With the annual general manager meetings underway, the lull between the end of the postseason and the hot stove period should be concluding in the near future. Top executives are actually starting to acknowledge possible offseason free agent targets or their intent to make an impact on the trade market -- though they can't list targets currently employed by other teams. 

Let's run down the latest from the MLB rumor mill.

Indians expect to keep Lindor

Indians president Chris Antonetti said Tuesday he expects the team to keep star shortstop Francisco Lindor, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. "My expectation is Frankie will be the shortstop Opening Day next year," Antonetti said. Lindor is one of several high-profile trade candidates this winter.

The Indians are expected to at least listen to offers for Lindor because he is two years away from free agency and it is unlikely they can afford to sign him long-term. Antonetti & Co. wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't at least listen. That said, Cleveland was always going to say it expects to keep Lindor. Coming out and saying you plan to trade him hurts leverage and angers fans.

Cubs could trade from core

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer indicated to reporters, including MLB Network's Jon Heyman, that the club will deal from its core this winter. "We've had a stable core for five years ... We're going to have change," Hoyer said. There have been rumblings catcher Willson Contreras could be available this winter.

Contreras, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber are the cornerstone Cubs most likely to change addresses this offseason. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez could move as well, though that would surprise me. Rizzo is he unofficial team captain and Baez is Chicago's best player, and one of the most exciting players in the sport. Chicago is looking to shake up its roster following back-to-back disappointing seasons.

Brewers want to keep Grandal and Moustakas, and add pitching

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Brewers would like to retain free agents Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas, as well as add pitching this offseason. Milwaukee capitalized on the market last offseason and signed Grandal and Moustakas to affordable one-year contracts. Moustakas could take another one-year deal again. Grandal figures to get multiple years.

As for pitching, the Brewers have Brandon Woodruff and Zach Davies due to return next year. Jimmy Nelson could figure into the mix as well. Ideally, Adrian Houser and Freddy Peralta would be depth options rather than Opening Day rotation members. Milwaukee could also use bullpen help just to lighten the load on Josh Hader and Junior Guerra, who worked an awful lot in 2019.

Phillies want 'at least' two starters

The Phillies want to add "at least" two starting pitchers this offseason, reports The Athletic's Jayson Stark. They plan to stay in the mix for Gerrit Cole in hopes of another Jake Arrieta situation, where he lingers on the market into spring training and becomes available at a relative discount. That seems unlikely, but hey, they can hope.

Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, and Arrieta are locked into the rotation spots heading into next season (Arrieta is expected to be ready for spring training following August elbow surgery). Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta were unable to seize rotation spots last year and figure to get pushed out of the mix by offseason additions. They could move to the bullpen or even wind up on the trade block.

Rangers to spend big? 

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has indicated they intend to increase payroll and that might even include a run at Gerrit Cole and/or Anthony Rendon with all the other big names (Stephen Strasburg, Josh Donaldson, etc.) in play, via the Dallas Morning News. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com adds that the Rangers are "expected to be a big player" in free agency. 

I'm not sure they could fit two of the huge names on the payroll -- obviously, this is always dependent on ownership -- but there are serious considerations here we should keep in mind. The Rangers' opening day payroll in 2017 was over $165 million, per Cot's. It's estimated at just under $110 million right now for 2020, so there's certainly room to get to where they've been before with this same ownership group. 

Further, the Rangers are moving into a new home ballpark next year. Surely, the owners would be starry-eyed picturing unveiling the ballpark with Cole or Strasburg on the hill while Rendon hits in front of Joey Gallo. Talk about getting the home crowd excited. 

I'd say the Rangers are a big team to watch this coming offseason. 

Donaldson's market seems robust

Given that there is only one Rendon, several contenders ready to spend could use a third baseman and that Josh Donaldson is coming off a major bounce-back season, there's a market for the third baseman. Feinsand reports that the Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Nationals and others have been in contact with Donaldson already. 

Padres looking to trade for big-league help

Pressure is mounting on Padres general manager A.J. Preller to finally get this thing turned around, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. While the Padres will once again likely be active in free agency, the report indicates trades from prospect currency to stock the big-league team are more likely than hitting a free agency home run like Strasburg. Top-flight pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore is mentioned as an untouchable, but few other prospects are thought to be off limits. 

A separate Union-Tribune report said a big addition to the Padres this offseason "almost certainly won't be" Strasburg or Cole. The report does mention Zack Wheeler as a possible signing, who would be a really nice arm to sit at the top of the rotation along with Chris Paddack and Garrett Richards