We’ve already covered whether your favorite team will be buying or selling at this year’s trade deadline, but we wanted to take it one step further and get creative with it. Everyone clamors for the blockbuster deal that will either free up cap room for a blossoming young team, or finally gives your team the bat in the middle of the order that it has always lacked. Whatever the motivation, here are the trades that we’d most like to see at the 2011 MLB trade deadline.
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Jose Reyes to the Milwaukee Brewers
Let’s face it, the Mets aren’t making the playoffs this year and Jose Reyes is in the final year of his contract. Even if the Mets think that he is going to be a vital piece to their success in future years, they might not have the budget to pay him. This is a classic example of “Sell High” because there are few players in the league putting up the kind of numbers that Reyes did in June (.385 BA and 1.023 OPS). The Brewers are a team that just spent a good chunk of change on Ryan Braun, but need someone who can get on base regularly and do something on the bags. I’m not saying that this will make monetary sense, but if the Brewers want to make a push to win the NL Central and have a solid team for years to come, they should seriously consider Reyes (provided the Mets are willing to trade).
Rafael Furcal to the Atlanta Braves
The Dodgers are likely done with Furcal, as his productivity and health have been declining the past couple seasons. He still has a lot of talent, provided he can stay healthy, he just needs to go to a team that needs a shortstop. The Dodgers are already looking to the future (and it looks bright) with Dee Gordon at shortstop, which means that a trade of Furcal could be imminent. The Braves are a team that Furcal called home for many years at the beginning of his career, and what do you know, they are in the market for a shortstop. The Braves are within striking distance of the NL East and also a wildcard spot. A move to get a shortstop might be just what they need to kickstart the second half of the season. This is a 2011 MLB trade deadline deal that I would love to see.
Tim Stauffer to the St. Louis Cardinals
Stauffer is a bright star on a staff that gets almost no run support. On the flip side, the Cardinals have the worst pitching statistics of any division leader, which we wouldn’t expect to hold up as the season wears on. Long story short, the Cardinals need pitching and San Diego might be willing to part with Stauffer. Stauffer isn’t the big, valuable name on the SD staff just yet, and the Cardinals have enough money and minor league talent to acquire him. This could be considered an unconventional move by some, but the Padres are going nowhere (good pitching or not) with the offense they have so it might be time to make some moves as the 2011 trade deadline draws near.
Ichiro to the New York Yankees
For all of their brilliant offensive statistics, the Yankees are surprisingly not that great at getting on base (10th in the league in BA). Furthermore, whether you like him or not, Nick Swisher isn’t exactly an All-Star right fielder for the Yankees. Ichiro is literally wasting away in a market that doesn’t care much for baseball and the Yankees are always looking for a huge move that will put some distance between them and the Sox. Money is no issue when dealing with the Yankees and acquiring Ichiro would be a pretty significant upgrade. Ichiro started off slow, but has really picked it up in the last 30 days or so, making him that much more attractive to potential buyers at this year’s MLB trade deadline. Of all the scenarios laid out, this one probably has the best shot, but mostly because it involves a big name and the Yankees.
Nobody knows what the 2011 MLB trade deadline will have in store for us, but I do know that there are a lot of tight races and a lot of talent on teams that are going nowhere. That is usually a recipe for an active deadline and just the shot in the arm that some fans might need as the season drags on.