MLB Trade Ideas: Albert Pujols and 5 Blockbuster Deals That Should Be Made

Jeffrey BeckmannCorrespondent IJune 3, 2011

MLB Trade Ideas: Albert Pujols and 5 Blockbuster Deals That Should Be Made

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    Throughout MLB history there have been many cases where teams make a huge, unexpected splash in the trade market—a recent example being when the Milwaukee Brewers pulled off a surprising trade to land CC Sabathia in 2008.

    It worked out well, as the Brewers made their first postseason appearance in more than 25 years.

    This year there are an abundance of big names that—for the right price—could be available come July 1st. Some may be long shots to be moved, but it doesn't mean it wouldn't be the right move.

    Here are five players that should be moved by the trade deadline.

5. Jered Weaver to Arizona Diamondbacks

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    The D-Backs are one of the hottest teams in MLB these days, sitting at 31-25 and atop of the NL West. As good as they've been, they lack a top of the rotation starter, and Jered Weaver may just be their man.

    Weaver was on a torrid start to the 2011 season before losing four straight decisions. Still, he sits at a 2.10 ERA with a 0.946 WHIP and would surely draw plenty of interest if the Angels so choose to move him.

    Whether or not he is available or moved all depends on whether owner Arte Moreno believes Weaver will be open to discussing a contract extension with the Angels in the near future. If Moreno doesn't think they'll be able to lock him up long term, he very well may choose to sell high on Weaver.

    Weaver will command a salary in the range of $13-16 million next year—a figure the D-Backs should be able to afford. They may be able to build a package around pitcher Jarrod Parker—although he just returned from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2010 season.

    Arizona could also put a package together with southpaw Tyler Skaggs—who they acquired from the Angels in the Dan Haren trade—and/or control pitcher Chase Anderson.

4. David Wright to San Francisco Giants

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    The New York Mets are already 8.5 games back of the Phillies in the NL East and at this point should be in rebuilding mode—beginning with their starting rotation.

    Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran will most likely be gone soon, so the financially impaired Mets franchise should do an all-out fire sale and send Wright packing, too.

    Sending Wright to the San Francisco Giants could pay huge dividends for both sides. The Mets only concern at this point should be their starting rotation and the Giants no doubt have an abundance of arms—two of which could be available in Jonathan Sanchez and/or Madison Bumgarner.

    Acquiring Wright would help bolster the Giants stagnant offense—being a significant upgrade over incumbent third baseman Miguel Tejada both offensively and defensively.

    Wright's 10-and-5 rights haven't kicked in, and if his option is exercised, he has two years and $31 million left on his contract past 2011.

3. Prince Fielder to Tampa Bay Rays

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    Although Prince has expressed interest in the Brewers making him an offer to stay in Milwaukee past this season, there is realistically no chance of the Scott Boras client remaining in Brew Town after 2011.

    The Brewers are sitting at 30-26 and only 2.5 games out of first place in the NL Central—so on paper, it may seem silly to field any offers for Prince. The fact is, trading Fielder wouldn't necessarily take them out of the hunt for the divisional crown.

    Their pitching staff is good enough to keep them in any ballgame and they could get a nice haul from the Rays, who are loaded with prospects and need a big bat to help them stay in the AL East race.

    RHP Jeremy Hellickson is probably untouchable with his performance for the Rays thus far in 2011. Southpaw Matt Moore may intrigue Brewers GM Doug Melvin, as would the arm of SS prospect Tim Beckham.

    The Rays may have enough room to squeeze Fielder's remaining salary into their payroll, but it will all depend on where they stand leading up to the trade deadline.

2. Felix Hernandez to New York Yankees

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    When Cliff Lee surprised the baseball world and signed with the Phillies this past offseason, the Yankees were left in quite a bind trying to fill their starting rotation.

    Bartolo Colon has filled in admirably so far, looking more like the Colon circa 2005 with every passing start. Even Ivan Nova hasn't pitched horribly to this point.

    The fact remains, if the Yankees want to get their 28th World Series title they are going to need another top-tier pitcher to help CC in their rotation, and Felix Hernandez is their answer.

    King Felix is signed through 2014 for $58 million, a very meager sum in "Yankee dollars."

    With having two of the top catching prospects in baseball, the Bronx Bombers can dangle prospect Jesus Montero to see if they can get Seattle to bite. Add in SS/3B prospect Eduardo Nunez and a couple of their pitching prospects and the Yanks have a legitimate shot at snagging Hernandez away from the Mariners.

1. Albert Pujols to Texas Rangers

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    Can you imagine what Pujols could do playing his home games in Texas on a hot summer day? That would definitely be a sight to see.

    Sadly, that day probably won't come—but that does not mean it doesn't make sense.

    Pujols is set to be a free agent after the season. He has expressed his desire for the Cards to bring in talent around him—one example being when they acquired Matt Holliday.

    Now hear me out: What if the Cards traded Pujols for a boatload of MLB-ready talent and prospects and then were able to re-sign him during the offseason?

    If I were a betting man (other than on college football), right now I'd put the odds of Pujols returning to St. Louis at about 60/40—the entire 40 percent belonging to the Cubs.

    His struggles out of the gate will make Cards brass even more hesitant to give him the $200-plus million Pujols will demand on the open market.

    The Rangers have a young first baseman by the name of Mitch Moreland who would fit in well with the Cards. They also have young pitcher Derek Holland who has shown a lot of promise and could fill a hole left by a probable Chris Carpenter departure.

    If they throw in top prospects like LHP Martin Perez and stud SS Jurickson Profar, the Cards could use their current position to make their future bright with or without Pujols.

    Not a bad idea.