MLB Trade Speculation: Carlos Beltran and the Five Best Oufielders Available

Matt CoanCorrespondent IIJuly 26, 2011

MLB Trade Speculation: Carlos Beltran and the Five Best Oufielders Available

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    Most of the buyers of this season's MLB trading deadline are looking to upgrade their lineups and their outfields.

    A contending team that makes a bold trade to bring in a high quality outfielder to add to their lineup can turn themselves into one of the better teams in baseball and get themselves into World Series contention.

    This list will cover the five best outfielders that seem to have been made available for trade and how big an impact they could make on their new teams.

B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays

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    B.J Upton is approaching the end of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, which means he is in for a major pay day soon.

    That major pay day will be too large for the Rays to bring him back which means it is highly likely he will be dealt before the end of this season.

    Upton is a quality outfielder with a very nice combination of speed and power that any team chasing a playoff spot could use.

    The Rays have a wealth of young outfield talent that is ready to play in the majors which is only more of a reason to move Upton.

    It is speculated that the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies have interest in Upton and whoever lands him will be getting a player that will help them have a successful second half and possibly a deep playoff run.

    If the Braves want to compete with the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League they are going to have to make a move for a bat and trading for Upton could be that move. 

Colby Rasmus, St. Louis Cardinals

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    The St. Louis Cardinals are going to be buyers at the trade deadline but that doesn't mean they won't move Colby Rasmus to improve their team.

    The Cardinals need some pitching help and would be willing to part ways with the young center fielder if the right deal came along.

    Rasmus is only 24 years old and his best days are still ahead of him.

    He covers a lot of ground in the outfield and while he has struggled this season he still has a lot of potential and could become a very good player someday.

    The Cardinals aren't just going to give away the young prospect and it would take a major deal to land him which is why it is only speculated a few teams are interested.

    I would not be at all surprised if Colby Rasmus stayed with St. Louis past this season but it is still a possibility that he gets dealt.

Michael Bourn, Houston Astros

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    Michael Bourn is a perfect fit on a team like the Atlanta Braves or Colorado Rockies, two teams in need of a lead off man, and those teams should step up and deal for him.

    Bourn is a legitimate base stealing threat and a great lead off man which is a great thing to have in MLB.

    If the Braves acquired Bourn before the deadline it could shift the balance in the N.L. East and in the entire league.

    The Houston Astros are completely out of the race and while they could have plans for Bourn as part of their rebuilding project, trading him could bring in some young talent they could use even more.

    As a baseball fan, I hope Bourn is traded and lands on a team in the playoff race so we can see the type of impact player he is.

Carlos Beltran, New York Mets

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    We have heard rumors and speculation about potential Carlos Beltran trades for the last two weeks and every day we inch closer to him being dealt.

    There is a huge market for Beltran and almost all teams who are in World Series contention need to improve their offense before the deadline.

    Beltran has stated he wants to play in the outfield and not be a designated hitter so it is highly likely that he will be traded to an N.L. team.

    The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies are two of the teams most likely to land Beltran and whichever does will win that division.

    The Braves must do everything they can to get Beltran even if it is just so the Phillies don't land him.

    If the Phillies added Beltran we could almost say the National League is decided and simply cancel the playoffs.

    Any N.L. team in contention should be trying to land Beltran just to keep him from Philadelphia.

Hunter Pence, Houston Astros

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    Hunter Pence is currently the "franchise player" for the Houston Astros but that doesn't mean they won't trade him.

    If the right deal came along it would be in the Astros best interest to move Pence and prepare for a hopefully brighter future.

    Pence is going to cost a lot but any team who lands him could become an instant favorite to win it all, especially if the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies or Boston Red Sox got him.

    Pence is the type of player who could change the entire landscape of the league if he was moved and since I always enjoy blockbuster trades, I hope he is traded.