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MLB rumors roundup: Will Rockies deal Gonzalez?

Dealing Carlos Gonzalez for prospects could be the next move in Colorado's rebuilding process. AP Photo/Matt York

The market for free-agent outfielders finally is heating up. Could the escalating sweepstakes result in the Colorado Rockies finding a new home for Carlos Gonzalez?

The Giants agreed to a deal with Denard Span on Thursday, one day after the Royals retained franchise cornerstone Alex Gordon. Both San Francisco and Kansas City were mentioned as possible destinations for Gerardo Parra, who wakes up Friday morning with more limited options.

The Rockies are among the teams still “making a push” for Parra, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The 28-year-old Parra is seeking a multiyear deal, with Span’s three-year, $31 million deal likely serving as a benchmark.

If Parra lands in Denver, “it’s difficult to see the Rockies signing him without trading their most expensive outfielder,” which would be Gonzalez, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Gonzalez is on the hook for $37 million over the next two years.

Saunders adds that there is a “tug-of-war at 20th and Blake” as to whether Gonzalez will be dealt, while Colorado center fielder Charlie Blackmon and left fielder Corey Dickerson also have been mentioned as trade bait.

The Rockies are desperate to add starting pitching and will be seeking a high price for Gonzalez, who restored his value last season by hitting 40 homers with an .864 OPS. Thomas Harding of MLB.com recently reported that the Rockies talked with the Cardinals, Angels, Indians and White Sox about Gonzalez without making a deal.

The Cardinals were prominently linked to Gonzalez last month as an eventual replacement for left fielder Matt Holliday, who will be a free agent after the season. The recent signing of free agent Mike Leake could give St. Louis more flexibility to deal some young pitching, and the Rockies would likely listen.

“GM Jeff Bridich started the Rockies' rebuilding process in July with the trade of Troy Tulowitzki, and many baseball executives think his next move will be trading Gonzalez for more prospects and/or young, controllable major league-ready players,” wrote ESPN’s Jim Bowden last week.

Our rumors roundup continues with another veteran who is being shopped:

  • Nick Swisher: It has been widely reported that the Atlanta Braves are trying to move Swisher, who will make $15 million in the final year of his contract. Given the weak market, it is more likely the Braves will try to showcase Swisher in spring training and prove that his surgically repaired knees are not an issue, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

  • Michael Taylor: The Nationals reportedly are interested in Parra, partly because they are unsure if Taylor is ready to be their everyday center fielder. GM Mike Rizzo insists, at least publicly, that he has complete confidence in the 24-year-old Fort Lauderdale native, who hit just .229 last season. “I have very high hopes for Michael Taylor. He is a guy we really like,” Rizzo tells MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.

  • Byung Ho Park: The Minnesota Twins on Thursday formally introduced the Korean slugger, who agreed to a four-year, $12 million contract. Park will face an adjustment curve to American baseball, just as Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang did last season. Manager Paul Molitor remains hopeful that Park will be his designated hitter on Opening Day, but the Twins will be patient, reports MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

  • Sonny Gray: The Braves were credited with landing a huge haul of talent in the trade for Shelby Miller. When asked in a reader mailbag if that might prompt Oakland to consider a deal for Gray, MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes that the A’s “would have to be absolutely blown away by a package when even entertaining the thought of parting with their ace.”