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MLB Trade Rumors: Five Players Teams Will Be Forced to Overpay For

Josh SadlockCorrespondent IIIJuly 21, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: Five Players Teams Will Be Forced to Overpay For

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    Every year at the trade deadline, a team gets desperate and pulls the trigger on a deal for a player they believe will put them over the top and into the playoffs.  The trade deadline is certainly a seller's market, as teams out of the race are able to drive up the price on their trade chips by capitalizing on a team's desperation to acquire that final puzzle piece to a World Series champion.  Not all the players on this list will be traded, but you can rest assured that if any of these players change addresses, their new team will have paid too much.

Leo Nunez

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    Due to the inflated value of the save, the Marlins will probably find a team willing to overpay for Nunez.  Nunez has not been particularly dominant in his closer's role.  He blew 15 saves between 2009 and 2010 and has never recorded an ERA below 3.00 for an entire season, which is high for a closer.  Nunez is an extreme fly ball pitcher with a ground ball to fly ball ratio for 2011 of 0.5.  This might not necessarily be a problem, but Nunez has been homer prone at times in his career.

    Teams must do their research on Nunez and cannot afford to overvalue his closing experience.  After all, someone has to pick up saves for a last place team from time to time.  The Marlins are experienced at getting what they want at the trade deadline, and would love nothing more than to have some contender give them a few decent prospects for their average closer.

Jeremy Guthrie

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    Guthrie, like Nunez, benefits from his status on a bad team.  Guthrie has been viewed as the "ace" of the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff for several years now.  Guthrie had a good season in 2007, which lead many in baseball to believe the one time top prospect was putting it all together.  Since that season, he has gone 35-56, including his 13 losses this season.  No matter how bad a pitcher's team may be, a true ace would not be 21 games under .500.

    The Orioles have held onto Guthrie through trade rumors in the past, so it seems as if they were not blown away by any offers, or believed Guthrie was close to becoming an ace.  Now, with it becoming painfully clear that Guthrie is not an ace, his value is probably peaking. 

    That value, however, is inflated.  Any team that trades for Guthrie will be forced to overpay for what is essentially a number four starter masquerading as an ace.

Ubaldo Jimenez

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    If Dan O'Dowd is to be believed, the Rockies are taking offers for Ubaldo Jimenez.  The Rockies are no longer a small market team the way the Rays and Marlins are.  They do not simply trade away young players who are approaching free agency.  O'Dowd is a shrewd executive, and he realizes how desperate the Yankees are for an ace to go with CC Sabathia.  O'Dowd reportedly asked for three of the Yankees best pitchers and their top hitting prospect Jesus Montero.

    The Rockies realize they do not really need to trade Jimenez, who, after struggling with injuries in April and May, has regained the form that helped him start 2010 15-1.  That is why they are willing to offer him, but only for a king's ransom.

Hunter Pence

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    The Astros are an awful team with a new ownership group coming in.  Pence is probably their only marketable player.  With the exception of Michael Bourn and Wandy Rodriguez, he is probably their only player that would start on a playoff team.  He is also under team control until after 2013.

    Simply put, the Astros' new owners need Hunter Pence to give fans some reason to feel any excitement about the team.  He is an exciting player who plays the game with flair, the type of young player fans feel good about paying to watch.  The Astros will listen to offers, but like the Rockies, it will take a huge offer because Astros ownership would benefit more by spending the next two years convincing Pence to sign a lengthy extension.

Carlos Beltran

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    See that face Carlos Beltran is making in the picture?  That's the face Phillies fans should be making if the Phillies comply with the Mets' request of Domonic Brown in a trade for Beltran.

    By asking for Domonic Brown, the Mets have shown the baseball world that Carlos Beltran will not be cheap.  The Mets have no reason to settle for less than a major prospect in a trade for Beltran, as they will likely be forced to fork over a portion of his salary. 

    The Mets will also be looking to redeem themselves with a Beltran trade, as their Francisco Rodriguez trade fooled no one.  It was a salary dump.

    Beltran is seen as a playoff performer—that glorious postseason run he had with the Astros is probably the only reason Beltran is making so much money—a fact that will serve to make him look more valuable than he actually is.

    What Beltran actually is is a player who was once a very good center fielder but never a $17-million-a-year center fielder.  Now, he is a defensive liability in right field and a 34-year-old shell of what he was in his 20s. 

    The frenzy surrounding Beltran as a trade target has been fueled by the media, and now fans across the major leagues want Beltran for their playoff run. 

    Hopefully they realize what they will have to give up for less than half a season.

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