MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking the Top 50 Names to Watch for 2012 Deadline

Dmitriy Ioselevich@dioselevSenior Analyst IIIAugust 1, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking the Top 50 Names to Watch for 2012 Deadline

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    The 2011 MLB trade deadline was just as crazy and unpredictable as everyone thought it would be.

    Several star players have changed addresses, while some (i.e. Heath Bell) are wondering why they got left behind.

    However, as the few remaining contending teams focus on a playoff push, the rest of baseball is already thinking about next year and what the 2012 MLB trade deadline may look like.

    Here's a preview of the top 50 players that could be available on July 31, 2012.

     

    Dmitriy Ioselevich is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter for all your MLB news and updates.

Mark Teahan, 3B

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    The Blue Jays swallowed Teahan's contract, so they could acquire Colby Ramus, but a bounce back season could make the infielder/outfielder an attractive trade chip because he's only owed $5.5 million in 2012.

Ryan Spillborghs, OF

2 of 50

    There were a few teams after Colorado's Ryan Spillborghs, but the market was so stuffed with quality rightfielders that the Rockies decided to keep him (and not Ubaldo Jiminez).

    Next year could be a different story for Spillborghs, who is a great utility player signed to a reasonable contract.

Brandon Lyon, RP

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    Lyon, 31, has been next to useless this season, but when he's healthy, he's one of the better setup men in baseball and an average closer.

    He could help a lot of teams and is due only $5.5 million for 2012.

Joe Blanton, SP

4 of 50

    The Phillies have such a loaded pitching staff that they need to trade away a veteran starter just to field a 25-man roster.

    Joe Blanton is that veteran starter, and he's become expendable thanks to the rise of Vance Worley.

Jake Westbrook, SP

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    Westbrook, 33, has been a savior for the Cardinals in the wake of the season-ending injury to Adam Wainwright, but there are no illusions in St. Louis about him being anything other than a back-of-the-rotation starter.

    Players like Westbrook are always in high demand at the deadline, and the Cardinals could use his $8.5 million annual salary on another piece.

James Loney, 1B

6 of 50

    Loney took a big step backwards this season (.627 OPS) and no longer looks like a future franchise first baseman.

    The reeling Dodgers would happily move Loney and the approximately $5 million owed to him through arbitration in 2012.

Jack Cust, DH

7 of 50

    Power bats are always in high demand, so Cust could easily find himself in a new home this time next season.

    Although, the offensively challenged Mariners might be smart to keep him just so King Felix doesn't have to bat.

Mike Napoli, C

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    The Rangers have a logjam at catcher and could look to deal Napoli, who has a .978 OPS this season but is brutal defensively. Napoli, 29, will be arbitration eligible for the final time in 2012.

Sean Burnett, RP

9 of 50

    The Nationals stayed relatively quiet at the deadline, but they're still poised to make a major deal. Burnett, a 28-year-old left-hander could be a part of that deal if he starts pitching better.

Mark Lowe, RP

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    Lowe came over to the Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal and has been impressive, with a 3.86 ERA in 35 appearances.

    He has one year of arbitration eligibility left, although the Rangers may be tempted to try him as their closer and move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. 

Kyle Lohse, SP

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    Lohse, 32, has revived his career this season in St. Louis with a 3.33 ERA in 21 starts. However, the Cardinals will get Adam Wainwright back next season and may not need Lohse in the rotation any more. 

Jeremy Guthrie, SP

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    The Orioles opted to keep the veteran right-hander through the deadline, but barring a miracle, he won't be in Baltimore much longer.

    Guthrie, 32, has just one year of arbitration eligibility left, although the Orioles may decline and trade Guthrie this month instead.

Carl Pavano, SP

13 of 50

    Pavano's return to Minnesota didn't work out quite as expected as the Twins struggled to keep pace with the rest of the AL Central. If they struggle again in 2012, look for Pavano's name to pop in trade rumors.

Aaron Rowand, OF

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    The Giants seem to have a habit of stockpiling mediocre outfielders, and Rowand (.246/.294/.380) certainly qualifies. The hard part will be finding a team willing to take on the $12 million still owed to him for 2012.

David Aardsma, RP

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    Aardsma has missed all of the 2011 season, but assuming he comes back healthy in 2012, he should be one of the top relievers on the market.

    The 28-year-old righty recorded 69 saves with a 2.90 ERA in two seasons as the Mariners' closer.

Kevin Gregg, RP

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    Gregg may not have many friends in Boston, but around baseball, he's generally regarded as a pretty reliable pitcher and has already pitched for five different teams.

    Next season he may get a chance to pitch for his sixth as the Orioles aren't expected to contend and Gregg will be a free agent at the end of 2012.

Jorge De La Rosa, SP

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    The Rockies beat out several teams to sign Rosa to a two-year, $21.5 million deal. Unfortunately, the move hasn't paid off, and Colorado may want to dump salary by cutting ties with an underachieving left-hander.

Kevin Correia, SP

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    Correia, 30, has developed into a bit of an innings eater and could cross the 200 inning threshold for the first time in his career this season.

    However, the Pirates won't confuse the All-Star with a true staff ace and could look to deal Correia before he hits free agency in 2013.

Miguel Montero, C

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    The Diamondbacks have floated the idea of trading their catcher for quite some time, and they may finally have the opportunity to do so in 2012.

    Montero, 27, is having a career year, but he only has one season of arbitration eligibility left.

Brian Fuentes, RP

20 of 50

    Fuentes isn't exactly intimidating when it comes to closing out games, but he's left-handed and throws hard, so he'll have a job in MLB until he's 40.

    Where he'll be spending those years is a better question because Fuentes only has one year left in Oakland, unless the Athletics pick up his $6.5 million team option for 2013.

Delmon Young, OF

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    Young, 25, is having a horrific season for the Twins just a year after finishing 10th in MVP voting.

    The power has disappeared, and the Twins may want to cut the cord on a disappointing player who's under team control for just one more year.

Fausto Carmona, SP

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    Carmona is loaded with talent, but for one reason or another, he can never seem to put it all together.

    The Indians may finally decide to let Carmona be another team's problem by dealing the righty in his last year of salary arbitration. 

Randy Wolf, SP

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    Wolf, 34, has been solid for the Brewers in two seasons and has one year left on his deal with a $10 million team option for 2013.

    That's a heavy price to pay for a team about to lose Prince Fielder to free agency, so a trade is always possible. 

John Danks, SP

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    The White Sox received multiple calls about Danks, but they weren't inspired enough to pull the trigger on a deal.

    Next season they not be so kind to the veteran right-hander, who is set to become a free agent at the end of 2012.

Luke Scott, OF

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    The Orioles didn't get an attractive enough offer for Scott this season, but the outfielder should be back on the market for 2012.

    He has legitimate pop (career .843 OPS) and won't make more than $7 million to $8 million through arbitration next season.

Angel Pagan, OF

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    The Mets acquired a top prospect (Zach Wheeler) by trading Carlos Beltran, and they could look to do the same by dealing another outfielder.

    Pagan, 30, has a weak bat but is especially strong defensively and on the basepaths.

Brandon McCarthy, SP

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    McCarthy, 27, has already spent time with three organizations in his short major league career, and he may be on his way to his fourth soon.

    The A's have a plethora of young starters, and McCarthy, as the veteran, is the most movable.

Leo Nunez, RP

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    The Marlins had some offers on the table for Nunez, but they'll wait until 2012 to get the greatest possible return.

    The 27-year-old righty has 86 saves in three seasons as Florida's closer and has improved his control each season. Nunez has one year of arbitration left.

Brett Myers, SP

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    The Astros surprised most scouts by not dealing Myers, who is an expensive veteran due $11 million in 2012 with a $10 million vesting option for 2013.

    That's a lot money for the Astros to be paying someone with a 4.24 career ERA.

Derek Lowe, SP

30 of 50

    The Braves held on to the veteran of the staff despite a loaded starting rotation, but a promotion of Julio Teheran could push Lowe out.

    The 38-year-old sinker-baller has one year and $15 million left on his contract.

Melky Cabrera, OF

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    Cabrera, 26, is having a career year for the Royals with a .302/.337/.463 line and surprising power.

    He finally looks like the player everyone thought he would be, and the Royals aren't likely to be able to keep the impending free agent long term.

Huston Street, RP

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    Street, 27, has spent his entire major league career as a closer and racked up 177 saves. His SO/BB ratio is an insane 6.43 this season, but he only has one year left on his contract.

    If the Rockies don't bounce back in 2012, look for them to dangle Street for some prospects at the deadline.  

Gavin Floyd, SP

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    Floyd, 28, has three consecutive seasons of at least 30 starts, and he's on his way to his fourth.

    However, the White Sox have other options and may want to avoid the $9.5 million team option on Floyd for 2013.

Wandy Rodriguez, SP

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    Rodriguez, 32, was very nearly dealt before the deadline and may still be traded before the waiver deadline.

    However, if he stays around in Houston for the 2012 season, he'll likely find himself on the trading block again with $23 million owed to him through 2013 and a $13 million option for 2014 that becomes guaranteed if he's traded.

Jake Peavy, SP

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    Peavy, 30, is finally back on the mound again after repeated stints on the disabled list, but the results have been less than encouraging. The right-hander has just a 4.51 ERA in 31 starts for the White Sox and will be a free agent at the end of next season.

    The White Sox won't get anything approaching the package they gave up to get Peavy in the first place, but something is still better than nothing.

Ian Desmond, SS

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    The Nationals failed in their attempts to make Desmond the centerpiece of a deal for B.J. Upton or Denard Span, but they'll try again in the offseason and, if necessary, at next year's deadline too.

    The 25-year-old shortstop is still developing offensively, but he has plus speed and is signed until 2016.

Joakim Soria, RP

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    The Royals have been steadfast in their refusal to trade Soria, who has 152 career saves in five seasons as the Kansas City closer.

    However, Soria only has one season left before he hits free agency, and the Royals have Aaron Crow waiting in the wings.

Francisco Liriano, SP

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    The Twins are still hoping that Liriano can regain his 2006 form and become a dominant top-of-the-rotation starter.

    However, time is running out on the 27-year-old lefty, and the Twins could fetch a nice package for Liriano.

Travis Hafner, DH

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    Hafner has bounced back from consecutive injury-plagued and poor seasons and is now starting to look like an all-world masher again.

    The Indians may need Pronk for their playoff push in 2012, but if the season gets off to a rough start, Cleveland may use Hafner to acquire his eventual replacement.

Carlos Quentin, OF

40 of 50

    Quentin was one of the hottest names on the trade market, but he ultimately stayed in Chicago because of a shortage of quality offers.

    If the White Sox falter again next season, look for Quentin to be dealt quickly.

Denard Span, OF

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    The Twins nearly dealt Span to the Nationals at the deadline but backed off at the last minute.

    They'll pick up talks again next season as Ben Revere is ready to take over now, and Span won't be a free agent until 2015.

Carlos Lee, 1B

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    The Astros unloaded Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn this offseason, and they'll look to do the same in 2012 with Carlos Lee (if he isn't dealt in August).

    The 35-year-old outfielder/first baseman has one year and $18.5 million remaining on his contract and can still help a contender offensively.

Howie Kendrick, 2B

43 of 50

    The Angels have Kendrick's future replacement waiting in the minors (Jean Segura), and there's not enough room on the roster for both of them, especially with Kendrick approaching free agency in 2013.

    The 27-year-old second baseman was named to his first All-Star team this season and should fetch a handsome return via trade.

James Shields, SP

44 of 50

    The Rays probably made it seem like Shields was available this year just to gauge the level of interest in him.

    Apparently that interest is strong, and Shields, who is signed to a very reasonable contract, could be the most heavily targeted arm at next year's deadline. 

Anibal Sanchez, SP

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    The Marlins briefly entertained the idea of trading Sanchez before deciding to keep him for at least one more season.

    The right-hander has one of the better arms in the National League and could be a No. 2 starter for the right team.

Carlos Zambrano, SP

46 of 50

    Zambrano would have to approve any trade, but the Cubs would be thrilled to move him. The 30-year-old right-hander is due $18 million in 2012 with a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013.

    He's capable of pitching up to his contract, but it won't be in Chicago.

B.J. Upton, OF

47 of 50

    The Rays surprised a lot of teams by not dealing Upton at the deadline, but this is more of a matter of when and not if.

    The Rays have Desmond Jennings ready to go and the 26-year-old Upton will be soon be out of Tampa Bay's price range.

Andre Ethier, OF

48 of 50

    The last thing the Dodgers want to do is to deal a young, promising outfielder with plus power.

    However, Ethier only has one year of arbitration left, and the cash-strapped Dodgers can't afford to pay him upwards of $10 million to play for a losing team.

Ichiro Suzuki, OF

49 of 50

    The Mariners might bring back Randy Johnson before they deal Ichiro, but that won't stop teams from calling about the veteran right fielder.

    Ichiro will be in the final year of a five-year, $90 million contract, and he deserves a chance to play for a contender before retiring.

Matt Kemp, OF

50 of 50

    The bankrupt Dodgers resisted the pressure to deal their superstar, but if they can't lock up Kemp soon they'll have to deal him.

    The 26-year-old centerfielder was named to his first All-Star team this season and has a .979 OPS.