in his struggles. Pitching coach Ray Searage is no stranger to reclamation projects. Last season, Twins castoff Francisco Liriano became a Cy Young candidate under Searage's tutelage.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey will not become a full-time first baseman, according to Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Insight: Posey's fantasy value as a first baseman wouldn't be anywhere near what it is as a catcher. He batted .294 with 15 HR and 72 RBI last season which is very good for a guy behind the plate, but a dime-a-dozen option at first base.
Description: Fox's Ken Rosenthal reports the Phillies have signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a new contract worth $26 million over three seasons.
Insight: Ruiz will be 37 by the end of his contract. The 2012 All-Star is excellent at handling a pitching staff and has become an above average hitter. He should see over 400 at bats next season as long as he can stay healthy.
Description: Don't be surprised if the Mets trade Daniel Murphy this offseason.
Insight: Though no deal is imminent, Newsday's Andy Martino says the Mets are open to dealing the 28-year-old second baseman. After hitting .286 with 78 RBI and 23 SB in 2013, Murphy's trade value has never been higher.
Description: Free agent Nate McLouth is hoping to return to Baltimore in 2014. SOURCE: Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun
Insight: He's probably looking for a raise after making only $2 million last season. McLouth doesn't hit for much power (just 12 HR last season) but he can steal bases (30-of-37 in 2013). In deeper leagues, he could be worth a late-round flyer.
Description: The Yankees have been in touch with reliever Joe Nathan about closing for them next season. SOURCE: Andy McCullough, Newark Star-Ledger
Insight: The Tigers are also in need of a closer, though it sounds like Detroit may end up going with Brian Wilson, who is seven years younger than Nathan. The righthander has struggled in four career appearances at the new Yankee Stadium (7.36 ERA in 3 2/3 IP).
Description: The Mets could make a play for free agent righthander Alfredo Aceves. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Aceves wore out his welcome in Boston but at age 31, he still has a few years left to prove himself. If the Mets do end up signing Aceves, it will be interesting to see if they employ him as a starter or out of the bullpen. Though Aceves' preference is to start, his best season came in 2011 when he was used almost exclusively as a middle reliever (10-2, 2.61 ERA in 114 innings).
Description: The Rockies and Rangers are among the teams lining up to sign Mike Napoli. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Napoli was a health risk heading into the 2013 season but he improved his stock dramatically by having a sparkling year both at the plate and in the field. He's also a clubhouse leader, which should play well as he looks for a multi-year deal. Despite the interest Napoli is getting from other teams, we still expect him to be back with the Red Sox next season.
Description: The Rockies are looking for a new first baseman and James Loney appears to be high on their list. SOURCE: Denver Post
Insight: Loney experienced a career resurgence last year with the Rays (.299, 13 HR, 75 RBI in 158 games). In Colorado, he'd be replacing Todd Helton, who recently announced his retirement after 17 seasons.
Description: The market really seems to be opening up for Ricky Nolasco.
Insight: The former Marlins and Dodgers starter is being pursued by several teams including the Giants, Padres, Phillies and Twins. Nolasco isn't an ace but with such little talent in this year's free agent pool, he should get a big pay day. Fox's Ken Rosenthal reported a week ago that Nolasco has his sights set on a deal similar to the one Anibal Sanchez signed with Detroit last offseason (five years, $80 million).
Description: Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the American League MVP for the second year in a row.
Insight: He's the first back-to-back winner in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94. Angels outfielder Mike Trout finished second just like he did in 2012. Cabrera belted 44 HR and 137 RBI this year while hitting a career-best .348.
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been named the 2013 National League MVP.
Insight: McCutchen was instrumental in leading the Pirates back to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. With a .317 average, 21 HR and 27 SB in 157 games, McCutchen was arguably the most complete player in either league this season.
Description: Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters could be dealt this winter. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: The Orioles are also said to be shopping shortstop J.J. Hardy. Wieters (.235, 22 HR, 79 RBI) hasn't quite lived up to the hype but he's still one of the more productive catchers in fantasy baseball.
Description: Agent Scott Boras is using Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142 million deal as the benchmark for Jacoby Ellsbury's next contract. SOURCE: NESN
Insight: Somebody is bound to overpay for Ellsbury after his monster 2013 campaign (.298 AVG, 52 steals). According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, that price tag is a little too high for the Mariners, who claim they have "no interest" in Ellsbury. Feinsand mentioned the Cubs as a possible dark horse candidate in the Ellsbury sweepstakes.
Description: Starting pitcher Ervin Santana is aiming for a five-year, $112 million contract in free agency. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: That's simply not going to happen. Anibal Sanchez settled for a five-year, $80 million deal last offseason and he's twice as good as Santana. The righthander turned down Kansas City's qualifying offer, which means that whoever signs him will have to give up a draft pick.
Description: Free agent righthander Josh Johnson is already being pursued by the Royals. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Well, at least somebody wants him. Johnson (2-8, 6.20 ERA) was terrible last season and has had tremendous difficulty staying healthy throughout his career. Kansas City would be crazy to give him anything longer than a one-year deal.
Description: Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw has won the NL Cy Young Award.
Insight: Adam Wainwright finished a distant second by garnering one first place vote. Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez was third. It's the second time Kershaw has won the award. Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) is entering the last year of his contract and many are expecting his extension to be one of the largest in MLB history.
Description: Detroit ace Max Scherzer is your 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner.
Insight: Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) was the obvious choice. He led the majors in victories and was second in the AL in strikeouts with 240. It's possible that Scherzer has pitched his last game for the Tigers. Detroit is apparently shopping the righthander in anticipation of him signing elsewhere after the 2014 season.
Description: Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said that pitching prospect Archie Bradley will come to spring training with a chance to make the 2014 rotation, according to Jon Morosi of foxsports.com.
Insight: Towers also said that Bradley will be able to throw at least 170 innings next season. The 21-year-old was selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft and went 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 152 innings at two minor league stops last season. MLB.com ranks him as the seventh best prospect in the game.
Description: According to Jon Morosi of foxsports.com, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said the team intends for Drew Smyly to be in its 2014 rotation, which supports the belief that the team will shop Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
Insight: Smyly made 63 relief appearances and threw 76 innings this past season. He went 6-0 with 21 holds, two saves, 81 strikeouts, a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. The lefty made 18 starts for Detroit in 2012.
Description: According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday that the team hasn't decided that David Robertson is a lock to be its closer next season.
Insight: Mariano Rivera retired at the end of the 2013 season, and it was assumed that Robertson would succeed him. However, the Yankees aren't going to just hand him the job. "I'm not sure if Robertson is capable yet. He's never done that before," Cashman said. "I think he's earned the right to take a shot at it, and he very well may be the guy. But we're not anointing him the guy. We'll wait to see how our winter plays out and how spring training works out. Then Joe (Girardi) and Larry (Rothschild) will determine at some point at the end of spring training who our closer is." Robertson has struck out 258 batters and posted a 1.91 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP over 193 2/3 innings the last three seasons as New York's eight-inning man, so he shouldn't have an issue making the transition.
Description: Carloz Ruiz's agent claims his client has been offered a two-year, $20 million contract, though it's unclear which team made the offer. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: The Red Sox and Rockies can safely be ruled out as both teams have come out in the last 24 hours and said that they did not offer Ruiz $20 million. That means the offer probably came from either the Phillies or the Blue Jays. Given his age and lack of productivity in 2013 (.268, 5 HR, 37 RBI), this will probably be the best offer Ruiz receivers this winter. Expect him to make a decision soon.
Description: Free agent reliever Brian Wilson is one of the players being considered for Detroit's opening at closer. SOURCE: Jon Morosi, Fox Sports
Insight: The Tigers have also shown an interest in former Twins and Rangers ninth inning man Joe Nathan. Wilson was excellent in limited action for the Dodgers this past season, compiling a 0.66 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.
Description: A return to Texas seems unlikely for free agent righthander Matt Garza.
Insight: The Rangers' mid-season acquisition of Garza was always thought of as a rental and now Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is confirming what we already believed. San Francisco has been linked to Garza in recent days though plenty of other teams should come out of the woodwork as the winter rolls on.
Description: Now that right fielder Nelson Cruz has turned down the Rangers' qualifying offer, Seattle may be his next stop. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Several teams are interested but the Mariners will certainly be one of the frontrunners. Cruz is hoping to land at least a five-year deal. It will be interesting to see if Cruz's PED suspension this past summer has any impact on his negotiations.
Description: Cleveland could be in the running for free agent closer Fernando Rodney. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: They've also shown an interest in former Dodgers and Giants reliever Brian Wilson. The Indians parted ways with Chris Perez earlier this month. Rodney still offers a plus-fastball and one of the most deceiving changeups in the game but he's shown a tendency to get rattled and his control can be hit or miss.
Description: The Twins announced they will move Joe Mauer to first base full time in 2014, according to the Associated Press.
Insight: Mauer missed the last six weeks of the season with a concussion that he suffered when he took a foul tip off his mask on Aug. 19. The move is great news for fantasy owners, as Mauer will remain catcher-eligible for one more year without having to go through the wear and tear of the position. Mauer never has played more than 147 games in a season and has played 140 or more just three times in nine years.
Description: Free agent starter Bronson Arroyo is being pursued by Minnesota, Philadelphia and San Francisco. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: Arroyo pitches to contact, which can get him in trouble sometimes, but he did manage to post an ERA under four for the second consecutive year. At age 36, he won't net more than a two-year contract.
Description: Despite having his option picked up last week, the Blue Jays could still look to trade Adam Lind this offseason. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: Teams would probably be willing to take on his relatively affordable $7 million salary for 2014. Lind posted the second-highest slugging percentage of his career this past season (.497). He's played in Toronto for his entire major league career.
Description: According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, the Red Sox have checked in on free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Insight: The veteran had a strong year for Texas in 2013 (.272, 17 HR, 70 RBI in 134 games). Pierzynski would be an upgrade over Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a below average defensive catcher who strikes out at an extremely high rate.
Description: According to Fox's Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are likely to trade one of their middle infielders this offseason.
Insight: Jurickson Profar is ready to see regular at bats, which means either Ian Kinsler or Elvis Andrus will be shopped over the winter. Kinsler has hit .273 with 156 HR and 539 RBI in 1,066 games for the Rangers since 2006.