It seems Major League Baseball—namely, the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics —got the jump on me before I could finish this article. Here I was, ranking Matt Holliday second in my top five trade targets and...
Billy Beane ships him to St. Louis for a nice prospect package including blue chipper Brett Wallace. Nice deal for both teams, but what about us? We're forced to dig more and get that fifth name for our list.
This list isn't ranked in order of likelihood at your offshore sportsbook to be traded—George Sherrill and Chad Qualls would top that snoozer of a list. It ain't ranked in order of pure talent either; sorry, but Pujols and Morneau aren't on the block.
What I've concocted here is a hybrid; a list of the best players among the group of names who are at least rumored to be on the block. Here goes nothing.
1. Roy Halladay
Surprise, surprise. I'd argue that no current baseball player, let alone pitcher, would command as big of a return as Halladay, including El Hombre. Why?
a) There's a premium on good starting pitching in this era
b) There's a premium on good starting pitching with the ability to go deep in games
c) His peers—teammates, opposing hitters, managers and GMs—all say he's the best in the game
I'm betting the Jays have had some great offers but keep driving the price up. Why not?
2. Victor Martinez
I heard a rumor that the Red Sox turned down V-Mart for Clay Buchholz, which surprises me. I guess I'm not as big a believer in Buchholz as most. There's no getting around the fact that Martinez could really bolster a contender's lineup.
3. Cliff Lee
From underrated to overrated to underrated to overrated...and back to underrated again! Thanks to pitching wins being professional sports' most overvalued statistic, Cliff Lee is having an "off" year at 6-9 despite his 3.17 ERA and back-to-back complete-game victories. He's the consensus Doc Halladay Sweepstakes consolation prize.
4. Adrian Gonzalez
His name hasn't floated around the rumor mill too much, but it should. It's hard to find throwback players today like A-Gonz, who combines superb defense with fantastic power. Don't you think the Braves and Giants could really use this guy?
5. Adam Dunn
Wait, the Nats "aren't trading Adam Dunn." Yeah, and the "recession is over" too. He's hardly a complete player but there's no denying his power and patience.
There you have it—my fave trade targets. What do you think, folks? Will these guys get traded? Where do you want to see them go?