MLB Trade Rumors: One Move Each MLB Team Can Make to Get into Contention
There are a number of trades that will go down over the next month that will have an impact on the playoff races this year. For some teams, one move can make a huge difference.
Teams that are in playoff contention will be looking to make improvements and try to bring in players that will help them reach the postseason.
A number of teams have no shot at the playoffs and they will be looking to deal some of their veterans to bring back prospects that could help them in the future.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will have an interesting decision to make this year. Depending on their play over the next few weeks, they could either be buyers or sellers.
Third base has been an area of concern for the Diamondbacks this year and they considered making a run at Kevin Youkilis. That ship has obviously sailed, but the Diamondbacks could go after someone like Chase Headley. The San Diego Padres have gotten a number of calls about Headley, according to Ken Rosenthal of CBS Sports.
With all of their depth, the Atlanta Braves thought that starting pitching would be a strength for them this season. That has not been the case this year, as a number of their starters have struggled.
Atlanta may need to acquire another starter if they are going to make a run at the playoffs. Ryan Dempster is available and the Braves should go after him. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution sees this as a possibility.
The Baltimore Orioles have one of the worst starting rotations in the major leagues and it is holding them back this year. But despite this problem, the Orioles are in second place in the AL East.
If the Orioles want to be contenders this year, they are going to need to acquire a starter that can be the ace of their rotation. Matt Garza is going to be available at the deadline according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and Baltimore should try to acquire him.
Boston Red Sox
Things are starting to look up for the Boston Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are both close to returning and that would be a huge boost for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox starters have an ERA right around 5.00 this season and they need starting pitching if they want to grab one of the Wild Card spots. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX has mentioned that Wandy Rodriguez is available and he could be a good fit for the Red Sox.
The Theo Epstein era has not gotten off to a great start in Chicago. He will be able to make a number of moves at the trade deadline that could start to turn things around for the Cubs.
Matt Garza will likely bring the biggest return of any player that the Cubs put on the market. They should deal him for at least two solid prospects.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have already made the big move that they needed this year when they acquired Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox.
He will be a big addition for the White Sox this year and he could help lead them into the playoffs.
There is going to be a tight race in the National League Central this year and the Cincinnati Reds will need to make a move or two if they are going to stay at the top of the division.
An upgrade to the Reds outfield could be the move that they need to make. The Philadelphia Phillies have yet to put Shane Victorino on the block according to Buster Olney (Insider required), but if he is available, the Reds should jump all over the chance to acquire him.
The Cleveland Indians pulled off one of the biggest blockbusters of the 2011 season and they could make another big deal this year.
Cleveland is yet another contending team that has issues with their starting rotation. They should go after a pitcher like Jeremy Guthrie, who may be on the trade block according to Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post.
This year has not gone according to plan for the Colorado Rockies. They have struggled mightily this year and they should be sellers.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has said that Carlos Gonzalez will not be on the market, but the Rockies should trade him because they can get a boatload of prospects in return.
Despite having a slow start to the year, the Detroit Tigers are still in the race for the American League Central. They are a very talented team that could win the World Series this year.
The Tigers have not been able to find a starting second baseman that can perform at a high level. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says that Kelly Johnson may be moved (via Jeff Simmons of SportsNet). He would be a great fit in Detroit.
There is no denying the fact that the Houston Astros will be sellers at the trade deadline this season. They have a number of pieces that they could move.
Wandy Rodriguez is on a number of team's radars according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He will likely be dealt along with a few other players such as Brett Myers and Carlos Lee.
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are a team that is looking toward the future and they should be in contention within a year or two.
While the team has received no calls on Bruce Chen so far according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, they will likely see more action on him as the deadline gets closer.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Dodgers
For most of the 2012 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have looked like the best team in the National League. They should be looking for a player that could help bring them a World Series title.
An upgrade at third base could be huge for the Dodgers. With Kevin Youkilis off the market, Placido Polanco could be the best player available if the Philadelphia Phillies decide to be sellers.
Things looked good for the Miami Marlins at the beginning of the year, but they now find themselves in last place in the National League East. They may turn out to be sellers this year.
Peter Gammons of the MLB Network has mentioned that Kurt Suzuki makes sense for the Marlins now that the Oakland Athletics have called up Derek Norris. He would be an improvement over John Buck, the Marlins current starting catcher.
The Milwaukee Brewers lost Prince Fielder this past offseason and they may lose another big-name player this year. Zack Greinke will be a free agent when the season is over.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports mentions that Greinke is a trade candidate this year and that the Texas Rangers could be a suitor for him. The Rangers have a great farm system and the Brewers could get an elite prospect for Greinke.
The Minnesota Twins have been really bad this year and it doesn't look like they will be much better in 2013. It should come as no surprise that they will be sellers.
Justin Morneau could be a man on the move this year. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has noted that Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has called about Morneau. The Twins would have a number of Blue Jays prospects to choose from in a deal.
New York Mets
With Ike Davis starting to heat up, the New York Mets could be serious contenders for one of the Wild Card spots this year. However, their bullpen has not been very good.
Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has mentioned that Huston Street, Brett Myers and Grant Balfour are all possible options for the Mets. They should look into acquiring at least one of them this year.
New York Yankees
Starting pitching just became a major concern for the New York Yankees since they will be without both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte for an extended period of time as a result of injuries.
The Yankees had a scout watching Zack Greinke's last start, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, although he believed that it might not lead to anything. However, this report was from before the injuries were announced, which could lead the Yankees to pursue Greinke.
Kurt Suzuki's time with the Oakland Athletics may be coming to an end now that the team has called up top catching prospect Derek Norris.
Peter Gammons of the MLB Network has mentioned that Suzuki is a fit for a number of teams. The Athletics will not get a great return for Suzuki, but they should get a prospect that can contribute in the majors.
With both Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino on the verge of free agency, the Philadelphia Phillies may be in a tough situation at the trade deadline this year.
For the second year in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the most surprising teams in the majors heading into the All-Star Break. They are in contention for a playoff spot this year.
Pittsburgh has been shopping Kevin Correia, according to Rob Bietempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Although the starter may not bring a huge return, if the Pirates can get anyone that will help them this year, the trade is a win for them.
San Diego Padres
Carlos Quentin has been off to a great start with the San Diego Padres this year and he likely will be looking to keep up his great performance in another city.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports has mentioned that the Detroit Tigers have an interest in Quentin and there are certainly other teams with interest. The Padres would be making the right move if they deal Quentin.
San Francisco Giants
Even with Tim Lincecum's struggles, the San Francisco Giants have been able to put together an impressive season and they are in a position to reach the playoffs.
One position that the Giants could look to improve is second base. The trade market for second basemen is not great, but Kelly Johnson could be an option for the Giants.
Trade talk has surrounded Felix Hernandez for years, but the Seattle Mariners have decided that he is much more valuable to keep. However, that could change soon.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has written that dealing Hernandez could actually make sense for the Mariners. They would get a huge package of prospects in return and it would be great for their rebuilding process.
St. Louis Cardinals
The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have had some problems with their bullpen this year and it is the type of issue that could cause them to miss the playoffs.
A number of relievers could be on the market this summer that the Cardinals could pursue. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that the Kansas City Royals have not yet gotten any calls about Jonathan Broxton, but he seems like a player that the Cardinals should check in on.
Tampa Bay Rays
The catching position has been a huge liability for the Tampa Bay Rays so far this year. Their catchers are batting right around .200 on the season.
The Rays could look to make a low-cost move for a starting catcher. Kurt Suzuki could be an option for the Rays according to Peter Gammons of the MLB Network.
The Texas Rangers have had a few injuries to their starting pitchers this year and they don't plan on changing their deadline strategy as a result, according to GM John Daniels (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports has speculated that the Rangers could go after Zack Greinke since they have had scouts watching him. This could be the deal that allows them to finally win a World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that the Blue Jays could go after Matt Garza. He would be a huge addition to their rotation and it could help them win a Wild Card spot this year.
The Washington Nationals have had an outstanding year so far and they are in a great position to make the playoffs. Their pitching staff is outstanding, but there are areas where the team can use some help.
Washington could look to add an outfielder this summer. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports notes that Quentin could be the best hitter dealt this year. Adding Quentin would make the Nationals roster very scary for opposing pitchers.