MLB Trades That Must Happen Soon

Dan MaloneyContributor IJune 5, 2009

DENVER - MAY 31:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the San Diego Padres takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action at Coors Field on May 31, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Padres defeated the Rockies 5-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Year in and year out, many fans wonder how long they have with their star players, and others can't wait for their teams to trade a bundle of prospects for a high-caliber player. 

The July 31 trade deadline is still far enough away, but, as we know, trades can happen anytime, and with the beauty of no salary cap, things can get wild.

These four transactions must occur before the big three-one:

      1.  1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Rangers for C Taylor Teagarden, P Derek Holland, and two pitching prospects to the Padres.  It is unlikely that Gonzalez, the hottest power hitter in baseball will re-sign with the Padres, and this solidifies a huge need in Texas' lineup.  San Diego will have to scrap for talent in a tough economy, however.

      2.  P Erik Bedard to the Red Sox for P Daniel Bard, IF Nick Green, and four minor league prospects to the Mariners.  In an extremely close division, the Sox need to up the ante as far as premier talent on the pitching staff.  Seattle GM Jack Zdurienczik gets a future ace in Bard, and utility ability in Green, and the minor leaguers ensure Bedard is worth the deal.

      3.  2B Dan Uggla to the Mets for LF Daniel Murphy, and three minor league prospects to the Marlins.  New York's lineup is chock-full of sluggers, but a team can never have enough power bats.  Luis Castillo can be saved as a utility/hybrid, but his presence at the plate dosen't intimidate most shadows.  Daniel Murphy started the season strong, and has a bright future, but the meat of this package will be in the minor league pitching prospects the Marlins choose.

      4.  P Chien Ming Wang and DH Hideki Matsui to the Rangers for Nelson Cruz, and four minor leaguers.  This trade is un-Yankeelike, but makes sense to others.  A formerly ace-like, struggling pitcher, who is still young and maybe not quite 100 percent and an off-on aging slugger, to a team in contention is perfectly sound.  Especially, if they fetch surprising star outfielder Nelson Cruz, and some young components for their minor league roster, in return.

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      5.  1B Todd Helton to the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez and three minor leaguers to the Rockies.  If the pitching-heavy Giants are serious about winning, then they need to improve a mostly patchwork squad.  It will come at a hefty salary, but once on the field, Helton will prove his worth.  Sanchez provides an instant starter for a rotation in need of help, like the Rockies'.  Also, with three minor league choices, they will get much younger for the future. 

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