MLB Trade Rumors: Hunter Pence and 5 Outfielders Likely to Be Dealt

Dan Renfro@danrenfroCorrespondent IIIJuly 29, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: Hunter Pence and 5 Outfielders Likely to Be Dealt

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    The MLB trade deadline is getting closer.

    As we near Sunday's deadline, many names will be discussed, and so far, a lot of outfielders have been mentioned in talks.

    Carlos Beltran and Kosuke Fukudome have already been dealt, and there are plenty of outfielders that will have similar fates.

    I have compiled a list of rumors that include five outfielders that have been linked to other clubs. While there is no guarantee that these players are dealt, I would not be surprised to see them wearing different jerseys by Monday.

Michael Bourn, Houston Astros

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    Although a lot of people have talked about Michael Bourn's teammate (Hunter Pence), we shouldn't forget about Bourn.

    He is a speedy outfielder who could bat leadoff for a lot of teams. According to ESPN's Jason Churchill, the Houston Astros are essentially having a fire sale. Churchill believes that Bourn "could be an attractive trade target for contending clubs looking for outfield help."

    There are not a lot of teams with outfield depth. Consequently, I wouldn't be surprised if the Astros receive a lot of calls in the next few days. Without a doubt, Bourn will be at the top of a lot of teams' lists.

Jeff Francoeur, Kansas City Royals

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    Jeff Francoeur is a solid veteran player.

    He is in his seventh season. He has played in both leagues. Plus, he has played deep into October. In my opinion, a lot of teams should be inquiring about this Kansas City Royals outfielder.

    According to Jon Morosi, of FOX Sports, the Boston Red Sox have had "exploratory talks" with the Royals about Francoeur. The Red Sox would like to add a little depth to their outfield. However, the Royals seem to have a pretty steep price for Francoeur.

    It will be interesting to see if any team is willing to make a serious move for Francoeur. I think he would be worth it. Nevertheless, a team would really need outfield help in order to make a serious move for him.

Ryan Ludwick, San Diego Padres

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    Ryan Ludwick has slowly turned himself into a legitimate RBI producer. Although the San Diego Padres have a putrid offense (they are near the bottom in nearly every single category), Ludwick has been able to put up 62 RBI.

    Although Ludwick accounts for over 18 percent of the Padres' RBI, he would be better suited on a contender. A lot of teams could use a little pop in their lineup, and I'm sure Ludwick would not be opposed to a switch.

    There haven't been any serious talks. But according to ESPN's Jim Bowden, Seattle, Cincinnati and Cleveland "keep getting mentioned."

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Reds made a move for Ludwick. They aren't out of the NL Central division race, and a little extra pop could help them out.

    Ludwick has been one of the few bright spots for the Padres' offense this year. Unfortunately for San Diego, I think they may be losing their only bright spot.

Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox

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    For awhile, it looked like Carlos Quentin was going to stay with the Chicago White Sox past the trade deadline.

    That isn't necessarily true anymore.

    According to Danny Knobler, of CBS Sports, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies are "very interested" in Quentin. Both teams could use some more power in their lineup. Plus, he is a reliable fielder.

    The White Sox do like Quentin. So, it will be interesting to see if they decide to deal him. The Braves and Phillies both would like to improve their teams before the stretch run.

    Now, we will just have to see if Quentin makes a move to either of their teams.

Hunter Pence, Houston Astros

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    Hunter Pence is the second Houston Astro on this list. However, he is definitely the most coveted.

    More than a handful of teams have inquired about Pence and rightfully so. The speedy Astro outfield can wreak havoc at the plate and on the basepaths.

    The Philadelphia Phillies seem to be the frontrunners, but they need to act quickly. According to FOX Sport's Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies and Astros need to reach a deal by Friday or, "the Astros will move on to other suitors."

    Considering the other suitors will include the Atlanta Braves, I think the Phillies need to make a move quickly or back out.

    Pence is regarded as one of the top available outfielders. FOX Sport's Jon Morosi tweeted that, "it is more likely than not that Hunter Pence will be dealt by Sunday."

    Pence is a great player, and there are many contenders that would love to have him. I think the Phillies will make a serious move for him, and they should have him on their roster before their night game on Saturday.