Baseball's general manager meetings opened Monday in Orlando, Fla., and you know what that means.
Rumors. Big, fat, juicy rumors.
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How about shortstop Troy Tulowitzki being traded from Colorado to St. Louis? How about free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski heading back to Minnesota after news broke that Joe Mauer is going to be the Twins' full-time first baseman?
And don't forget about Detroit listening to trade offers for odds-on Cy Young Award favorite Max Scherzer while closer Joe Nathan joins the Tigers' battered bullpen.
It's a fun time of the year on baseball's calendar, and White Sox rumors are out there as well. Let's look at two of the better ones:
When he's played at U.S. Cellular Field with the Yankees and Tigers, Curtis Granderson could usually be found outside of the Gate 4 entrance postgame mingling with family and friends.
The Chicago native reportedly turned down a one-year, $14 million qualifying offer from New York Monday and hit the free-agent market.
Pros: Over his 10-year career with New York and Detroit, Granderson has averaged 30 home runs, 83 RBI and 17 stolen bases to go with a .340 on-base percentage. He's one of the game's good guys and would be a great fit in the White Sox' clubhouse, especially if Paul Konerko does not come back. Has been to the playoffs four times.
Cons: Granderson is likely looking for a multiyear contract at a minimum of $10 million per season. The Sox have some money to spend, but how much after signing Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract in late October? Granderson is going to be 33 on March 16, and he was limited to a career low 61 games last season due to a broken forearm and broken pinkie. Both injures resulted from being hit by pitches. Granderson has averaged 159 strikeouts per season over his career.
The White Sox tried Tyler Flowers at catcher last season, and after he failed to hit, they turned to Josh Phegley. Well, he didn't hit either, so an upgrade is in order.
Trading for Milwaukee's Jonathan Lecroy would be a huge get for GM Rick Hahn, but he's likely staying with the Brewers. That leaves Saltalamacchia.
Pros: He's coming off the best season of his career and batted .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBI for the World Series champion Red Sox. Saltalamacchia also set a Boston record for most doubles (40) by a catcher. Has 55 home runs and 180 RBI over the last three seasons. At age 28, is just hitting his prime.
Cons: Very average throwing arm. Over the last two seasons, has struck out 278 times in 830 at-bats. The Yankees, Twins and Cubs are among the teams rumored to be interested in Saltalamacchia, and that could drive his price way up.
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