MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking the Top 50 Potential Trade Options
A national hockey writer in Canada said something recently that made me think about MLB trade rumors. I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect of: "If Wayne Gretzky could get traded, anyone can get traded."
Just replace Gretzky with Babe Ruth, and it works.
The biggest name in this offseason's trade rumors, Zack Greinke, has a new home in Milwaukee. But there are still some other names being thrown around who could possibly have new homes, and have them relatively soon. Here are 50 of them.
50. Oliver Perez, LHP, NY Mets. Management would love to trade him, but many teams won't bite on that contract.
49. Luis Castillo, 2B, NY Mets. See Perez, Oliver.
48. Ryan Doumit, C/RF, Pittsburgh. Not strong defensively; a trade for him would be mainly for his bat.
47. Nate Schierholz, OF, San Francisco. Relatively young player who's come up in rumors as easiest guy to trade in a crowded Giants outfield.
46. Gerardo Parra, OF, Arizona. Young player with a lot of speed. Was the main piece in a rumored deal for Cincinnati's Chris Heisey.
45. Chris Heisey, OF, Cincinnati. Another young player who was used as a defensive replacement but had good speed and nice power when called upon.
44. Paul Maholm, SP, Pittsburgh. He's apparently available. Good back-of-the-rotation pitcher who was a No. 1 or No. 2 in Pittsburgh.
43. Marco Scutaro, SS, Boston. One reporter in Boston wrote that the Red Sox should think about moving Scutaro or Jed Lowrie. I'm guessing Scutaro's not winning that duel.
42. Kenshin Kawakami, SP, Atlanta. Pittsburgh showed interest in the pitcher who struggled mightily last year with the Braves.
41. Kyle Kendrick, SP, Philadelphia. Pitched well at times last year; he's an adequate fifth starter.
40. Matt Lindstrom, RP, Houston. A reliever who can throw absolute heat and has closing experience.
39. Travis Snider, OF, Toronto. One of the two big-name prospects the Blue Jays were dangling for Greinke. Could very well be moved for another pitcher.
38. Ryan Ludwick, OF, San Diego. Trade from St. Louis didn't work out for either side, but Ludwick is still a solid fielder and a nice hitter for adequate power.
37. Brandon League, RP, Seattle. He was traded to Seattle from Toronto, and was a very nice fit in the Mariners bullpen.
36. Justin Masterson, RHP, Cleveland. I would doubt the Indians would trade him, but supposedly the Red Sox would love to reacquire him.
35. Tom Gorzelanny, SP, Chicago Cubs. Supposedly the lefty starter can be had from the Cubs, who are now pretty crowded with starters.
34. Kosuke Fukudome, OF, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs want to trade him, but the contract is probably too much.
33. Aaron Rowand, OF, San Francisco. See Fukudome, Kosuke.
32. Anibal Sanchez, SP, Florida. The last Marlin to throw a no-hitter could be available and attractive, considering the price tag and the age.
31. Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati. Like Sanchez, brought up by Andrew Marchand of ESPN NewYork. Cueto could be had as the Reds signed Bruce and Votto long-term.
30. Edinson Volquez, SP, Cincinnati. Another name Marchand mentions since he and Cueto are coming up to new deals soon.
29. Brett Myers, SP, Houston. Signed an extension last August, but could be mentioned in trade talks if Houston struggles again.
28. Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Houston. He's getting older and has struggled in recent years. However, he's still a viable option for the middle of a rotation.
27. Carlos Quentin, OF, Chicago White Sox. There have been rumors the White Sox are looking to move payroll, but I'd be shocked if Quentin goes anywhere.
26. Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox. Same rules apply to Peavy as with Quentin.
25. Edwin Jackson, SP, Chicago White Sox
If he is traded (and according to reports he is a prime candidate), it would be Jackson's fifth team in the last four years. But despite some pedestrian numbers, Jackson still gets work and still makes rotations.
And after struggling in Arizona, Jackson did pitch much better in Chicago, putting up some of the best numbers of his career.
24. James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay
The pitcher affectionately known as "Big Game James" is yet another pitcher the Rays system has developed recently. But as Tampa has slashed payroll, there has been talk about Shields' availability in trade discussions. No teams have been linked to Shields right now, but he's a name to watch.
23. Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs
Zambrano had probably the worst season of his major league career, and that's just performance-based. That's not including when the Cubs basically sent him home.
The Zambrano trade rumors were based out of New York as one of the many other pitchers the Yankees could land, but there's a chance that it could lead to more.
22. Michael Young, INF, Texas
Young was rumored to be in a deal to go to Colorado, but according to reports that deal is dead.
The Young deal was really only rumored because the Rangers were perhaps trying to clear up money for Cliff Lee or sign Adrian Beltre. If the Rangers decide to go after Beltre, than Young could still very well be on the move.
21. Raul Ibanez, LF, Philadelphia
Ibanez will be hard to move because of his age, his declining skill set and his contract, but the Phillies will probably at least listen to calls about him (if there are any). They won't be pressured to move him, as his contract comes off the books after this season and they can still use his bat.
20. Joe Blanton, SP, Philadelphia
Blanton is probably the best candidate from the Phillies to be traded, but the feeling is that Ruben Amaro Jr. and the rest of the front office won't be pressured to make a move.
Blanton could still very well end up as the No. 5 starter, but from their standpoint, it'd be nice to free up that $10.5 million a year and get something back to boot.
19. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay
Before all the Tampa fans jump on me, there is nothing imminent about a Price trade. But there was a piece in Sports Illustrated a little while ago about Price possibly being trade bait for a desperate team as a young, cheap pitcher who can be a star.
I doubt Tampa will do it, but he would definitely net a big return.
18. Grady Sizemore, CF, Cleveland
Before anything resembling a trade involving Sizemore happens, the center fielder will have to prove that he's healthy. But when he's healthy, he's one of the better center fielders in the league and a five-tool player that could bring back a nice return in prospects.
17. Fausto Carmona, SP, Cleveland
Carmona has been involved in trade rumors as of late and there are a lot of teams, especially the Yankees, that are rumored to be interested in him. He's not an ace, but he's a very solid No. 2 option.
The rumors involving the Yankees also make sense, considering the young Carmona had the best season of his career playing second fiddle to CC Sabathia.
16. Francisco Cordero, RP, Cincinnati
Cordero hasn't been linked in trade rumors, but I would think the Reds would like to be free of his contract. He still can get a lot of zip on his fastball, and he can be a shutdown closer.
But he imploded a few times last year, and he is getting up in age. And with some of their young players needing new contracts soon, that's money they can use.
15. B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay
Upton is still young enough and still has all the physical tools to be a pretty good player in this league. But one has to wonder if he's all there mentally after watching some of the mistakes he makes.
That being said, perhaps a change of scenery from Tampa, where he seems crushed by expectations, might do wonders. It did for Delmon Young.
14. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Boston
Papelbon's still one of the better closers in the game, but he's had some breakdowns in the last couple of years. And the fact Boston made plays at Mariano Rivera and signed Bobby Jenks is a sign that the Red Sox might be ready to move on from Papelbon.
His contract will make him tough to move, but the Red Sox will find ways to get around that if they really want him out.
13. David Aardsma, RP, Seattle
If Aardsma's availability was a secret, it might be the worst-kept secret in the Pacific Northwest. Aardsma is being actively shopped, and while Boston was an option, the Rockies were also mentioned as a potential destination as well.
Aardsma might not be moved right now, but he'll be traded before July if the Mariners fall out of it.
12. Matt Garza, SP, Tampa Bay
Garza was the big-name pitcher Tampa shopped around as the payroll is getting slashed, and while nothing is imminent, he's a player to watch.
Garza's spot in the rotation can be filled by a few guys inside the Tampa system, and he might be the most expendable out of all the starters Tampa has.
11. Kyle Drabek, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Drabek was one of the key pieces the Blue Jays got back for Roy Halladay, but he was supposedly dangled with Snider in a rumored Greinke deal. With Shaun Marcum traded and the Greinke deal falling through, most likely the Jays will hang on to Drabek. But he's a nice chip to have to turn into a big pitcher, should the Jays and Rogers Communications (who own the Jays) choose to make a move.
10. Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees
In a few months, Montero's run the gamut of job security. He's gone from almost traded to starter-in-waiting to possibly being traded again.
He's the biggest and most attractive prospect the Yankees have and can trade, and unless he can beat out Russell Martin at catcher, he might be on his way out before he ever makes his way to the Bronx.
9. Mark Buehrle, SP, Chicago White Sox
He's one of the better pitchers in White Sox history, and he's done a lot for the organization. But he's also in the last year of his contract and the White Sox are looking to cut salary.
He'd bring the most back in a trade, but he's also the hardest to trade, if not for his contract but for what he's meant to the team and the fanbase.
8. Joakim Soria, RP, Kansas City
He's the best reliever to be had, and the speculation now is that with Greinke gone, Soria will be the next to go. Supposedly, the Yankees are already interested.
Obviously the Royals are saying he won't be going anywhere. But if the fire sale does happen, the interest in Soria will go through the roof.
7. Justin Upton, OF, Arizona
Justin Upton is perhaps the most interesting case, since the Diamondbacks were considering trading him and there was a rumor about pairing him with his brother. Right now, the Diamondbacks are saying he won't be going anywhere, but he would definitely bring a large haul for Arizona.
Why they would trade Upton is beyond me, though.
6. Heath Bell, RP, San Diego
Since the Padres already traded Adrian Gonzalez, they will probably be wary of trading away the only asset and marketing tool they have left. But Bell is a very attractive option to a lot of teams looking for a closer and he's quietly become one of the better ones.
Bell will probably be moved at some point this season.
5. Carlos Beltran, OF, New York Mets
Beltran supposedly has gotten a lot of interest this offseason, but the Mets are willing to hold on to him. That might change by July, but a lot will have to happen.
Beltran will have to prove that he's healthy and that he can return to the player he was before his injury. The Mets will also have to find a team that can take that salary, as well.
4. Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets
Reyes is an attractive, but unlikely, trade candidate. The Mets need to replenish the farm system and according to a report, anyone can be had.
Reyes has a big contract and also would be hard to move. But it's becoming more and more of a likely scenario that the Mets will at least be willing to listen.
3. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets
A Wright trade might be as, if not more, unlikely than a Reyes trade. But if the Mets and new GM Sandy Alderson are serious about cleaning house, then it's an option. He'd bring a lot of value and impact prospects in return and perhaps a change of scenery would give him his mojo back.
But it's an option. An extreme option, to be fair, but an option they have to think about.
2. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle
The Yankees are already calling about Hernandez, and have already been turned down. Hernandez would be a huge trade chip, and the Mariners would get a lot in return, even more than Cliff Lee. But that's an extreme scenario and I doubt the Mariners will trade King Felix unless they absolutely have to.
It doesn't mean they can't listen, however.
1. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee
I know Doug Melvin has said Fielder's staying put for right now. But I'm not buying Milwaukee as a contender, although Greinke and Marcum are a big upgrade in the rotation.
That being said, he's still got one year left on his contract. If it falls flat in Milwaukee, then what will Melvin do when he has to decide about whether or not to trade Fielder?
When it's all said and done, I still feel Fielder will be moved sooner or later.