Wednesday's MLB hot stove trade and free-agency buzz

The Major League Baseball hot stove season is going strong, and speculation is heating up across baseball. Here is what our writers are hearing today:

Complete hot stove coverage

MLB Free-Agent Tracker | Rumors

Crasnick's take: The Braves continue to receive a lot of calls on Ender Inciarte, who came over from Arizona with 2015 No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson in the Shelby Miller trade in December. The Astros, who traded away their center fielder of the future when they sent prospect Brett Phillips to Milwaukee in July, are intrigued by Inciarte, who hit .303 with 21 stolen bases last year in Arizona while earning a mere $513,000.

One big stumbling block: Houston would most likely have to move Carlos Gomez to create a spot for Inciarte between George Springer in right field and Colby Rasmus in left. That's not going to be easy in light of Gomez's $9 million salary, recent health issues and pending free agency after the 2016 season. If the Astros want Atlanta to take Gomez as part of a trade for Inciarte, they would probably have to sweeten the package considerably with young talent.

Crasnick's take: Tampa Bay has been relatively quiet since acquiring Logan Morrison, Brad Miller and Danny Farquhar from Seattle in early November, but the Rays could have another significant move on the horizon before the start of spring training. Sources said the team's trade talks have ramped up considerably since the start of the new year.

The Dodgers and Cubs could both use bullpen upgrades and have young position player talent to trade, and Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger might hold some appeal to both clubs. McGee is eligible for free agency in 2018, so the Rays might have more of a financial impetus to move him than Boxberger, who won't hit the open market until 2020. Jake Odorizzi has generated the most trade buzz among Tampa Bay's starters, but the Rays might also consider dealing Drew Smyly for the right package. Houston, a playoff contender in need of a pitching upgrade, could be a fit in a deal for one of Tampa Bay's starters.