Some owners like to make the blockbuster trade. Others are content with moving prospects for seasoned veterans, whereas owners of teams that are out of the hunt look to acquire soon-to-be MLB players.
It’s impossible to predict who will land where. Because quite frankly, who predicted Cliff Lee to re-join the Phillies?
So to help clear up the clouded picture, I put together a list of a few players that have seen their names come up in trade talks and the team that is most likely to make a move for them:
OF Hunter Pence, Houston
The Pirates, surprisingly, are in the midst of a battle for first place in the NL Central. Their pitching has been effective, but their offense has been average, at best. Like the Phillies, the Pirates have dealt with many injuries to key players on the depth chart. Because of this, the Pirates have been unable to establish a dependent lineup.
With that said, they need a bat. It’s as simple as that. Hardball Talk has recently reported that the Pirates have been scouting Pence and have already been in talks with the Astros. If the Pirates land him, it would make them serious contenders down the stretch.
Dark Horse: Philadelphia Phillies (you never know what Pat Gillick will do to help the Phils)
RP Heath Bell, San Diego
We’ve all heard how the Phillies are the front-runner for Bell. But I feel like those rumors are slowly dying down. The Phils don’ need him; he would only be a rental player and he could wind up costing too much.
Instead, the Phils are looking at other San Diego relievers: Chad Qualls and Mike Adams. Now those names aren’t as appealing as Bell’s, but they would come at a lower cost and are under contract for another season, which is why I think the Phillies will land one of them.
But for now, the Phillies are the front-runners for Bell, and until another team emerges, I guess I’ll believe the rumors.
Dark Horse: Minnesota Twins (they are in dire need of a closer and are in the midst of a pennant race)
OF Carlos Beltran, New York
There are a number of teams after the All-Star centerfielder, including the Phillies. But I believe that the best fit for him and the most likely team to make a strong push for him is the San Francisco Giants.
Their offense is sub-par, but their pitching staff is one of the best in the league. They need to produce more runs, and to do so, they need to acquire a big bat. Beltran can hit for average and power, making him the perfect fit for a Giants team that is looking to repeat as champions.
Dark Horse: Detroit Tigers (if Tigers deal Brennan Boesch, an OF spot would open up for Beltran)
OF’s Melky Cabrera/ Jeff Francouer, Kansas City
Their names have been linked this summer. One of them will go; Cabrera is considered to be the most likely to be traded. He’s having a career-year and would definitely provide a bat to the bottom of the order for whichever team acquires him.
As it stands now, the Phillies, Giants, and Tigers have been speculated as the three teams interested in adding an outfielder. Between the three, I say the Phillies are the more likely team to make a move for the switch-hitting Cabrera.
Dark Horse: Los Angeles Angels
Other players that could be dealt with the team of most interest in parenthesis:
IF Wilson Betemit, Kansas City (Brewers)
3B Aramis Ramirez, Chicago (Tigers/Yankees)
IF Jeff Keppinger, Houston (Pirates)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado (Yankees)
RP Andrew Bailey, Oakland (Rangers)
SP Aaron Harang, Cincinatti (Tigers)
OF Michael Bourn, Houston (Nationals)
RP Leo Nunez, Florida (Twins)