MLB Trade Rumors: Johan Santana and the Top 15 Potential Midseason Trade Chips
There's no telling which teams will make a run at the World Series next October. (Not many foresaw the Giants doing it last year.) And this season, usual suspects like the Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees remain favorites.
But then there are usual suspects of the opposite kind. These teams—the sellers—will be trading for newer—hopefully better—pieces.
Who will be wearing new uniforms by the end of summer?
(Note: Albert Pujols is not in this slideshow, as his situation should be handled next off-season.)
15. Brian Roberts
Every year around June or July the name Brian Roberts is repeated over and over regarding where he is surely going to be dealt. He has been rumored to be traded to over twenty teams over the past five years, and yet he remains in Baltimore.
The two-time All Star has played the entirety of his career in Baltimore; which has been a decade. It again appears that the Orioles are not even close to competing in their division so the rumors will persist, and maybe Roberts will accept a trade and a chance to taste the playoffs.
14. Brett Anderson
Such is the life of a Oakland Athletics pitcher. Though his best year's are indeed ahead of him. It seems like it is a matter of time before Brett Anderson is an ace of the A's, and will be traded. One of the best young lefties in the American League could be on the move sooner then expected.
13. Carlos Lee
Carlos Lee saw teammate Lance Berkman move on to greener pastures last season when he was dealt to the Yankees. This season the 34 year old three-time All Star is the lone veteran on a re-building Astros team. Lee should have a bounce back season this year, and should be able to play capable left field for another season before moving to first base.
12. Travis Hafner
Travis Hafner was at one point one of the most dreaded sights at the plate for opposing pitchers. Yes, for a good stretch from 2003-2007 Travis Hafner was as good of a home run hitter as there was, and was a finalist for American League MVP.
Since that time Hafner has struggled with injuries and an inability to hit the baseball. But, if "Pronk" can regain his form from season's past he can be a pickup for lacking offenses that need a DH in the middle of their lineups.
11. Ivan Rodriguez
The future Hall of Famer who is regarded as one of the great catchers in baseball history continues to set the example on how the game should be played. He is behind the plate for a young Nats team that is going to be looking up at the Phillies in the standings all year. So at the deadline he could be joining his ninth different team in his career.
The 14-time All Star could be used by many teams as playoff tested catchers are scarce in baseball. It will be interesting to see if he does finish his career with Washington though as he is within two hits of 3,000 in his career.
10. Magglio Ordonez
Another aging veteran that could be on the move at some point in the season is Magglio Ordonez. The career .312 hitter has shown throughout his career that he has no problems hitting the baseball. His best moments and All Star appearances (6) may be in his past, but he is still a threat at the plate.
The Tigers gave him another year long deal for this season. This may be an indication that they will try to win this season. If that does not take place then Ordonez could be moving on.
9. Carlos Zambrano
"Big Z" is trying to get back on track after finishing up last season in outstanding fashion. He ended up the last season going 4-0 and reminded many of the Carlos Zambrano that made him one the best fire-ballers in baseball.
This past off-season Zambrano was in rumors to several teams including the Yankees and Braves, but nothing came of them. Depending on how the Cubs fair this season; Zambrano could be moved. The key to any move is that Zambrano has to approve of it, and the Cubs would have to eat some of his massive contract.
8. Jose Bautista
No one exploded onto the baseball scene last season like Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. Going from a career-high of 16 home runs in a season to a league leading 54 was unexpected to say the least. The 4th place finisher in the AL MVP last season was rumored in many trades this off-season including some that would have sent him to the rival Red Sox.
But, going into this season Bautista remains a member of the Jays, and looks to avoid the follow-up slump season that his teammate Aaron Hill had last year. If the Blue Jays fall out of contention early in the season he could be moved to one of the "big boys" in the division.
7. Joakim Soria
One of the most coveted closers that could be on the market throughout the season will be Kansas City's Joakim Soria. Last year, the Yankees and Cubs were in talks to get Soria, but the Royals decided to keep the man known as "The Mexicutioner".
The two-time All Star is one of the best on the Royals, but he is also the closer. The Royals have many positions that they need help in, and Soria could help them get players; especially if Soria continues his top-shelf play.
6. John Danks
One of the most underrated lefties in the game. John Danks is quietly becoming more dominant as the year's go on. But, with the White Sox payroll balloning to levels never seen before in franchise history and the White Sox history of not giving long term contracts to starting pitchers; something's gotta give.
Danks is 25 years old and when he hits free agency he will be a coveted piece. Also, this could be the year that Danks emerges from a deep White Sox staff. Unless the White Sox have a horrid start; Danks should stay on the South Side.
5. Grady Sizemore
It was recently said by the Indians that Grady Sizemore wasn't going anywhere, and would be staying put in Cleveland as the Indians are going to try and win the AL Central. Back in reality, Sizemore is recovering from an injury, and if he comes back to full strength he could be a big trade chip to get alot of talent back for the Tribe.
The three-time All Star has not gotten the attention throughout his career that he warrants with his hitting, running and fielding prowess. And, with the struggles for the Indians looking like they will continue for at least two more seasons it might be time for Sizemore to move on.
4. Justin Upton
It was a bit mind-boggling for some regarding the rumors that the Diamondbacks were shopping former #1 overall draft pick Justin Upton around the league. But, when it was all said and down it was Mark Reynolds who was traded instead of the five-tool phenom.
Upton is looking to finally live up to the expectations that have been put on him this season. Injuries have plagued him in his young career, but this could be the year he erupts. The D-Backs have a new manager and general manager so no one knows what to expect. If Upton does somehow get on the trading block; he will be snatched up in a instant.
3. Prince Fielder
Last season it seemed at certain points in the year that it was a matter of time before the Brewers were going to unload the two-time All Star first basemen. Rumored teams included the Red Sox, White Sox, and the Dodgers. He finished off the season in Milwaukee, but that might not hold true this season.
Fielder enters the last year of his deal before going into free agency. His value next year will hinge greatly on what Albert Pujols does in the market. Fielder could be on the move though if the Brewers don't play up to the expectations which have them as a possible contender in the NL Central.
2. Johan Santana
What a prized pickup Johan Santana would be for any team that could get their hands on him. It could be in the works over the first half of the season with Santana recovering from shoulder surgery, and will be out until the Summer. He has a full no-trade clause in his contract so he will have to approve before departing the Mets.
The four time All Star and two time Cy Young Award winner has shown throughout his career that he is one of the best the game has to offer. With one of the most dominating changeups of all-time he has mowed down hitters for over a decade. If he recuperated well from his injury, and does get traded he could help any team in a pennant hunt.
1. Ichiro Suzuki
Some Mariner fans are even getting to the point where they think it's only fair that Ichiro should get a chance at winning a ring. And, it for certain that this year's M's are not going to get one of the best outfielders the game has seen that chance. The Mariners can still get a ton back in a trade for Ichiro.
Not many 37 year old's can still get it done as well as Suzuki who is as good of a leadoff hitter as you will ever see. If the Mariners put him on the market there would be a swarm of offers.