The New York Mets are stuck in a tough sort of limbo. After the Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent Cliff Lee earlier this month, the Mets seem unlikely to be able to contend this season in the crowded NL East. Yet, they are a team of talented veterans, hardly an organization ripe for rebuilding. In order to make sure they move forward, they must choose their path quickly, but they need to choose carefully.
If the Mets choose to reload and make a more serious run down the line, it could really open up the trade market in the National League. All-Stars Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez would likely become available, as incoming general manager Sandy Alderson tries to find the right balance between unloading unwieldy contracts and retaining a sturdy core of talent.
The Mets are not alone in this regard: The Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals are all in slightly varied versions of the same state. Read on for five players who, unlikely though it may seem, could be trade candidates at some point this winter or spring.