MLB Trade Rumors: Ranking the Top 10 Power Hitters on the Market
The second half of the 2012 MLB season is well underway, but some of the league's offenses are still in dire need of a major upgrade.
Carlos Lee and Jim Thome, among the league's top power hitters, have already found new homes and others will undoubtedly join them. Success stories like that of the San Francisco Giants with their 2011 acquisition of Carlos Beltran remain in the forefront of many GM's mind.
Here's a look the top 10 power hitters left on the trade market with the July 31 deadline fast approaching.
1. Alfonso Soriano
Perhaps the most proven power threat on this list, Alfonso Soriano also may be one of the least likely to change cities. His contract with the Chicago Cubs is exorbitant to say the least and would require a lot of imagination to get off the books.
With that said. Soriano is playing quite effectively this year, leading the Cubs with 18 home runs and 54 RBI.
He's on pace to hit 30+ home runs for the first time since 2007 when he hit 33. Soriano's career best season came a year prior in 2006 when he smashed 54 long balls as a member of the Washington Nationals.
2. Kendry Morales
Kendry Morales is a man with a big bat yet no place in the everyday lineup. The emergence of Mark Trumbo and acquisition of Albert Pujols has relegated Morales to a reserve role.
Recently he's been mired in a bit of slump, seeing his average drop from .289 to .277 over the last 10 games. That's unlikely to deter teams impressed with his breakout season of 2009 in which Morales hit 34 homers and drove in 108 RBI while hitting .308.
The Angles are said to be willing to deal both Morales and Peter Bourjos, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.
3. Justin Upton
Justin Upton's availability on the trade market is well documented, as is his recent power outage at the plate. Upton, still only 25, has regressed a bit this year after smacking 31 homers in a breakout 2011 campaign.
He's only manged eight home runs thus far in 2012 and missed out on an All-Star selection after going in both the 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Nearly every team has checked in on his availability with the New York Yankees the latest to enter the discussion as reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
4. Josh Willingham
Apparently all the Minnesota Twins will tell you on phone is how much they like Josh Willingham. Perhaps the Twins' greatest trade chip, Willingham is also one of their least likely pieces to move.
Signed through the 2014 season, Willingham has already expressed interest in remaining in Minnesota throughout his next contract.
Sources say the combination of Willingham's exceptional production and team-friendly contract makes him one of the most valuable assets in the organization, which is why it would take a lopsided offer to move the Twins off their current stance. The Twins also don't want the reputation of signing players to long-term contracts and trading them away shortly after the ink dries. (Via Phil Mackey and Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500)
5. Hanley Ramirez
Hanley Ramirez only seems to have his name enter the most ridiculous trade rumors imaginable. Recently the Marlins were said to be considering a deal with the Red Sox that would send Carl Crawford to Miami for Ramirez.
Those talks never progressed very far according to reports.
Sources:There is no current discussion involving Crawford and Hanley Ramirez/Heath Bell. Was brought up briefly as concept,immediately died.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 18, 2012
The fact that they exist, however, is proof that Ramirez could be had for the right price. While he hasn't hit 30+ home runs since 2008, he's still a legitimate power threat and could be had.
6. Justin Morneau
Having a relatively quiet season by his standards is Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. Activity leading up to the 2012 trade deadline has been quiet as well, but Morneau has drawn the explicit interest of the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.
He's hitting just .249, but has 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 285 at-bats. Three years ago he hit 30 homers and drove in 100 RBI with a .274 average. At 31 his best is likely behind him, but Morneau could still provide a major lift at the back end of a lineup.
7. Adam Lind
Not that Adam Lind's demotion to Triple-A is all that appealing to teams looking to add power to their roster, but this is a guy who once hit 34 home runs.
He was called back up recently and has improved his batting average from .206 to .237 over the last 10 games. Still, the 29-year-old has only hit one homer over that stretch and has just eight in his 190 at-bats.
Toronto took a chance on Lind and it's possible another team could become interested in doing the same, but at this point no one's come calling.
8. Cody Ross
Cody Ross has been an absolute savior in Boston's outfield and in their lineup this season. He's quickly climbing nearly all of their offensive leader boards as one of the most productive players since the All-Star break.
Ross has 16 home runs and 50 RBI through just 66 games. His run production ranks third of the team and yet he's had the sixth-most at-bats thus far.
The Red Sox are said to value the hot-hitting Ross too much to give him up, but if a team is willing to chase him hard he could be had.
Major League source: A lot of interest in Cody Ross but Red Sox not interested in moving him unleSs there was a ton coming back.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 20, 2012
9. Alex Gordon
Prior to 2011, Alex Gordon had never cracked 20 home runs in a season. He finished the year with 23 and set careers highs across the board. The 28-year-old has been a late-bloomer, but has turned into every bit of the first round talent he was projected to be.
If we've learned anything about Gordon it's that his ceiling can't yet be known, he's certainly capable of showing us even more in terms of progression. Power-wise he's regressed a bit in 2012 with only five homers.
Still, he's hitting very well, with a .292 average, so the power should come in time. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Yankees have checked in on Gordon.
10. Bryan LaHair
Similar to Gordon, Bryan LaHair doesn't have much of a power history in the majors having only played extensively this year. The 29-year-old also bloomed a bit late, but has impressed many clubs with his 14 home runs and .282 average through 255 at-bats.
#Cubs will listen on Bryan LaHair, but price remains high at the moment. They don’t have to trade him.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 5, 2012
Chicago isn't in any rush to engage in a fire sale, but with Anthony Rizzo not going anywhere LaHair could be moved for the right price.