It’s that time of year when rumors swirl and free agents begin talking to everyone. There is certainly plenty of talking and rumors going around Tampa involving several players. Here are some of the latest rumors and ideas on the free agents of 2011.
Carlos Pena continues to be a hot name and a new team has emerged, Baltimore. The Orioles are now being rumored as a team that has Pena on their wish list for free agents. Pena would be a nice hit in Camden Yards and would be the type of player Buck Showalter dreams about. Defensively he would bring a Gold Glove caliber of defense and knows the pitching in the AL East.
Several clubs have stated that the Rays might trade center fielder B.J. Upton. Upton, who has an expiring contract in 2012, might be on the move and the asking price for him would not be that high. Upton is a great glove and incredible base stealer, add in the on the field issues from this season (hustling and arguing with Longoria), means the Rays may be listening to offers for him.
Would the Rays trade for Dan Uggla? Uggla and the Marlins can’t reach contract terms so the slugger second baseman will be on the move, but the Rays won’t have any interest in him. He is a bad defensive player and his asking price is much too high for the Rays. Keep an eye on the Jays, they have the salary and he fits their slugging system very well.
A side note, all signs point that Akinori Iwamura will be heading back to Japan after a terrible 2010 campaign with the Pirates and Oakland. Aki was always a great player and fun guy to watch on the field, both in the field and at the plate.