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What Jeff Passan is hearing about 2020 MLB free agency, trade rumors and the latest offseason buzz

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Middleton denies Wheeler is available in trade talks (0:40)

Jesse Rogers reports on Phillies managing general partner John Middleton saying pitcher Zack Wheeler is not available in trade talks. (0:40)

With MLB's non-tender deadline having passed, the free-agent market is set -- and the expectation is that the largely dormant offseason might start to stir. The groundwork for trades and signings typically is established during baseball's winter meetings, which will be held this week.

But it being 2020, the meetings will be held virtually, meaning player agents, baseball ops staffers and other front-office personnel won't be hanging around in the same hotel for a few days to kick around offers with each other. How much this impacts the consummation or timing of offseason moves remains to be seen.

All that being said, discussions are taking place, the rumor mill is turning and the buzz is starting to grow. Here are five newsy nuggets ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan is hearing: