10 MLB Trades That Could Solidify Division Winners

John Altamura@@JohnAltamuraBRContributor IIJuly 31, 2012

10 MLB Trades That Could Solidify Division Winners

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    The MLB trade deadline will come to pass on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. It will be interesting to see which moves are made by division leaders and which moves are not.

    Will Ryan Dempster be traded to a contender? Will the Yankees open up their checkbooks and acquire a pitcher of the likes of Cliff Lee? Will the Phillies have an all-out fire sale as they set their sights towards 2013?

    These questions will ultimately be answered once the deadline passes. Here are 10 deadline day deals that could be made to help solidify the playoff chances of current division leaders.

    * Division leaders prior to conclusion of July 30 games

    ** Special thanks to mlbtraderumors.com for sourcing assistance

Josh Beckett to the Texas Rangers

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    Could Josh Beckett land in the Lone Star state?

    Not likely!

    According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, there is a very slight possibility that the Red Sox and the Rangers could work out a trade for the right-handed hurler.

    Although the trade doesn't seem like it is going to happen, it's quite possible the parties involved could have a change of heart as the minutes edge closer to the trade deadline.

    This could be a win-win trade for both teams.

    The Red Sox could rid themselves of all the drama that has been surrounding Beckett this season. The Rangers could acquire a pitcher with a strong postseason pedigree. Not to mention a change of scenery could be just what Beckett needs to snap out of his season-long funk.

    Beckett is currently 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA. He is owed $15.75 million for the next two seasons and will be a free agent in 2015.

Jonathan Broxton to the San Francisco Giants

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    The acquisition of the Kansas City Royals Jonathan Broxton could bolster the back end of the San Francisco Giants bullpen.

    The Giants have been in talks with the Royals in regards to the availability of Broxton, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com as reported via Twitter.

    The Giants could use Broxton to close down the stretch and his prorated $4 million price tag for the rest of the season could provide added trade incentive.

    The Royals closer is having a terrific season as he is 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA with 23 saves.

Chone Figgins to the New York Yankees

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    A temporary fix for the Yankees at third base could be Chone Figgins of the Seattle Mariners.

    He is one of the potential third baseman replacements currently being looked at by the Yankees according to CBSSports.com John Heyman.

    The Yankees lost their starting third baseman Alex Rodriguez last week when he broke his left hand during a 4-2 loss to the Mariners.

    Figgins is by no means is a full-time replacement as he has had a disappointing stay in Seattle to this point in time. He can also play a variety of positions and could come relatively cheap if Seattle is willing to eat some of his salary.

    Figgins is owed $8 million in 2013 with a $9 million option for 2014. He is currently batting .181 with a .517 OPS in 55 games this season.

Rafael Betancourt to the New York Yankees

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    The Yankees could potentially solidify the back end of their bullpen by acquiring Rafael Betancourt from the Colorado Rockies.

    Betancourt, 37, has put together a strong season posting a 1-3 record and a 2.92 ERA with 17 saves for Colorado.

    The Yankees could use Betancourt but Joel Sherman of the NYPost tweeted recently that the Yankees have yet to contact the Rockies on his availability.

    Betancourt is owed $4.25 million in 2013 with a mutual 250K buyout in 2014. With Mariano Rivera done for the season and with the injury history of David Robertson and Rafael Soriano, the Yankees may want to consider this trade.

Ryan Dempster to the Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The Dodgers made a big splash last week by reeling in Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins.

    Could the Dodgers be on the verge of bring in another talented player in which they hope will lead them back to the World Series for the first time since 1988?

    John Morosi of Fox Sports said via Twitter that the Cubs and Dodgers are working through different trade scenarios involving both Dempster and Alfonso Soriano.

    The acquisition of Dempster could give the Dodgers the pitching advantage they need to capture the division title.

    Dempster is 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA with the Cubs this season.

Hunter Pence to the Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Could Hunter Pence be soon saying goodbye to the City of Brotherly Love and hello to Hollywood? 

    It's possible!

    According to CBSSports.com John Heyman, the Dodgers are interested in the 29 year-old outfielder and could work something out with the Phillies before the July 31 trade deadline.

    The Dodgers could use the versatility Pence brings to the table. Pence is currently batting .271 with 17 HRs and 59 RBI and will be eligible for arbitration at the end of the season.  

Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants

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    There have been plenty of rumors involving Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    One notable rumor, according to CBSSports.com John Heyman has the Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers in discussions for the services of the right fielder.

    Another possible destination for Pence involves another NL West team vying for the division title, the San Francisco Giants.

    Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, reported via mlbtraderumors.com that there is "no Pence deal in place or close between the Giants and Phillies".

    The acquisition of Pence would give the Giants another steady bat to bolster their lineup. His .271 BA with a .784 OPS could prove to be extremely valuable down the stretch.

    Let's wait and see if a deal materializes before the deadline. 

Shane Victorino to the Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds are in the midst of a hot streak and could be in the market to trade for a bat before the deadline.

    One player who has been the subject of many possible Reds trade scenarios is the Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino.

    CBSSports.com Danny Knobler reports that the Reds would love to acquire the speedy Phillies centerfielder.

    Victorino is having a good season with the Phillies as he is batting .261 with a .724 OPS with 24 steals. He would provide an instant upgrade to the Reds outfield corps and would undoubtedly lead off. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.  

Ryan Dempster to the Washington Nationals

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    Could Ryan Dempster end up in Washington if the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs can't work out a proposed trade?


    According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the Washington Nationals could become significant players in the Dempster sweepstakes if he doesn't wind up in L.A.

    The addition of Dempster could be just what the Nationals need to hold off the hard-charging Atlanta Braves. The Braves made some noise of their own last week when they "almost" acquired Dempster. 

    The trade fell apart when Dempster rejected the trade.

    Dempster is 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA with the Cubs this season.

Juan Pierre to the Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds are in the market for some outfield help and could be vying for the services of Philadelphia Phillies' Juan Pierre.

    According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the Reds are considering Pierre amongst other outfield options.

    Pierre, 34, is an attractive option for the Reds if they cannot work out a deal for Shane Victorino. The Reds are rumored to be looking for a speedy, leadoff hitter to anchor their lineup. 

    Pierre is batting .306 with 23 steals and an .719 OPS. and will be a free agent at the end of the season.