Potential trades at winter meetings

Josh Hamilton will be one of the big storylines at this year's MLB winter meetings. Matthew Emmons/US Presswire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Over the past decade, the winter meetings have been dominated by free-agent signings rather than by trades. Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton could command nine-figure deals, so it's possible they will dominate the stage here.

But some general managers say there is more groundwork for possible trades in place than they can remember in most years in the recent past, with a number of clubs looking to solve puzzles by swapping players. Here are some teams seeking potential trade partners:

Cleveland Indians: At the GM meetings last month, they set the bar very high in the asking price for Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo and others, focusing on young pitching in return. "Time will tell on whether they've lowered [the asking prices]," said a rival GM. There is a lot of interest from other teams.

The Indians have been working the phones, writes Paul Hoynes.

Kansas City Royals: They are willing to move star prospect Wil Myers for the right starting pitcher. Could that be Jon Lester? Jeremy Hellickson? GM Dayton Moore tells Bob Dutton that the winter goes in stages.

Minnesota Twins: GM Terry Ryan is working hard to improve the organization's pitching, and when he swapped Denard Span for a highly touted pitching prospect the other day, he seemed to signal that he'd swap some marginal success in the major leagues in 2013 for a chance at a better future.

That brings us to Josh Willingham, an established hitter who will draw interest from other clubs. Ryan won't rule out trading Willingham, Justin Morneau or Joe Mauer, writes Joe Christensen.

From Christensen's piece:

  • Last week, reports surfaced that the Twins had rebuffed Boston's attempts to trade for Mauer, who is still owed $138 million over the next six years. But without getting into specifics, Ryan insisted every option is on the table.

    "I've said this a couple times: We don't have any untouchables," Ryan said. "That's as plain an answer as I can give you. If somebody has some interest in one of our guys, we'll listen. It's easy to say, 'Oh well, somebody ought to have interest in Willingham and Morneau and Mauer.' OK, no kidding. We've got interest in all kinds of players in the industry, but unfortunately it's going to take quite a bit to get them."