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The final option for trying to makeup for missing out on Cliff Lee for both the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees is a mid-season trade. Chances are there will be a few more aces available than there are now, but they may cost a premium. Here's a look at a few top starters that may be available.
Chris Carpenter. Carpenter is an ace, no question. In 2010 he went 16-9 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He is under contract for the 2011 season and has a club option for the 2012 season. Although he is a core piece of the Cardinal team, the Cardinals may be forced to move him in order to make room for the extension of Albert Pujols. If dealt in 2011, the receiving team would get an ace and the Cardinals would get more value because of the club option for 2012 that goes with him (assuming his contract doesn't have the option to be waived if he gets traded). He is older, though, so he would be a temporary fix.
Johan Santana. The Mets are in rebuilding mode and may listen to offers for Santana. He's signed through the 2013 season, with an option for the 2014 season, and, when healthy, he is one of the best. Although it would be good for the Mets to get a group of prospects back for Santana, I don't see him being traded this season. Since he has a few more years left on his deal, the Mets will probably hold onto him (since he had shoulder surgery and won't be back till the middle of the 2011 season) and try to trade him at a later time. Nevertheless, if the right deal comes along, the Mets may just trade him.
Edwin Jackson. Jackson is signed for just the 2011 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has proven he can be a force on the mound. Given the right package, I don't see how the Diamondbacks, who are not expected to compete in 2011, wouldn't listen to offers for him.
Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros are currently talking with their star pitcher about an extension, but should those talks fall through they may look to deal him. With a sub 4 ERA and about a constant 8.5 K/9 ratio over the last three seasons, Wandy could be a big mid-season help to a team looking to make a run in the playoffs.
Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda signed a one year contract with the Dodgers this offseason, but if the Dodgers fall out of contention they may look to move him. Kuroda does, however, have a full no-trade clause so acquiring him may be complicated. Even with the complications, he could be worth it as he has a 3.60 career ERA to go along with a career 1.17 WHIP; plus he will put you in the ballpark of 200+ innings pitched for the season.