Justin Upton and 5 MLB Stars Who Must Be Traded in 2013

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

Justin Upton and 5 MLB Stars Who Must Be Traded in 2013

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    Being a superstar does not ensure that a player will stay with one team for a long time. There are a number of other factors at play, and this could lead teams to deal talented players for huge returns.

    Some teams will look to deal their stars that are closing in on free agency so that they can get something in return for them. Other stars may be dealt because they do not mesh with the current roster that they are on.

    Blockbuster deals are also interesting because they can have a significant impact on the league. There should be at least a few of these deals in 2013.

Matt Garza

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    Since reaching the big leagues, Matt Garza has been able to consistently have success. The only season in which he posted an ERA above 4.00 was his rookie year. This consistency and production makes him desirable to many teams.

    Garza is set to become a free agent after the 2013 season and with the Chicago Cubs in rebuilding mode, it is hard to see him finishing the year with the team. It would make sense for the Cubs to deal Garza and pick up a few solid prospects that could help them in 2014 and beyond.

Joe Mauer

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    Despite the fact that he was the face of the Minnesota Twins franchise just a few years ago, things have gotten a little bit sour between the team and Joe Mauer since he signed his $184 million contract extension.

    The team has considered moving Mauer to third base, but he is not a fan of that idea. Dealing Mauer would help the Twins in the long term by adding prospects to their organization and giving them more payroll flexibility.

Justin Upton

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks have been working hard to deal Justin Upton, and they recently had an agreement in place with the Seattle Mariners until Upton exercised his no-trade clause and nixed the deal (h/t Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Wiesenthal of Fox Sports).

    At this point, it does not appear to be a matter of if the Diamondbacks will trade Upton; it seems to be about when and to whom. Arizona has a number of outfielders, and its latest attempt to move Upton certainly hasn't improved his relationship with the team.

Asdrubal Cabrera

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    Asdrubal Cabrera's name has already come up in trade talks this winter, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Pain-Dealer. Although he is currently still a member of the Cleveland Indians, Cabrera could be playing for a new team before the calendar turns to 2014.

    Cabrera is set to become a free agent after the 2014 season, and the Indians don't look like they will contend at any point during his contract. The Indians would be smart to move him now, when his value is the highest.

Jacoby Ellsbury

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    While Jacoby Ellsbury is a very talented player that can help the Boston Red Sox in many ways, the team is still listing to potential trade offers for him (h/t Buster Olney of ESPN).

    With the AL East looking like it will stack up as one of the toughest divisions in baseball in 2013, the Boston Red Sox may struggle to be in the playoff race. If that is the case, Boston's best move would be to trade Ellsbury, a free agent-to-be, for prospects that can help the team as it looks to contend in 2014.