MLB Trade Ideas: Every Teams' Trade Proposals to Fix Early Concerns
In the last week or so, the first juicy trade rumors have started flying. The buyers and sellers are starting to distinguish themselves as the pennant races start to take some primitive form in this still-young season. With a less-than-stellar free-agent class expected (except for you, Mr. Pujols), there don't seem to be any trade-deadline blockbusters shaping up.
But now that teams have been able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, the trade market should be put in motion very soon. So it is time for me to put on my GM hat and propose a trade for each team.
Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners
Kansas City trades:
Kila Ka'aihue, 1B (MLB)
Doug Fister, RHP (MLB)
This one could probably include a prospect or two in either direction, but this trade satisfies a need for each team. Seattle, out of contention yet again, but starting to build a nice core, adds more power in Ka'aihue. He will be the DH of the future, complementing Justin Smoak in the lineup. Kansas City is desperately trying to keep pace with Cleveland and hold off Detroit. Adding a quality arm in Fister will give the Royals a replacement for the struggling Kyle Davies in this quest.
Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox
Miguel Montero, C (MLB)
Keon Broxton, OF (High A)
Felix Doubront, SP (AAA)
Alex Hassan, OF (AA)
Boston gets the guy they want: a hard-hitting catcher who can fill the biggest hole in the lineup. Montero will thrive in Fenway Park and should handle the Sox pitching staff well. The Red Sox also acquire athletic outfielder Keon Broxton, who is a few years away, but could be future trade bait. The Diamondbacks get a quality prospect in Doubront, who could possibly join the rotation this year, as well as Hassan, a future MLB outfielder.
Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays
-Darwin Barney, 2B (MLB)
-Kerry Wood, RHP (MLB)
Tampa Bay trades:
-Jeff Niemann, RHP (MLB)
Didn't these guys just make a trade? So far, the Matt Garza for half the Cubs' farm system trade has proved mutually beneficial. With the Rays in the market for some infield depth and another bullpen arm and the Cubs looking for starting pitching help, this seems like a good trade. The Rays have plenty of über-talented starting pitching that is close to being MLB-ready, so they could afford to ship off Niemann. He is eligible for arbitration and, depending on how he pitches, could be in for a payday the Rays won't want to pay. They will get a great second baseman in Barney as well as a hard-throwing reliever in Wood.
Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels
-Jeremy Guthrie, RHP (MLB)
Los Angeles trades:
-Kaleb Cowart, 3B (Rookie)
-Scott Downs, LHP (MLB)
Despite a strong start, the Fightin' Showalters of Baltimore look to be headed for yet another finish at the cellar of the AL East. The Orioles have a great young pitching staff, with Guthrie being the old man of the bunch. He is eligible for arbitration after this season, and the Angels could use another quality starter in their push to win the West. They would give up lightly used reliever Scott Downs, who could stabilize the Baltimore bullpen, and talented third baseman Kaleb Cowart, who will fill a future need for the O's.
Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies
-Ramon Santiago, INF (MLB)
-Chance Ruffin, RHP (AA)
-Vance Worley, RHP (MLB)
Detroit gets the guy they want, a great young arm who can be used out of the bullpen or as a starter. Worley has been terrific for the Phillies, but he is, to an extent, expendable. They get in return Santiago, who is a great middle infielder who can play second base better than Wilson Valdez. They also get Ruffin, a former Texas Longhorn who has high upside as a reliever. If he pans out, it will be as if the Phillies never traded Worley.
Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres
-Juan Abreu, RHP (AA)
-Joe Leonard, 3B (A)
San Diego trades:
-Ryan Ludwick, OF (MLB)
In a very crowded NL East, the Braves should look to add a productive outfield bat with some fielding ability. Nate McLouth has been good at the plate, but is definitely a defensive liability. In Ludwick, the Braves will get a good bat (despite his 2011 struggles) with a great outfield presence. In return, San Diego not only gets to unload his contract, but also receives two prospects from one of baseball's deepest farm systems. With the Padres season already looking lost, a trade with the future in mind is beneficial.
Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets
-Travis D'Arnaud, C (MLB)
-Brett Cecil, LHP (MLB)
New York trades:
-Carlos Beltran, OF (MLB)
The Blue Jays need all the protection they can get for Jose Bautista. Adam Lind has been great, but has limited defensive value. The Mets have been rumored to have interest in trading Beltran, a free agent after 2011. The Blue Jays would not mind eating the rest of his $20.7 million contract if it means having a chance at competing. They would have to give up one of their elite catching prospects, of which they have many, as well as Cecil, a good left-handed arm desperately needed by the Mets.
Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins
-Edgar Renteria, SS (MLB)
-Juan Francisco, 3B (MLB)
-Chris Volstad, RHP (MLB)
These two contenders could improve their respective teams with this deal. For Cincinnati, they will be receiving an innings-eating arm in Volstad. Despite his poor ERA this season, he would be an excellent addition for the Reds. In return, the Marlins get a former one of their own, Edgar Renteria, to provide veteran leadership. They also get a great third base prospect in Francisco who can play that position for the Marlins for years to come.
Washington Nationals and Houston Astros
-Todd Coffey, RHP (MLB)
-Cole Kimball, RHP (AAA)
-Carlos Lee, OF (MLB)
On the surface, this looks like a very lopsided trade. But the suddenly deep-pocketed Nationals have the financial flexibility to take on Lee's contract, which is possibly more valuable as a future trade piece than as a short-term rental. He would be a nice complement to Jayson Werth, and provide protection once Ryan Zimmerman returns. The pitching-starved Astros would receive an effective reliever in Coffey and a promising relief prospect in Kimball as they shed payroll to prepare for an ownership transition.
Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees
-Mark Buehrle, LHP (MLB)
New York trades:
-Slade Heathcott, OF (A)
-Graham Stoneburner, RHP (AA)
-Jose Ramirez, RHP (A)
The Yankees need another consistent starting pitcher. Right now, their rotation has tons of question marks ranging from Phil Hughes' arm to Bartolo Colon's staying power. Adding Buehrle gives them a front-end starter who will help them down the stretch and in the playoffs. He will be a free agent next year, and with this season fading fast, Chicago will be willing to part with him for the right price. The price is two quality arms in Stoneburner and Ramirez along with the talented Heathcott. The Yankees can afford to part with three of their top 25 prospects to get Buehrle.
Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates
-Kevin Correia, RHP (MLB)
-Bryce Stowell, RHP (AAA)
-Matt Packer, LHP (AA)
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Indians are for real. With the poor starts by Chicago and Minnesota, the Tribe is poised to make the postseason for the first time since 2007. But to do this, they need to shore up their pitching staff by adding the surprising Kevin Correia. He will presumable replace either Carlos Carrasco or Jeanmar Gomez. Cleveland will have to give up a couple of mid-tier prospect, a shallow price to pay for what could perhaps by the ticket to the postseason.
New York Mets and San Francisco Giants
New York trades:
-Jose Reyes, SS (MLB)
San Francisco trades:
-Zack Wheeler, RHP (High A)
-Charlie Culberson, INF (AA)
-Thomas Neal, OF (AAA)
This is a trade that has been rumored for a few weeks now, and it makes increasingly more sense for both teams. It is clear that the Giants are not satisfied with the poor glovework and bat of Miguel Tejada, and despite having some shortstop talent within the organization, trading for four months of Jose Reyes will be integral in a return to the postseason. It will cost some good talent, especially Wheeler, the team's best pitching prospect. The Mets are liquidizing their assets, and along with David Wright, Reyes should be gone by the deadline.
Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins
-Francisco Liriano, LHP (MLB)
-Rex Brothers, LHP (AAA)
-Ty Wigginton, UTIL (MLB)
-Cristhian Adames, SS (A)
Minnesota can sell high on the heels of Liriano's no-hitter earlier this month by shipping him off to the mountains. At this point, it is not yet time to write off the Twins due to the potential for collapse by the Royals and Indians. But it is very close to that time. And when that time comes, Minnesota will get a future closer in Rex Brothers, a great defensive shortstop in Adames, and a do-it-all player in Wigginton who can at least fill spots in the lineup this season. Colorado will add Liriano in their quest to top San Francisco and win the NL West.
St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox
St. Louis trades:
-Ryan Theriot, SS (MLB)
-Matt Thornton, LHP (MLB)
This is a straight-up trade that seems to make sense for both teams. For the Cardinals, they will acquire a much-needed left handed bullpen arm. Thornton is a hard-thrower who can get guys like Joey Votto and Ryan Howard out, and would be a crucial part of the Redbirds' playoff run. Chicago's season is essentially down the drain at this point, but Theriot is a great utility infielder who can fill a variety of roles for the White Sox struggling offense.
Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers
-Michael Choice, OF (High A)
-Grant Balfour, RHP (MLB)
-Max Stassi, C (High A)
Los Angeles trades:
-Andre Ethier, OF (MLB)
I know, I know. Ethier is tearing up National League pitching. But with the Dodgers' current financial situation and the two-team logjam in front of them in the West, they have to be realistic. The Athletics cannot particularly afford Ethier, but they are close enough to contention where at the very least they can keep him until the year ends. He is a 2012 free agent, but eligible for arbitration after this season. In return for this crucial bat, they will have to give up two top prospects in Choice and Stassi, as well as veteran reliever Grant Balfour to fill a huge hole in a gaping Dodgers bullpen.
Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers
-Prince Fielder, 1B (MLB)
-Jurickson Profar, SS (A)
-Darren O'Day, RHP (MLB)
-Mitch Moreland, 1B (MLB)
This is the big fish of the trade pool. No one really knows where Prince Fielder will go or if he will go, but Texas seems to be a logical destination. Imagine the middle of the Rangers' lineup once Josh Hamilton returns-- Young, Fielder, Hamilton, Beltre. Unfortunately, the Rangers would have to part with their top prospect in Profar, as well as a quality bullpen arm in O'Day and Fielders' replacement, Mitch Moreland. It is a steep price to play for what will be the Rangers' push for a return to the Fall Classic.