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MLB Trade Rumors: Top Targets, Bargaining Chips for Every National League Team

Zachary BallAnalyst IDecember 14, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Top Targets, Bargaining Chips for Every National League Team

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    The Cliff Lee signing really shook up a few things, but the biggest effects should be on American League teams like the Yankees and Rangers, who now must turn to the Royals, Rays and Twins for a backup plan.

    Over in the National League, things are a little quieter. 

    A few big trades have already gone down. The Padres got a huge haul of top-notch talent in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez. The Braves added slugger Dan Uggla and a solid bullpen piece in Scott Linebrink. And the Brewers bolstered their rotation by swapping top infield prospect Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum.

    Now, aside from the on-again, off-again Justin Upton trade market, there isn't much to be all that excited about, but that doesn't mean there aren't teams out there looking to deal.

    Here's who's looking to try to make a deal, what they could use, and who they could package to swing a trade.

     

    Check out my American League summary here.

Atlanta Braves

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    Team Needs

    Outfield, Third Base, First Base

    Trade Targets

    1) Justin Upton- Upton to Atlanta makes sense in that the Braves have the pieces to be able to get him. They have top-notch pitchers in Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Brandon Beachy, and great offensive prospects in Freddie Freeman, Adam Milligan and Cody Johnson. Pairing Upton and Heyward in the same outfield would just be unfair.

    2) Lorenzo Cain- The Braves are in that same rarefied air as the Royals, in that they have enough talent in their system to trade prospect-for-prospect, and one guy they've really had their eye on is Milwaukee's Cain. Cain is an exciting player who is pretty good at just about everything. His power is lacking, but he hits for average and can steal a ton of bases. The Braves clearly aren't thrilled with their center-field combo of Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer heading into 2011.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Christian Bethancourt, C- Bethancourt is a great international prospect, but the Braves also have the N.L.'s best catcher in Brian McCann, who is still only 26-years old. Bethancourt, who played last season in Low-A ball, is still a few years away, but the Braves could probably package him and get a good player in return.

    2) Randall Delgado, RHP- Once upon a time, Delgado was the best pitcher in the Braves system. Then they went and added Julio Teheran and acquired Arodys Vizcaino from the Yankees. Now Delgado could be used as a major piece in a big trade. He throws hard, racks up strikeouts, and has unlimited potential if he can continue to improve his command.

    3) Mycal Jones, SS- The Braves love them some shortstops, which is why Jones could be made available in the right deal. The Braves made Matt Lipka their first pick in last year's draft, and he now ranks as the best prospect at the position in their system, making Jones a valuable chip.

    4) Brandon Hicks, SS- Hicks was supposed to be the future shortstop for the Braves, but like Jones, he looks like he's lost his shot. He won't be playing anytime soon with Alex Gonzalez in front of him and with youngsters like Lipka waiting in the wings. His one shot is a move to third-base, but not even that will be able to make up for his dreadfully low average the past two seasons.

Florida Marlins

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    Team Needs

    Third Base, Second Base, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Jonathan Papelbon- One of the most mutually beneficial trades of all-time occured between these two squads, when the Sox and Fish swapped All-Star Josh Beckett for All-Star Hanley Ramirez. I'm sure they could work something out like that again, with the Marlins picking up Papelbon, thus securing their closer's role, and the Sox picking up Ricky Nolasco and possibly another young arm like Brett Sinkbeil or Dan Jennings.

    2) Tyler Clippard- Clippard had an outstanding season in 2010, filling numerous roles and succeeding in all of them. The Marlins really need some relief help, and they have some pieces they could use to get some aid. Gaby Sanchez had a great year in 2010 and could easily be packaged for Clippard and maybe another Nats outfielder.

    3) Jason Berken- The Orioles' Berken had a solid season in 2010 before succumbing to arm issues that prematurely ended his season. He should be healthy for spring training and a major piece of the O's bullpen, but I'm sure he could be had for either Logan Morrison or Sanchez. The O's are strapped for an offensive first-baseman, and both would be better options that what they have in-house.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Gaby Sanchez, 1B- Sanchez doesn't qualify as a prospect any longer, but he still is one of the best bargaining chips the Fish have. Sanchez fought off competition at first-base from Logan Morrison, who the Marlins have stashed in left-field. Morrison probably belongs back at first, and if the right offer came along, I'm sure the Marlins would make Sanchez available.

    2) Brett Sinkbeil, RHP- The Marlins had big plans for Sinkbeil, who was supposed to settle into their rotation by 2011. Instead, the 25-year old has scuffled all the way up to Triple-A, posting ERAs of 5.02, 6.07, and 5.71 in consecutive seasons. He is still a big guy who throws hard, so he could have a future somewhere, just not likely in Florida.

    3) Jose Ceda, RHP- Ceda has always been a guy to keep an eye on. He is huge and he throws really hard. He racks up strikeouts by the truck-load, but didn't look too good in his debut last season. He walked more batters than he struck out and appeared skittish on the mound. He could probably use a change of scenery, and since he's no stranger to trades, he could be a nice piece to add-on to a deal.

New York Mets

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    Team Needs

    Second Base, Catcher, Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Kevin Slowey- The Twins are reportedly shopping Slowey, who went 13-6 last season. The Mets should have interest in the right-hander who could probably be had for two mid-level prospects, who the Twins will in-turn likely turn into the next Kevin Slowey.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Reese Havens, SS- Havens was well on his way to a fine season when he was felled with an oblique injury that limited him to only 32 games. He showed the ability to hit for average and some good power and also adapted well to playing second-base for the first time. The Mets have a surplus at shortstop with Jose Reyes in the bigs and Wilmer Flores in the minors. Any team who still believes in Havens as a shortstop could probably get him from New York, who will probably look to stockpile prospects under their new management.

    2) Jefry Marte, 3B- Marte had another solid season for the Mets, raising his average nearly 30 points up to a respectable .264. He drove in 44 runs and showed tremendous improvement in his plate discipline, curring his strikeouts from 117 in 2009 to 65 in 2010. Still, Marte is blocked at the big-league level by David Wright, and most likely by Flores, who should make the switch to third-base, after Wright is gone.

    3) Eddie Kunz, RHP- Kunz debuted back in 2008 to disastrous results, and the effect that terrible big-league start had on him looks like it's been effecting him ever since. He has posted back-to-back seasons with an ERA over 5.00, and appears to have lost all control. He was once looked at as a integral piece of the Mets future bullpen, but now looks like he could be shipped out as a part of a deal

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Team Needs

    Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Matt Lindstrom- The Phillies don't have much money left to spend after shelling out a big truck-load to Cliff Lee, but they could still do some wheeling-and-dealing to shore up their bullpen. They're pretty solid, but could benefit greatly from adding a guy like Lindstrom, who would not only give you another late-inning guy, but give the Phils some insurance should Lidge get hurt again.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Jon Singleton, 1B/OF- Singleton exploded onto the scene with a stellar season that saw him finish with a .290 average, 14 homers and 77 RBI. He also showed excellent patience at the plate and the ability to take a walk. Pretty impressive for a 19-year old playing in Low-A ball. Singleton could be the centerpiece of a major deal if the Phillies could find anybody "major" to deal for.

    2) Jarred Cosart, RHP- Cosart is one of the last pitching prospects of any real worth in the Philly system. He throws in the mid 90s and is a strikeout machine and would have definite interest among other teams looking to farm out a piece to the Phillies.

    3) Scott Mathieson, RHP- The Phillies have hung onto Mathieson through thick and thin, and now that he's ready to finally arrive and contribute, they would do wise to see what they could get for him. Plenty of teams out there are looking for young, cheap relievers to shore up shoddy bullpens. They could probably recoup some decent position players for him.

Washington Nationals

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    Team Needs

    First Base, Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Joe Blanton- The Nats have been trying to add another pitcher to their starting rotation, and Blanton might just be the perfect fit. He's always pitched better in the N.L. and he knows the division well enough to give the Nats 8-10 wins.

    2) James Loney- The Nats have also been looking for a first-baseman, and believe me, Mike Morse isn't going to cut it short- or long-term. They've been willing to make a splash so far this offseason, and dealing for Loney would be a big move.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Derek Norris, C- Norris is one of the most talented offensive catchers in the minor leagues, but with Wilson Ramos ahead of him, and on the big-league roster, if the Nats wanted to make a move for Loney, or even Prince Fielder, Norris could be the centerpiece of a deal.

    2) Adrian Nieto, C- Along the same lines as Norris, Nieto became a valuable bargaining chip the day the Nats traded for Ramos. Nieto offers a similar package to Norris, but a less refined version. He still has a ways to go to refine his skills behind the plate, not to mention fine-tuning his swing to make more consistent contact. He could be an add-on for a team that believes in his potential.

    3) Jack McGeary, LHP- McGeary was supposed to contribute to Washington's rebuilding effort by now, but the fact that he hasn't looked anywhere near like what the Nats thought they were getting in the former sixth-round pick means he could be on his way out of town if the Nats can find the right deal. He still has big upside, but his control has just been atrocious. He hasn't even managed to find his way out of short-season ball yet.

Chicago Cubs

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    Team Needs

    Outfield, Second Base, Starting Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Matt Garza- Garza to Chicago rumors heated up last week at the Winter Meetings, and even though both sides swear nothing is going to come of it, you have to wonder why not? The Cubs could use some more front-line starters, and the Rays could definitely use a top-notch shortstop prospect like Hak-ju Lee.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Hak-ju Lee, SS- The Cubs appear set for the short- and long-term future at shortstop with Starlin Castro. Which means they're going to have to figure out what to do with Lee, who hit an impressive .282 with 32 steals as a 19-year old in High-A ball.

    2) Sam Fuld, OF- Take a look at the Cubs outfield, and you'll see that this isn't necessarily the team that likes to build their outfield through their own system. Being one of the Cubs top outfield prospects doesn't mean much. Just ask Felix Pie or Corey Patterson. Fuld could be well on his way to that path. He hasn't hit well in limited big-league action and could be on the move.

    3) Josh Vitters, 3B- The one-time first-round pick hasn't exactly developed as the Cubs would have hoped, especially considering his hype as the most polished hitter coming out of the 2007 draft. He still could have some use, especially as a trade chip for the Cubs, possibly to bring in a starter.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Team Needs

    Shortstop, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Matt Lindstrom- The Reds don't have too many weaknesses. Their starting pitching should be top-notch, and they have at least an average player at each position aside from shortstop. But a team can always use more relief pitching, and the Reds could get Lindstrom in a straight up trade for Chris Heisey.

    2) Cesar Izturis- Izturis appears to be everybody's short-term solution at shortstop, making him the perfect candidate. He could easily be had from the O's for Heisey or even a Zack Cozart or Miguel Rojas.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Chris Heisey OF- Heisey's name has already been floated around during the Winter Meetings, with the D-Backs emerging as the most interested team. The Reds really like him, and his ability to play each outfield position, but if the D-Backs went overboard with their proposal he could probably he had.

    2) Yonder Alonso, 1B- Alonso is one of the biggest names that could still be on the move, prospect wise. The Reds have Joey Votto at first-base right now. Maybe you've heard of him. He won the N.L. MVP last season, and the Reds are already working on locking him up long-term. That means Alonso could be on the move, either to a new position or a new team. It would make the most sense for the Reds to see what they could get for him, since they have a plethora of outfield prospects in their system, each who plays the position better than Alonso.

    3) Billy Hamilton, SS- Hamilton had an excellent season last year in the short-season Pioneer League, hitting .318 with 13 doubles, ten triples, and 61 runs in 69 games. He also stole a ridiculous 48 bases! Unfortunately for Hamilton, the Reds have a guy they're stoked about in Zack Cozart. Cozart was sensational last season and could reach Cincy as early as this year, making Hamilton another great bargaining chip.

    4) Devin Mesoraco, C- Once a top prospect, Mesoraco saw his career heading down the pipes before the 2010 season began. He resurrected a near-dead career and turned himself into one of the Reds top prospects. Unfortunately, one guy who is ahead of Mesoraco on the charts is also a catcher, 2010 first-round pick Yasmani Grandal. Grandal is both a better hitter and receiver than Mesoraco. Mesoraco could probably be packaged to get some relief help.

Houston Astros

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    Team Needs

    Second Base, Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Josh Willingham- The Astros have one of the worse farm systems in baseball, so if they're going to get some more offensive talent, they're going to have to move Carlos Lee. The Nats, who have been all about the big moves this offseason, could be a candidate to take on Lee's huge salary, and Willingham would be a good piece to send back to Houston.

    2) Joe Blanton- Taking starting pitching talent from the Phillies has worked before with J.A. Happ, so why not go to that well again. Blanton would probably like to stick around the National League, where he's pitched better, and he would easily have an open rotation spot to himself in Houston's depleted rotation.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Jon Gaston, OF- Gaston has light-tower power, but he's also prone to strikeouts at a ridiculous pace. He's been trying to cut down on them, and it has improved his status as a prospect a little, but he might be more suited to another team.

    2) Ross Seaton, RHP- Seaton and Jordan Lyles are the two chariots in this barnyard farm system. They both have huge arms and enormous upside, but Seaton hit some road-blocks last season, losing 13 games, and posting an ERA around 7.00. He is still plenty young, but several teams might try to get in on him while the Astros are feeling down on him.

    3) Koby Clemens, C/OF- Roger Clemens' kid is shining on his own now and crushing homer after homer. He hit a career-high 26 last season, a year after hitting 22 and driving in 123 runs. His average dropped a whopping 100 points from 2009, and he still doesn't have a true position. The Astros are trying him out at first, but he would make the most sense as a DH in the A.L. The Astros would almost certainly give him up if they could get some solid pitching in return.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Team Needs

    Starting Pitching, Outfield, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Joe Blanton- The Brewers strengthened their rotation by dealing for Shaun Marcum, but they still have two other spots to fill. One of those spots could go to Blanton, who is looking to get out of Philly where there isn't any room for him.

    2) Carlos Beltran- The Brewers are currently looking at a three-way platoon in centerfield next season. And while Carlos Gomez, Lorenzo Cain and Chris Dickerson each have their strengths, it would be nice for the Brewers to pick up a solid player who can use up only one roster spot. The Brewers reportedly have some piece to possibly trade for Greinke, which means they have more than enough to deal for Beltran.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Lorenzo Cain, OF- The Brewers have already put Cain on the Market and have already had discussions with the Braves about a Cain-for-pitcher swap. The Braves seem luke-warm about the idea, but a deal could still get done. Cain offers above-average speed, and at least average everything else.

    2) Logan Schafer, OF- Another player that might interest the Braves is Schafer. The Braves currently have their own Schafer (Jordan) but appear disgruntled with him, so it might be best for both sides if they just swapped. The former (Logan) offers a bit more offensively than the latter (Jordan), so it might take more than just Jordan to get the deal done.

    3) Angel Salome, C- The Brewers are pretty deep when it comes to catcher, and for the time being, it looks like Jon Lucroy is the answer behind the plate. He has the best strike-zone discipline in the system and has some pop. Salome has some pop too and has shown the ability to hit for average during his time in the minors, but he's ranked second in the system right now. He worked his way up to Triple-A last year, so the Brewers could look to package him in a deal to get another starter.

    4) Jeremy Jeffress, RHP- Few pitchers in the minors throw as hard as Jeffress. Few also have as many off-the-field issues as him. Despite his substance abuse issues, Jeffress has fought his way back into the Brewers good graces. He had a solid season last year, this time as a reliever and could be a valuable trade chip.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Team Needs

    Shortstop, Outfield, Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Cesar Izturis- Izturis is the perfect stop-gap at shortstop. He's been that for a couple of teams now, and the Pirates could be looking for just that type of player to keep the position warm while Chase d'Arnaud gets some final seasoning at Triple-A.

    2) Joe Blanton- If the Phillies can't find anyone else to meet their demands for Blanton, which shouldn't be too high, they could always turn to the Pirates, who are always willing to take on a below-average starter. Blanton could provide some solid starts for Pittsburgh and could use the opportunity to turn his season into an audition for 2012.

    3) Kenshin Kawakami- The Pirates have been trying for days to complete a deal that would send a player or two to Atlanta for Kawakami, who would fill one of the Pirates open rotation spots. Kawakami was dreadful last season (1-10 with a 5.15 ERA), but was decent the season before. The Pirates are hoping they can get him back to that.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Gorkys Hernandez, OF- Hernandez is no stranger to trade rumors. He's been dealt twice in his career already, and with the Pirates wealth of outfielders in their system, Hernandez could probably fetch a mid-level pitcher.

    2) Starling Marte, OF- Marte has been sensational during two stints with Pirates low-level teams, and he represents one of the team's best international signings. He offers excellent speed on the bases and could turn out to be even better than Hernandez, which means the package with him in it could net more in return.

    3) Donnie Veal, LHP- Veal has quietly progressed as a starter, despite obvious objections that he could probably be better as a reliever. He throws in the low-to-mid 90s and features a great curveball, so any team that views him as a reliever long-term might make a move to get Veal.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Team Needs

    Shortstop, Second Base, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Michael Young- The only other team Young could land with is St. Louis, who got solid production from David Freese and Allan Craig at the position last year. Freese returns and should land the gig, but who knows what kind of player he'll be as a sophomore.

    2) Heath Bell- Ryan Franklin has been erratic, at best, for the Cardinals as their closer. They could definitely use some help at the position, and Bell is the best bet that's out there and attainable in a trade. The Padres have put a huge emphasis on athletes recently, and a deal for Daryl Jones could get it done, along with some other pieces.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Daryl Jones, OF- Jones is one of the best athletes in the Cardinals system. He hasn't truly put together a fantastic full-season, but he's shown flashes of being special. In a Cardinals outfield that features Lance Berkman, Colby Rasmus, and Matt Holliday, Jones isn't going to get many chances. He could be a major piece in a deal for a relief pitcher or a more offensive oriented second-baseman.

    2) Robert Stock, C- Stock was a two-way player who settled on catching, and he emerged as one of the Cardinals best young prospects. He got off to a rough start this season in full-season ball, but he showed some flashes late in the year. 

    3) Jon Jay, OF- Jay had a huge impact last season for the Cardinals, hitting .300 with 47 runs and 27 RBI in 287 at-bats. Still, he's ranked third on the Cards depth chart at each outfield position, so it looks like if he wants a chance, he's going to have to get it elsewhere.

    4) Ryan Jackson, SS/2B- Jackson is a second-year player who can play multiple infield positions, which makes him invaluable, especially in an organization like St. Louis. He plays solid defense and has made great strides with the bat. He could be shut out of an opportunity in St. Louis though, due to super utility infielders Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker. Jackson could probably be a nice add-on to a deal for some bullpen help.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Team Needs

    Outfield, First Base, Third Base

    Trade Targets

    1) Chris Heisey- The D-Backs had interest in Heisey, an outfielder who got his first taste of the big-leagues this year with Cincinnati as recently as last week. It doesn't look like a deal is going to get done because the Reds really like Heisey, but it didn't look like Cliff Lee was going to end up in Philly either.

    2) Raul Ibanez- Currently, the D-Backs have Gerardo Parra penciled into right-field. And while Parra has plenty of upside, he still doesn't have the experiences and run-producing capability that Ibanez does. He could be a solid addition to a lineup that could use some veterans. 

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Brandon Allen, 1B- Allen is another heavy swinger who has torn through the minors, but has yet to make a real impact at the big league level. He appears ticketed for an opening day job at first, but the uncertainty could force the D-Backs to make a move for a first-baseman, leaving Allen out in the desert.

    2) Mike Belfiore, LHP- Belfiore's line in 2010 looked quite ugly (3-10 win-loss) but it doesn't do justice to the kind of pitcher he has the potential to become. He pitched primarily as a closer in college, but the D-Backs have used him as a starter, and the results have been pretty good. He could be a good add-on piece in a trade, and has a ceiling as a mid-rotation starter.

    3) Rossmel Perez, C- The D-Backs really like Miguel Montero, their current catcher, which is good, because that means they could afford to auction off Perez, the next in a long-line of Arizona international prospects behind the dish. Perez tapped into some power this past season, and he has always made consistent contact, making him appealing to teams looking for a future backup.

    4) Leyson Septimo, LHP- Septimo tried his hand at hitting, playing six years as an outfielder in the D-Backs system. Finally, he relented and moved to the mound, where he profiles as a much more talented player. He throws very hard and can hit triple-digits. That could be appealing to a team looking to add a young reliever.

Colorado Rockies

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    Team Needs

    Third Base, Relief Pitching, Starting Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Matt Lindstrom- The Rockies were all-in on Lindstrom late last week, and while there haven't been any major developments in the talks, bringing him to Colorado is still a possibility

    2) Michael Young- The Rockies have also quietly emerged as the leading candidates to make a deal for Young. The Rangers have been shopping him over the past month, and the Rockies, who already have a plethora of infielders have expressed a lot of interest. It would involve some manuevering, but both sides could make this deal happen. The Rangers are looking at outfielder Charlie Blackmon as a piece of the deal.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Charlie Blackmon, OF- Blackmon is another in a long-line of Rockies outfielders who are great athletes. He has excellent speed, solid power, and can hit for average. And he plays solid defense too. The Rangers were interested in him, and getting his name out there could get several more teams on him too.

    2) Jordan Pacheco, C- Pacheco had an amazing season, hitting .323 and driving in 89 runs before hitting .317 in the Arizona Fall League. Still, he's second fiddle to Wilin Rosario in Colorado, so he could be a prime candidate to be moved in a bigger deal.

    3) Chris Nelson, SS- Nelson's time is quickly running out in Colorado. He made it to the big-leagues in 2010, just in time to see Troy Tulowitzki sign a deal that will keep him in at shortstop for a very long time. Nelson has the athletic ability to switch positions, but he's gotten so good with the bat, that another team might want to take a look at him.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Team Needs

    Third Base, Catcher, Outfield

    Trade Targets

    1) Ryan Doumit- The Dodgers just lost Russell Martin to the Yankees, although no one in L.A. seems too distraught about it. They signed Dioner Navarro today, but he hit .194 last season and has a career .249 average. They also have Rod Barajas, but not much else down in the minors. They are a team that could use a catcher bad.

    2) Michael Young- Young will likely end up back in Texas or in Colorado, but he really makes the most sense in L.A. He doesn't have any competition for the third-base job (no offense Casey Blake), and he would be a great veteran presence on this young squad that should only get younger as the season wears on.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Jerry Sands, 1B/OF- Sands had an amazing season in 2010, crushing 35 homers and driving in 93 runs. He also walked 73 times and stole 18 bases. While those numbers may have been inflated playing in some hitter friendly parks, Sands big-time power is real. The Dodgers have Loney at first-base, though, and a farm system full of talented, athletic outfielders, making Sands expendable. They could probably deal him for some decent pitching.

    2) Trayvon Robinson, OF- The Dodgers have tons of athletic outfielders, and Robinson is one of the best. He is fast as lightning and has hit .300 the past two seasons. The past two years, he's even shown he can hit for power. If the Dodgers can find a third-baseman or a catcher that they really like, Robinson could be part of a package that could get the deal done. The Dodgers would hate to give him up though.

    3) Kyle Russell, OF- Russell is another player, like Sands, who has light-tower power. He almost matched Sands swing for swing this past season, cranking 26 homers of his own. He also struck out an astounding 177 times, one of the worst numbers in the minor leagues. That could make him expendable, and the Dodgers could look to deal him to a team looking for some raw power.

San Diego Padres

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    Team Needs

    Outfield, Shortstop, First Base

    Trade Targets

    1) Josh Willingham- The Padres are looking to deal Ryan Ludwick, preferably to another N.L. squad, which would leave them with a hole in the outfield. Willingham, for not being super talented, has been in so much demand, he may have four or five teams calling for his services.

    2) Jonathan Papelbon- The Sox are looking for an upgrade to the former All-Star Papelbon, and many have speculated that they have their eye on San Diego's Heath Bell. If that's the case, and the Sox are looking to ditch Pap, then it might make the most sense to package him in a trade for Bell. Both teams get a new closer, and everyone's happy.

    3) Pablo Sandoval- It doesn't make a lot of sense, but word is that Kung-Fu Panda, and his bear-like eating tendencies are falling out of favor in San Fran. If they did deal him, they would like to avoid dishing him to a division rival, but the Padres could make it unavoidable and the best deal for all parties if they offer someone like Simon Castro. Panda could take over for Chase Headley at third, or could even move to first, where the Padres have a huge hole.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Cory Luebke, LHP- Luebke had an outstanding season, posting a 10-1 record and a 2.68 ERA in the minors and a 1-1 record with 18 strikeouts in 17.2 innings for the Padres in four appearances. He throws in the low 90s, but gets a ton of groundballs. He could fight for a spot in the rotation, but if he doesn't make it, it could be packaged with a few others to get a first-baseman.

    2) Aaron Poreda, LHP- It feels like Poreda has been scratching on the door of the big-leagues for years now, but somehow, this guy is still only 24-years old. He pitched well, in relief, last season and could find himself as a member of the Padres bullpen this season. Or he could find his way to another team. After all, he's no stranger to trades.

    3) Matt Antonelli, 2B- Antonelli was the darling of the Padres system back in 2008. The season prior, he hit .307 for the Padres High-A and Double-A squads to go with 21 combined homers and 78 RBI. Then in 2008 he tanked, barely hitting above .200 and hitting only seven homers. He hasn't been the same since. He hit .196 in 2009, his second season at Triple-A and has fallen out of favor since. He could be a guy who could use a change of scenery, and someone the Padres could include in a package just to give him a shot elsewhere.

San Francisco Giants

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    Team Needs

    Outfield, Relief Pitching

    Trade Targets

    1) Matt Lindstrom- The Giants don't have too many holes, but if they wanted to shore up anything on their roster, it should be their bullpen. Lindstrom wouldn't cost much to bring over.

    2) Heath Bell- The chances that the Padres would want to ship one of their best players over to a division rival would be slim, but if the Giants dangled Peguero, or maybe even Pablo Sandoval, both sides would make the deal happen.

    Prospect Trade Bait

    1) Francisco Peguero, OF- Peguero emerged as one of the top outfield prospects in all of the minors this past season. He's always been good and fast, but this season, he was downright sensational. He hit .329 in 122 games, stroked 19 doubles, 16 triples, and cranked 10 homers. He drove in 77 runs and stole 40 bases. The only downside to his game is that he rarely draws walks. Still, he is 22-years old and should be one of the top prospects in all of baseball entering the 2011 season. If the Giants want to make a huge splash for anyone, Peguero would be the guy to anchor a trade.

    2) Tommy Joseph, C- Joseph clearly isn't going to see much playing time at the big-league level, even if he takes his time getting to San Fran. Buster Posey is the man in San Fran and won't be ceding that role anytime soon. Joseph has big potential and was one of the best pure hitters to come out of the 2009 draft.

    3) Nick Noonan, 2B- The Giants are set at second-base for a while with Freddy Sanchez there to man the position and Mike Fontenot to play when Sanchez needs time off. Noonan, who should start the 2011 season at Triple-A, might be the odd man out. He could have value for another team looking for an offensive minded second-baseman.

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