Blog Entry

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 10:02 pm
By Matt Snyder

One of the big reasons preseason predictions are often blown to bits is the number of games played by certain players for certain teams. Major injuries, for example, but also because players end up being traded. Underachieving and overachieving teams end up becoming sellers and buyers, respectively, by the deadline.

There are going to be names already being thrown around in rumors and on fan message boards from the get-go. We'll give you five obvious names sure to appear in trade talks. Then, because it's so much more fun to throw stuff at the wall, we'll dig deeper and find 10 not-so-obvious names that could end up being traded or at least discussed. In those cases, certain things have to happen in order to clear the way for a deal, but those things can't be absolutely outlandish.

Remember, many players have no-trade clauses or are 10-and-5 guys, so every possible deal is contingent upon that. We're just making a list and enjoying it as a fun discussion point.

Let's get it on.


Michael Young, Rangers. No explanation needed, really.

Heath Bell, Padres. He wants to stay in San Diego and the Padres might want to try and keep him (without having to pay much long term, of course), but when the market for late-inning relievers gets strong in July and the Padres are well out of the race, he'll be one of the most mentioned names.

Felix Hernandez, Mariners. For now, the Mariners have sworn up and down he's never going anywhere. Even if the team is brutal again this season, it's reasonable to believe the Mariners will immediately hang up the phone any time someone like Brian Cashman says the name Felix. But if they start listening and someone is desperate enough to absolutely bowl them over, it very well might happen. He's in the obvious category because I'm sure people will not stop talking about the possibility. My initial feeling is he ends the season in Seattle, however.

Fausto Carmona, Indians. Remember CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee? Carmona is a big step down, but he's still a starting pitcher on the Indians who is not going to re-sign. He only has a club option left on his contract after 2011. When (not if) teams become desperate to add starting pitching in the race -- Yankees and Cardinals come to mind as candidates, but it could be anyone if unforeseen injuries or ineffectiveness pops up -- teams will come calling for Carmona. That is, of course, assuming he's been productive and the Indians are out of it. And you know the Indians will listen. My prediction is he's the most sure bet on here to be traded.

Grady Sizemore, Indians. Same as Carmona, except Sizemore has tons more upside and tons more downside -- due to injury woes. If he shows he's healthy and the Tribe don't inexplicably stay in the AL Central race, he's gone. Only a 2012 club option remains on his contract after this season.


Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers. He's a free agent at the end of the year and we know about the Dodgers' money woes. As long as they aren't in the midst of the race, some team is going to want to bolster its bullpen. This one is pretty feasible, actually.

Chris Carpenter, Cardinals. As with every player's present team on this list, the Cardinals would have to fall out of contention pretty early. If they did, Carpenter has already said he's not averse to a deal. Plus, he's a free agent after the season and there's some big-name soon-to-be free agent the Cards desperately want to keep.

Francisco Cordero, Reds. Only a '12 club option remains on his contract. What if Cordero loses his closing job to Aroldis Chapman early a la Frank Francisco yielding to Neftali Feliz last year? What if the Reds fall out of contention? Easy to see a chain of events here.

Prince Fielder, Brewers. Least likely candidate on here. The Brewers would have to fall really, really far out of the race. If that did happen, yet he was having a big season, another team might pay enough for him that the Brewers couldn't refuse, especially considering he's a free agent after the season and almost certainly leaving.

Travis Hafner, Indians. He's not obvious like Sizemore and Carmona because Pronk has that pesky $13 million due to him in 2012. Of course, let's give an example of someone that might pay: Say the Yankees are five games behind the Red Sox, Jorge Posada is hurt, Jesus Montero either gets traded for pitching or isn't hitting well in the minors and none of the other spare parts (like Eric Chavez) are working. On the flip-side, Pronk is raking. Would the Yankees make that move? I think they might. His pull power from the left-side would fit well in Yankee Stadium.

Aaron Hill, Blue Jays. The Jays are building a good foundation and a Hill deal would give them some flexibility both financially and defensively. They could move top prospect Brett Lawrie back to second base -- the only position he ever played professionally prior to this spring -- and then use Jose Bautista at third or keep him in the outfield, whatever worked best moving forward with the makeup of the roster. If Hill gets off to a hot start and the Jays don't, I like this move.

Francisco Liriano, Twins. He's here because it's already been rumored and the Twins have the option -- at least for now -- to move Kevin Slowey back into the rotation. As long as the Twins are in the thick of the AL Central, though, which should be all season, I don't see it happening.

Brandon Phillips, Reds. Not as far-fetched as you might think. OK, well, the Reds have to fall far out of the race in the NL Central (which seems incredibly unlikely), but if they do, Phillips is a big candidate to be shipped. He has a club option after the season and will be 30 by the deadline. Plus, his power has declined rather significantly since his breakout 2007 campaign.

Aramis Ramirez, Cubs. It's hard to see a scenario where the Cubs would pick up Ramirez's 2012 option, so this could easily be his last season in Chicago. If he stays healthy, hits like he can and the Cubs are not in the race by mid-July, he'll definitely be available.

Jose Reyes, Mets. A free agent at the end of the year, if Reyes proves he's healthy and produces numbers while the Mets fall behind in the NL East, he's certain to be dealt.

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Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 8:51 am

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

I love Ramirez but he is prone to injury and is going to be getting on the old side soon.  So if the Cubs arn't in the hunt (which they won't be) then why not get some good value for him to help build this new team?  They are a long, long way from being a true contender for a shot at a Ring and need to rebuild or reload.  Getting Garza is a start, but they still have no closer, and the bullpen is weak.  This combined with several high paid streak hitters equals another losing season.  Trade and build I say.

Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: April 1, 2011 8:59 pm

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

Felix is not even close to "obvious".  That is lazy and the other technical words would include combinations of '4-letter words' to describe.

He is under contract 5 years (includes 2011), he has the same trade value (prospects & ML ready) as he would in 2-3 more years.  There is no way he is traded in the next 2-3 years unless he publicly requests the trade.  That is the only possibility during this time.

Grienke had 2 years left on a contract and arguably not as valued/good as Felix.  That trade got KC 2 young starting position players (both potential All stars or at min 1), a RP beggining ML career and a top prospect starting pitcher. 

What would Felix command with 5 years?!  That's rhetorical, as no team would have the talent Seattle could and would demand at this time.  Seattle will get as much as they would now as they would be offered in 2-3 years.  They also need to keep people coming to games; this would seriously upset the fan base.

Also, I would argue that Seattle putting Pineda on the Opening Day roster tells you they are trying to win as soon as possible, so this does not become a distraction/talk 2-3 years from now.  Letting him take his time to fall into the #2-3 position by 2012-2013.  Seattle will probably struggle this year, but they obviously are hoping to be a tough team to beat beyond 2011.  

It has become annoying to keep hearing his name brought up as trade potential in 2011.  This will obviously get worse in 12' - 13'.

Since: Mar 21, 2011
Posted on: April 1, 2011 11:00 am

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

@WhiteBoy ... this isn't 2009.  They'll offer up Doumit and that's it.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: March 31, 2011 11:56 am

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

you forgot about every warm body the pirates can find.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:54 pm

Possible 2011 trade candidates, obvious and not

The Cubs can also work out an extension at a more reasonable salary after buying out his option. Watching him get hot and then trading him only creates another problem, unless the Cubs decide that fielding a third baseman is overrated. They have no one else to plug in there. Vitters is not ready. Vitters might never be ready. He's 22 going on 60. It seems like he's been a stud prospect and nothing more since 1981. DeWitt is terrible. Baker is better at first and is a bench guy, anyway. Castro is a defensive abyss at short, so why move him and let him start learning a new position? And when Ramirez hits like he can, he's their best offensive player by three miles. Trading him would just mean that the Cubs also decided to stop scoring runs.

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