The Dodgers and their money-printing machine agreed to a four-year contract with Alex Guerrero earlier today. Though he hasn't played in the Cuban league since 2011, Guerrero is supposed to be Major League ready. Or, anyways, close enough that they probably won't going after any veteran second basemen with 4 years left on their contracts.
After the BP rumors surfaced, the Dodgers' appetite for swallowing contracts made them a good candidate. Who's left?
At the very least, any team who would be interested in Brandon Phillips would have to: (1) Have the money to take on most/all of his contract, (2) Be looking for an upgrade at 2B, (3) be competitive in the near-term.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners and Padres, aren't full-on, Astros-style rebuilding, but aren't really in win-now mode either and have at least decent cost-controlled options at 2B. The A's are winning, but probably couldn't take on BP's contract. The Cubs have the cash and an opening, but they also have Arismendy Alcantara and are still a few seasons/centuries off (aside from being in the same division). We can probably cross those five off.
That's an even ten teams before considering where Cano will end up - which is probably the Yankees. There's also Omar Infante. While he's not as valuable all-around as BP, he's the same age, had a better season at the plate last year and can play multiple positions. One of the other 20 much teams might sign him - as a sop to being competitive or so they can turn around and trade him - but it's more likely that one of those 10 will.
I think we're looking at effectively 8 teams who might be interested in BP. The Jays, Brewers and White Sox are a stretch, but that's still plenty of space here to have a small bidding war. It just takes two.
Given the rumors about a bad contract swap involving Dan Uggla, the Braves would seem to head the list. The Orioles lose the chronically-injured Brian Roberts to free agency and have ground to make up in their infield with Machado out. The Tigers are replacing Infante if they don't re-sign him.
Further down the list, it's a lot more uncertain. The Yankees, Cano, $$$, etc. It's a little hard to see the Royals wanting to make BP their highest-paid player on a ~$80M payroll. The Angels have Howie Kendrick under contract for two more seasons and a promising 2B prospect in Taylor Lindsey. The Nats have Anthony Rendon, although it's not at all clear he'll stay at 2B.
Here's what the top three contenders might be able to offer:
This would be a bad contract swap, but one in which the Reds could probably get some significant salary relief. Uggla is only signed for two years and I could see the Braves at least paying the difference in salaries. No one likes the idea of Dan Uggla starting at 2B, but he mashes at GABP. The cash and prospects would make the deal.
What the Reds could get: A "top prospect," Tyler Pastornicky and $5M?
The Orioles increased payroll over $100M last season, but have less than half that committed for 2014. If Atlanta hadn't already made a come-on, Baltimore would almost make the most sense - for a place that rarely makes the most sense. They have Jonathan Schoop as an option, but he didn't hit much at AAA.
What the Reds could get: Jonathan Schoop, Mike Wright
If Infante signs elsewhere, the Tigers would be a pretty obvious fit for BP. He's played in the Midwest his whole career, could get regular revenge on the Indians and would make a pretty slick double-play combo alongside Jose Iglesias.
What the Reds could get: Nick Castellanos or maybe something like Devon Travis + Tyler Collins