MLB Trade Scenarios: 10 Surprising Names Who Could Hit the Market This Summer

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIApril 5, 2012

MLB Trade Scenarios: 10 Surprising Names Who Could Hit the Market This Summer

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    Last season was filled with a ton of surprise trades.

    Zach Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez and Shaun Marcum were three big names moved over the winter. Then, there were Doug Fister, Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence moved before the July deadline.

    2012 was relatively quiet on the trade front. It seemed there was a lot more speculation than actual big name moves.

    What does that mean? We could be in for one exciting summer.

    With so many big names expected to move, the MLB could be in for some big surprises this summer.

Alfonso Soriano

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    Theo Epstein already proved he's a miracle worker by moving Carlos Zambrano, so why not add Soriano's name to the list.

    If Theo wants to build around Matt Garza as the rotation's ace, they need to get some money to sign him long term. Best way to do that? How about moving the biggest eye sore off your books.

    Alfonso Soriano is no longer the 40-40 player he was in 2006, but he's still shown strong power and defense. Where's there's a will there's a way, and Epstein will find a way to move him this summer.

Cody Ross

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    It seems Cody Ross is always getting bounced around, and it only makes sense that it happens again this summer.

    Once Carl Crawford and Ryan Kalish return from injuries, the Sox will have a pretty crowded outfield. It's likely someone will be on the move.

    For the first time in his career, Ross is playing in a hitters park in a hitters league. If he has a good showing it will help raise his trade value.

    With Ryan Sweeney just entering arbitration, and Kalish seen as the right fielder of the future, Ross is the most likely trade candidate.

Nelson Cruz

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    Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton are two of the biggest power threats in the game. They are also two of the most injury-prone outfielders in all of baseball.

    Cruz is a monster—posting ISOs well above .240 four seasons in a row. He's also yet to play over 130 games in a season. With top prospect Leonys Martin knocking on the MLB door, the Rangers have some decisions to make.

    Hamilton is the heart of this team and a marquee player. That makes Cruz the odd man out. If it means bringing in some young prospects expect John Daniels to pull the trigger.

Bobby Abreu

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    The Angels have one of the most crowded diamonds in baseball. They have five everyday outfielders, three everyday first basemen and only one DH spot.

    Right now it seems Bobby Abreu is the odd man out, with a possible trade to the Cleveland Indians barely falling apart last week.

    Abreu, 37, is on the tail end of his career and isn't more than a DH. His power seems to be depleting, but he's still got that great propensity for getting on base, and base stealing speed when he gets on.

    With signs of an already established market, expect Abreu to be moved this summer.

Tim Hudson

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    The Braves have tons of starting pitching depth, and it's just a matter of time before they start moving veterans to make room for their young guns. That means Tim Hudson could be on the move.

    With the impending retirement of Chipper Jones, Atlanta is facing a gaping hole at the hot corner. With no prospect lined up for the future, they need to start considering solutions.

    Washington (Anthony Rendon), Texas (Mike Olt) and Detroit (Nick Castellanos) are three teams that could use rotation support—and possess a top third base prospect they could be willing to move.

    Hudson has 10 and five rights, but if it means a chance at a ring he could very well wave them.

Justin Morneau

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    Rumor is when you google "mighty fallen," Justin Morneau is one of the first hits you see.

    Who was once one of the best middle of the order bats in baseball, Morneau's career has been completely shaken. After his 2010 concussion, Morneau has struggled to find any power, health or consistency.

    The Minnesota Twins are struggling and they lack depth on the farm. With Morneau moving to DH, there's a chance he can redevelop some trade stock. If that's the case, look for him to be on the move.

Wandy Rodriguez

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    Rodriguez is a name that continues to appear in trade rumors, without any fruition. There's no doubt in my mind that the 'Stros would love to move this kid.

    Rodriguez isn't an ace. He looks like it, but he's not. In the last three seasons he's broken 200 innings once, while his WHIP continues to increase and his K/9 continues to decrease.

    Even so, Rodriguez is only 33 with three years left on his contract. Houston is desperate for prospects, and someone out there will bite.

David Wright

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    The New York Mets would like the baseball world to think they're going to be competitive. They've got Johan Santana coming back and they're altering the ballpark dimensions to support the offense. We call that smoke and mirrors.

    The fact of the matter is that the Mets are moving their veterans as fast as they can. Last season they traded Carlos Beltran and this winter they let Jose Reyes go. David Wright is the logical next step.

    Wright has struggled to stay healthy and that's effected his offensive production. Even so, third remains a thin position and Wright has upside. He'll land somewhere new this summer.

Edwin Encarnacion

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    With Travis d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose knocking at the door, the Blue Jays are soon to have an offensive conundrum. With a potentially crowded outfield and catching situation, Toronto is going to want their DH slot open.

    That makes Encarnacion expendable.

    At 29 years old, and on the verge of free agency, there's a chance a team looking for depth makes a move for the Jays utility man.

    He has experience at third and first, and features an underrated bat—that's posted back-to-back .787 OPS seasons.

    If the Jays are in contention and looking to fill some holes down the stretch, Encarnacion could become an excellent trade piece.

Tim Lincecum

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    Over the weekend the Giants agreed to a five-year extension with Matt Cain, and by doing so they were sending a message: "we trust you."

    Despite more devastating upside, Tim Lincecum hasn't shown the same consistency as Cain—causing the Giants to be timid when it comes to a long term deal. With the trades of Zach Wheeler and Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco is running out of pitching depth.

    If the 2012 Giants struggle, a Lincecum trade is a logical conclusion. With Cain and Bumgarner ready to take over the ace duties, "The Freak" could bring in a treasure trove of prospects. Brian Sabean would love an elite pitching prospect as much as he would a middle of the order prospect.

    2011 saw the same situation occur with Ubaldo Jimenez, and it could very quickly become a reality with for 2012 Giants.