Playing Matchmaker with the Most Perfect MLB Trade Partners

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 20:  Starting pitcher Jake Peavy #44 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on April 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the MLB All-Star break behind us, the second half of the MLB season will kick off with a bevy of trade rumors and activity, and there is the potential for at least a few blockbuster deals to be pulled off at the deadline.

A lot can still happen between now and July 31 to change the trade market landscape, but it's never too early to start matching up potential trade partners and viable packages.

So here is a look at a few blockbuster deals involving some of the market's top available pieces, along with their perfect trade partners and the packages they could offer up.


Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers

Rangers Get: SP Matt Garza, IF Cody Ransom

Cubs Get: 3B Mike Olt, SP Neil Ramirez, RP Wilmer Font



The prize of the deadline looks to be Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, and while there are a number of teams vying for his services, the Rangers look as though they'll be able to put together the most appealing trade offer.

The Rangers would be getting a third reliable veteran to slot alongside Yu Darvish and Derek Holland for their postseason push, and a versatile bench player in Ransom, who has hit .278/.364/.639 and would help fill out a thin Rangers bench.

In return, the Cubs would get a high-upside bat in Mike Olt, though he has hit just .217/.313/.417 with 10 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A this year and his stock has no doubt dropped from last year.

The real prize would be Neil Ramirez (17 GS, 9-3, 3.33 ERA, 11.1 K/9), who has thrived at Double-A this year after struggling last year. He's already 24, but has the potential to be a plus starter by next season.

Wilmer Font was once a top starting pitching prospect, but he has impressed as a reliever this season, posting a 1.27 ERA and 12.5 K/9 in 30 minor league appearances before being called up. He'd be another solid young arm for the Cubs moving forward.


Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers

Diamondbacks Get: SP Yovani Gallardo, RP Francisco Rodriguez

Brewers Get: SP David Holmberg, SP Andrew Chafin, 3B Matt Davidson



This Diamondbacks would be giving up a good deal in this trade, but they would manage to hold onto top pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs. Meanwhile, the Brewers would still be getting a trio of top prospects in a similar haul to what they acquired for Zack Greinke last season.

Yovani Gallardo (7-8, 4.83 ERA, 7.2 K/9) has not pitched like an ace this season, but the potential is still there and he's signed to a reasonable deal through 2014 with an option for 2015. Francisco Rodriguez (9-of-9 SV, 1.19 ERA, 9.9 K/9) would be nothing more than a rental, but he'd be a big upgrade in the ninth inning for their stretch run.

Left-handers David Holmberg (5-5, 2.97 ERA, 6.4 K/9) and Andrew Chafin (9-6, 3.40 ERA, 6.9 K/9) both profile as solid middle-of-the-rotation arms and have relatively high floors.

Futures Game MVP Matt Davidson (.291/.354/.500, 14 HR, 59 RBI) could be the heir to Aramis Ramirez at third base, and with Ramirez also on the block, he could step in immediately.



Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox

Red Sox Get: SP Jake Peavy, RP Jesse Crain

White Sox Get: SP Anthony Ranaudo, RP Alex Wilson, RP Chris Martin, 3B Michael Almanzar



The White Sox and Red Sox have already pulled off one deal this season, with Boston acquiring reliever Matt Thornton for outfield prospect Brandon Jacobs. Another deal between the two sides could make a lot of sense for both sides.

With Chicago in full-blown fire-sale mode, their two most attractive trade chips may be Jake Peavy and Jesse Crain, and with the Red Sox looking for a starter to round out their rotation and some veteran bullpen help, a package deal of those two would make a lot of sense.

If Boston were willing to take on all of the $14.5 million that Peavy is due next season, it might mean a lesser return for Chicago from a prospect standpoint, but would certainly help in their rebuild moving forward.

Getting one top-tier prospect in Ranaudo (8-2, 2.67 ERA, 9.3 K/9 at Double-A) would be a good pickup for a thin Chicago farm system, as he still has the upside to be an ace-caliber pitcher at the big league level.

Relievers Alex Wilson and Chris Martin would be able to make an immediate impact, while Michael Almanzar (.267/.328/.439, 11 HR, 54 RBI) has shown flashes of making an impact with the bat as a 22-year-old in Double-A.