MLB

Five trades that have to happen

Roy Oswalt
Oswalt favors the Cards, and St. Louis needs him.
Share This Story

Dayn Perry

Dayn Perry is a frequent contributor to FOXSports.com. His second book, "Reggie Jackson: The Life and Thunderous Career of Baseball's Mr. October," is available from HarperCollins Publishers. Read more of his work at the NotGraphs blog.

MORE>>
   
 

The non-waiver trade deadline is around the bend, and that means it's time for contenders to entertain their wildest transactional fantasies.

But it's also time for realistic proposals, and that’s where we come in. What follows are five deals that need to happen before the bell tolls on July 31. They make sense for the non-contenders in question and their future interests, and they make sense for the contenders in question and their designs on the present.

Likely to happen? Perhaps not in all instances, but they’d make for an entertaining and productive deadline if they did come to pass.

1. Roy Oswalt to the Cardinals

There’s no disputing the excellence of Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia this season, but after that imposing front three the Cardinal rotation suffers a troubling drop-off. In fact, St. Louis starters not named Wainwright, Carpenter or Garcia have combined this season for a 5.09 ERA.

Take out Brad Penny’s numbers (it’s possible he won’t pitch again this season), and that figure rises to 5.82. The back end's giving up too many runs and failing to pitch deep into games, which, in turn, overtaxes what’s been a strong bullpen. Given the tight race in the NL Central and crowded wild-card fray, the Cardinals can’t just assume things will get better.

The injured Tigers could use a bat like Willingham's.

Al Behrman

As for Oswalt, he’s been one of baseball’s best starting pitchers over the last decade, and this season he boasts a 3.42 ERA and the 10th-most strikeouts in the NL. Oswalt would, of course, solidify the Cardinal rotation and, should they make the playoffs, give them one of the best postseason rotations anyone’s ever seen. Are the Cardinals willing to add payroll, and are the Astros willing to be realistic about how much they can get in return for their ace? That remains to be seen.

2. Josh Willingham to the Tigers

After the season-ending injury to Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers’ deadline priorities have shifted. Now, obviously, they could use outfield help.

That brings us to Willingham. The Nats’ outfielder this season is hitting .273 AVG/.401 OBP/.479 SLG, and he’s third in the league in walks. He brings offense to the table, he won’t require as much of a return package as Adam Dunn (the Tigers’ farm system isn't especially strong right now) and he doesn’t carry with him a burdensome contract.

Willingham does have some defensive limitations, but the Tigers can be creative in how they deploy him and Johnny Damon. Willingham, if need be, can man the DH spot, and Damon can return to the field on a regular basis. Either way, Willingham greatly helps the Tiger offense survive the loss of Ordonez.

3. Adam Dunn to the White Sox

If the Sox are going to cling to their tenuous lead in the AL Central, they’ll likely need more thump in the lineup. Thump in the lineup ... thy name is Adam Dunn.

Dunn's famous for his strikeouts, but far more important are his abilities to hit for power and reach base. In 2010, he's putting up his customary numbers: fourth-highest OPS in the National League and on pace for 38 homers and 44 doubles.

As for the White Sox, they have serious needs at DH, and Dunn, because of his defensive limitations, is ideally suited to that role and to Chicago’s need for left-handed sock. Additionally, he'd allow the Sox to mix and match outfielders and thus get Juan Pierre, who’s been awful this season, out of the lineup as often as possible.

Dan Uggla #6 of the Florida Marlins throws over the sliding Rusty Ryal #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete a double play during the second inni

The Mets could use Uggla's power. Christian Petersen

Dunn should also thrive in U.S. Cellular Field, which substantially increases home run rates. If the Sox added his power to the lineup, they’d be likely to hold on to their division lead.

4. Dan Uggla to the Mets

When surveying the Mets’ problems in 2010, you’re perhaps not likely to think of second base, but you should. In 2010, Met second basemen — meaning, mostly, Luis Castillo — have combined to “hit” .237 AVG/.309 OBP/.294 SLG. Those numbers are simply unacceptable.

As for Uggla, he’s once again hitting for power — power that’s doubly impressive by middle-infield standards. Once again, he'll wind up with something close to 30 homers on the season. He’d give the Mets a mammoth upgrade over the status quo.

Perhaps Florida would be hesitant to deal him within the division, but more often than not that’s a self-defeating stance. As well, the Marlins and Mets are quite close in the standings, but it’s the Mets who have the greater sense of urgency. That is, they’re both probably going to miss the postseason, but the Mets are much more “pot committed” to the 2010 season than the Marlins are.

Prince Fielder

Fielder could put the Rangers over the top.

Gene J. Puskar

Even a long shot, to the Mets, is a shot worth pursuing. Uggla shores up a glaring weak spot and gives them a puncher’s chance in the NL playoff race.

5. Prince Fielder to the Rangers

Would this be a bold move for a club that, despite financial uncertainty, has already gobbled up Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina? Sure, but it’s also a move that might make them the best team in baseball.

This season, the Rangers have received awful production from their first baseman, and current placeholder Chris Davis doesn’t figure to offer much improvement.

Fielder, of course, is available and boasts both devastating power from the left side and excellent on-base skills. Even after a flurry of trades, the Rangers, not far removed from having the best farm system in baseball, still have the minor-league pitching depth the Brewers need and covet.

Tagged: White Sox, Tigers, Brewers, Rangers, Astros, Nationals, Mets, Cardinals, Marlins, Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, Adam Wainwright, Prince Fielder, Dan Uggla

More Stories From Dayn Perry

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..