MLB Trade Speculation: New York Mets & 5 Disappointing Teams That May Sell Early

Jeffrey BeckmannCorrespondent IJune 6, 2011

MLB Trade Speculation: New York Mets & 5 Disappointing Teams That May Sell Early

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    MLB trade rumors are swirling while we all sit in anticipation waiting for the first big move to be made. 

    As sure as spring turns to summer, we know that the New York Yankees will be buyers and—per the usual—the Pittsburgh Pirates will be sellers. 

    These five teams are all off to disappointing starts and may look to move guys for an array of reasons, whether it's simply to shed payroll or maybe to load up on young talent.

    Either way, it's not the position they expected to be in at this point in the 2011 MLB season—but their losses will be another teams gain.

    Here are 5 teams that may choose to be sellers early.

5. Cincinnati Reds

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    The defending NL Central champs have fallen off over the last few weeks and now sit at 30-30—behind the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.

    Cincinnati has a lot of young players who will be looking for pay raises in the next few years which may lead them to shed some payroll if they continue to fall out of the divisional race.

    The top name on the trade list is Francisco Cordero—who is in the last year of his contract (which includes a $12-million team option for 2012). 

    Brandon Phillips is also in the last year of his contract and most likely won't be back in Cincy beyond 2011. Phillips could ultimately bring in a nice haul for the Reds.

    Veteran Scott Rolen would attract interest as a platoon player on a contender if he can stay healthy, as could shortstop Edgar Renteria.

    Although unlikely, for the right price a team may also be able to pry away Bronson Arroyo.

4. Chicago White Sox

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    The Chicago White Sox had high hopes heading into the 2011 season. Simply put, it has been a disaster—as the White Sox are 28-33 and seven games out in the AL Central. 

    Alex Rios and Adam Dunn have been two of the most disappointing players in MLB so far this season and Jake Peavy continues to have setbacks trying to return from injury.

    Although it may be hard to move both Dunn and Rios, the White Sox have a few other players who may be available if their season doesn't turn around soon.

    Mark Buehrle will attract some interest from contenders (maybe the Yankees or Cardinals?) if he is willing to waive his no-trade clause, and Juan Pierre could be of interest to a team in need of a true lead-off hitter. 

    Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton are other arms that could be pried away from the Sox—although they would be selling low on both.

    With all the money the Sox have tied up in guys like Dunn, Rios and Konerko, I wouldn't be surprised if the White Sox chose to sell high on slugger Carlos Quentin.

3. Minnesota Twins

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    The Minnesota Twins are having their worst season in, well, longer than I can remember. They sit at a paltry 21-37—the worst record in all of MLB—and are 12.5 games out in the AL Central.

    Joe Mauer can't stay healthy. Justin Morneau can't hit the baseball. Joe Nathan can't close out games. Simply put—the Twins are a mess.

    There is a good chance that either Nathan or Matt Capps will be shipped before the deadline, while Francisco Liriano will continue to be a hot name on the trade market.

    I doubt anyone will want to take a gamble on Carl Pavano—who has pitched horribly this season—and they would be selling low if they are to move Delmon Young.

    Two names that will attract interest are Jim Thome and Jason Kubel. Kubel has had a great start to the season and he could be a cheap option at DH for a team like the Tampa Bay Rays or Seattle Mariners.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The dazed and confused Los Angeles Dodgers can't seem to catch a break. Mired in financial uncertainty, the Dodgers are 5.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West and appear to be going nowhere—fast.

    At this point the only "untouchable" player on the Dodgers is probably Clayton Kershaw. Pitchers Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly would attract plenty of interest on the trade market if the Dodgers choose to sell soon. 

    Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland may have suitors, too.

    I'd have a hard time seeing them move Andre Ethier, but it is very possible that Matt Kemp will be wearing a new uniform come July.

    The most likely player to be shipped is first baseman James Loney—who has been linked to trade rumors for a few years now.

    If Rafael Furcal can stay healthy and regain form, a team like the Milwaukee Brewers may come calling for his services.

1. New York Mets

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    The New York Mets are sitting at fourth place in a deep NL East division—already 7.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Their financial concerns are no secret, and they will most likely be looking to move a few pieces as soon as possible. 

    My gut says they will keep David Wright, but if someone makes them a strong offer it may be hard to refuse. Jose Reyes may be more likely to be shipped off—although it depends on whether Fred Wilpon & Co. decide they want to open the checkbook to keep Reyes around past 2011.

    The Mets' brass have made it clear that they are going to reduce payroll heading into 2012, but that does't necessarily mean they can't re-sign Reyes. However, his resurgence this season may bump up his asking price enough for Wilpon to take a pass.

    Carlos Beltran will probably be shipped to whoever is willing to take on the largest portion of his contract and Francisco Rodriguez may end up as the setup man or closer on a contender come early July.

    It also wouldn't be surprising to see Mike Pelfrey or R.A. Dickey moved. Pelfrey continues to disappoint and may benefit from a change of scenery, while Dickey is 36 years old and may be able to bring back some decent prospects in return.