MLB Trade Speculation: 5 Matches Made in Heaven
As May comes to a close, June marks an important month for MLB teams—it marks the month before the halfway point of the season and usually separates the contenders from pretenders.
Teams' performances in June usually are signs of their performances to come, making this month the most important stretch before the All-Star break.
Teams by this point know where they have holes and which players are expendable. While trades require constant negotiations and sacrifices, teams always wish for that perfect scenario, ones that give their club the most upside.
Here are five trades that both teams would make in hopes of making their organization better.
Jason Bay for Daniel Bard
While the New York Mets are playing better than most people expected, pitching remains an issue for the team. Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey and Jonathon Niese are holding their own, but the back end of the rotation struggles to pitch effectively on a consistent basis.
By trading outfielder Jason Bay for Boston's Daniel Bard, the Mets receive a pitcher with the potential to dominate in the National League. While Bard is currently struggling, a change of scenery, and a change in leagues, may turn that around.
By getting rid of Bay, the Mets avoid a potential problem that would have had the attention of manager Terry Collins. That problem is whether to play an overpaid, struggling outfielder and replace Kirk Nieuwenhuis in left while potentially disrupting the offensive flow of the lineup.
For the Boston Red Sox, they let go of a player who essentially has lived up to expectations since getting drafted in 2006, but receiving Bay could pay huge dividends for the club.
Bay could resurrect his stagnant career by returning to the Green Monster, where he hit 36 home runs just two years ago for the Red Sox.
Josh Willingham for Drew Hutchison
The Minnesota Twins, currently last in the AL Central, might have a long season ahead of them.
Already 15 games under .500, the team's only bright spots seem to be from Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Josh Willingham. While fans love the first three players, they will probably support a trade involving Willingham, who has nine home runs this season.
By giving up the outfielder, Minnesota will have some money to spend in the offseason, as he is owed $7 million for three years. By receiving pitcher Drew Hutchison from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Twins receive a young arm who has shown to be effective already this season.
Giving away Hutchison for Willingham adds another dangerous bat in the lineup for the Blue Jays, who already have Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie. With Willingham, the Blue Jays have a threatening lineup that can do major damage against the AL East.
Michael Cuddyer for Ryan Vogelsong
The Colorado Rockies, one of the top hitting teams in the league, need more pitching to make them a legitimate threat. The Rockies are in need of a solid, consistent starter, and that might be where San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong comes in.
With bats to spare, the Rockies can send away veteran Michael Cuddyer for another arm in the rotation. Cuddyer, batting .270 with five home runs, is an attractive player for many teams in need of a bat.
The San Francisco Giants, in need of a run-producer to help a struggling, stagnant offense, need a player like Cuddyer.
While the Giants would never deal their big three of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, Vogelsong may be the most expendable in the rotation. Vogelsong, putting up quality start after start with an ERA of 2.36, is a good player to trade for Cuddyer.
Jason Kubel for Edwin Jackson
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who field a solid lineup, may be able to make Jason Kubel expendable for more starting pitching that could help them come September.
The second time may be the charm for Edwin Jackson and the Diamondbacks, who get an effective, solid starter who can help solidify the rotation.
The Washington Nationals, boasting the best rotation in the league, may be able to trade away Jackson for another bat, such as Kubel.
With the addition of Kubel, the Nationals have a consistent run-producer in left field, providing support to Adam LaRoche, Bryce Harper and a struggling Ryan Zimmerman.
Shane Victorino for Ricky Nolasco
The Phillies, with the loss of Roy Halladay, need another arm. While they won't be able to trade for a big-name starter like Halladay, they can bring in an average, established starter. Bringing in Ricky Nolasco will help them for the season and solidify their rotation.
With Shane Victorino, the Marlins can have a solid, experienced, speedy center fielder to cover their large park. Victorino will also provide speed on the base paths while Emilio Bonifacio is out.