MLB Trade Rumors: Ideal Destinations for Top 5 Players
From David Price to Matt Kemp, there is some major talent available on the MLB trade block.
With so many teams in playoff contention, the market could develop at a glacial pace this summer. Still, it's never too soon for the MLB trade rumors and speculation to begin. What follows is a rundown of where the top five trade chips could end up.
The ranking criteria puts the most emphasis on how these players have performed in 2014, but career track records are also part of the equation.
Now, let's take a look at the ideal destinations for the top five players on the MLB trade market.
5. Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox
The Trade Chip: Alexei Ramirez
The Ideal Destination: Detroit Tigers
Now is the perfect time for the Chicago White Sox to ditch Alexei Ramirez.
With the 32-year-old hitting .310, shipping him out would be a textbook example of selling high. There's always a demand for quality shortstops, which means there will be no lack of suitors. No team would be a better fit for the Cuban than the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers have been shuffling players through at that spot, and the veteran Ramirez would provide the club with some much-needed stability.
4. Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Trade Chip: Matt Kemp
The Ideal Destination: Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox could absolutely use an upgrade in the outfield.
Currently, Jonny Gomes is the only outfielder on the roster with an OBP north of .300. Matt Kemp is a name for the Red Sox to consider.
Of course, it would be no easy task for the Los Angeles Dodgers to trade Kemp to Boston.
The biggest complication is that the 29-year-old is owed an obscene amount of money. The Dodgers are still on the hook for the balance of Kemp's $21 million salary in 2014. The two-time All-Star is also due to earn $107 million from 2015 to 2019.
There's also the consideration that Kemp owns a pedestrian .267 average in 2014. Plus, the swap would need to net the Dodgers a return that would help the club immediately. Still, if a creative deal can be arranged, this is a move that could benefit both sides.
3. Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
The Trade Chip: Chase Utley
The Ideal Destination: San Francisco Giants
With Marco Scutaro doing his best Freddy Sanchez impression and Brandon Hicks hitting .175, the San Francisco Giants should definitely be in the market for a new second baseman.
Looking around the league, there's no better player to fix that problem than Chase Utley. The five-time All-Star has clubbed 24 doubles and is hitting .301 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014. With Philadelphia sitting in fourth place in the NL East, there's no reason why the club shouldn't be ready to deal the 35-year-old.
2. Jeff Samardzija, SP, Chicago Cubs
The Trade Chip: Jeff Samardzija
The Ideal Destination: New York Yankees
The New York Yankees need a lot of help.
With Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia all sidelined, bolstering the rotation should be a top priority for the club. Jeff Samardzija would be a strong option for New York's brain trust to consider.
The 29-year-old has a 2.78 ERA for the Chicago Cubs in 2014. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of his 15 outings in the opening months of the season. The Yankees are one of the teams in the "picture" for Samardzija, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
1. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
The Trade Chip: David Price
The Ideal Destination: Los Angeles Dodgers
With the Tampa Bay Rays posting the worst record in baseball, it's difficult to imagine that David Price's tenure with the perennial overachievers isn't nearing its end.
The left-hander has been doing everything he can to raise his trade value in recent weeks. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner has racked up at least 10 strikeouts in each of his past three starts.
So, just where could the talented lefty end up? The underwhelming Los Angeles Dodgers certainly have the prospects to pull off a deal. "One high-ranked executive" remarked to ESPN's Buster Olney (subscription required) that he thinks "it's inevitable" that Price will be traded to Los Angeles.
Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.
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