Trade targets where cost is king

Updated: December 4, 2012, 10:13 AM ET
By Buster Olney

NASHVILLE -- Knowing that the surge of television money has reached the major leagues, executives aren't surprised that a lot of big contracts are being doled out this winter. But for baseball officials, hearing the specifics of each of the signings must be like walking into a Lamborghini showroom: They know it's going to pricey, and yet the numbers, in black and white, still take their breath away.

B.J. Upton, considered to be an above-average player, but nothing close to an elite player … $75 million. Angel Pagan, who is 31 years old and has about 1½ good years in his career, gets $40 million.

No wonder baseball executives say that there is a high volume of trade talks, much of it centered around players who have become more attractive because of their modest contracts. Some names to watch: