ML's Top-Five Deals That Must Be Done Before the Deadline

Matthew GoodmanAnalyst IJuly 28, 2008

There are a million trade rumors floating around, as the deadline nears. Here are five trades that would happen in a perfect baseball world (or at least my perfect baseball world).


1) Jarrod Washburn to the Yankees

This one should be a no-brainer for the Mariners. They would save $13-$14 million between the next two years. That's money that could replenish their farm system, sign draft picks, or shore up their international operations. 

Their organization has plenty of holes that need filling, and this money could go a long way. But apparently, Seattle management wants a solid prospect as well, a request that is utterly ridiculous. Here's hoping that they wisen up, unload Washburn, and turn the page on 2008.


2) Raul Ibanez to the Mets 

This is another no-brainer for the Mariners. The Mets would like some outfield security in case some of their role players start slumping, and Ibanez is having another solid season (.810 OPS, right around his career average). 

At the same time, he is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, so the best the Mariners could hope for would be to get some compensation picks. So why not unload Ibanez now for what you can get and save a couple million dollars from his salary? 

As mentioned before, the Mariners could use the money to help their team in a plethora of ways. But then again, their management has proven its incompetence over the past few years so don't hold your breath.


3) Mark Teixeira to someone (Angels?  Diamondbacks?)

With the injuries to Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson, the Braves' season is over. They may continue to lurk, as the Mets and Phillies duke it out, but it's highly unlikely that Atlanta is going to overcome both of those teams. 

Atlanta has been talking to several teams, but they have asked quite a bit. The Diamondbacks aren't willing to part with Connor Jackson, and the Angels are never willing to part with anyone, so either team is unlikely. 

But wouldn't it be refreshing to see the Angels actually step up at the trade deadline and really improve their team? They are the best team in a weak AL West, but the addition of Teixeira would make them serious contenders to win it all. But I wouldn't hold my breath.


4) Brian Fuentes to Philadelphia

The Rockies aren't ready to call it quits yet; they're only six games out in the pathetic NL West. But as bad as the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks are, they should be able to patch it together enough for one of them to limp into the playoffs. 

Since another miracle run is about as likely as Matt Holliday actually touching home plate on a head-first slide (yes, I'm still bitter), Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd should start unloading parts with an eye towards 2009.

Brian Fuentes has gotten a ton of attention from teams that need a good lefty in their bullpen. The Red Sox could use a lefty, since Okajima has predictably fallen back to earth. The Mets could certainly use a reliable reliever to help get to Wagner. But it is the Phillies who could use Fuentes the most. 

Their entire pitching staff is a mess, but at least Fuentes would stabilize the back-end of the bullpen and serve as a dependable bridge to Lidge. They might have to unload a good prospect (Golson? Savery?) but their core of Utley, Howard, and Rollins isn't getting any younger.

Their pitching situation isn't likely to vastly improve in the next couple years, so this might be their best shot at winning.


5) Manny Ramirez to the Marlins

You're probably asking how can the Marlins afford Manny Ramirez. Well, they can't, but I don't care. I propose this trade solely because Manny Ramirez doesn't understand that he is incredibly lucky to be playing so many meaningful games at Fenway Park in front of thousands of screaming, enthusiastic fans. 

If he doesn't care about it, then he should be stuck playing meaningless games to empty stadiums all year long.

Playing baseball is a privilege, Manny, not a right. And while I'm sure plenty of teams care more about your hitting skills than your temper tantrums, here's hoping that someday you will wake up and realize how incredibly lucky you are to be a star in MLB.