Do you think it’s a bit trite to even begin talking about trade possibilities when we haven’t even begun the 2011 fantasy baseball season yet? Well smack some sense into yourself if you do, because a fantasy baseball season never ends.
Fantasy baseball never sleeps, and there is no actual structure to providing you—the fans—fantasy baseball news. If it’s information, it needs to be reported NOW, not in the eleventh hour right?
The more you know, the more you’re ahead of your competition.
There are a handful of teams that will probably not come close to postseason play this year, which means they will have some wonderful flexibility at the Mid-season mark to wheel and deal (not to say some of the teams mentioned here WON’T contend, of course).
Let’s take a look at some mid-season trade possibilities for the National League.
Ryan Ludwick, OF, San Diego Padres:
The Padres could find themselves wheeling and dealing if they notice they are falling out of contention by the break, and one of those players could be Ryan Ludwick if he doesn’t pick up the pace in 2011.
He was a disappointment in 2010, but to be honest, I don’t exactly know what people were expecting from him…PETCO Park is a terrible place for power hitters.
This makes news of a possible trade interesting because if he finds a more favorable home, he suddenly becomes a cream puff waiver wire grab, so keep a close eye on him this year.
Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets:
Reyes will not return to New York, and has lost some of his elite status, but the fact remains he is still a quality threat on the base paths and for average.
A new change in scenery will rejuvenate a career that some people believe is declining, which will prove to be hogwash.
Reyes is still good for a .280 average, .800 OPS, 10-15 homeruns, and 40 to 45 stolen bases in any given year…when healthy, that is.
Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia Phillies:
Ibanez is probably less likely to be dealt unless something goes horribly wrong for the Philadelphia Phillies this year, but then again, stranger things have happened.
Assuming that John Mayberry Jr. (a guy I pegged to eventually start for Philadelphia LAST YEAR) continues to impress, and Domonic Brown returns in good fashion, there is little reason to keep Ibanez around.
Ibanez may be at the end of his career, and will likely find a DH gig somewhere in the murky depths of the AL.
Chris Davis, 1B, Texas Rangers:
He just wants to play somewhere and has requested to be traded if he does not make the Rangers’ roster by opening day:
"I just want to be in the big leagues, whether it’s here or somewhere else," Davis said. "In all fairness, I’ve done everything the Rangers have asked me to do. I’ve been a good sport about it. I’ve had a smile on my face and a good attitude about it. When it comes down to it, the fair thing to do is to give me a shot either here or somewhere else."-ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth
Well, he certainly isn’t going to make the final roster, and his job could be in serious jeopardy consideration the little need for first baseman right now.
The only conceivable way Davis retains any value at all, is in a DH role at the moment.
Omar Infante, 2B, Florida Marlins:
Infante is basically in a make or break year for the Marlins and has some pretty big shoes to fill with Dan Uggla going to Atlanta.
That being said, the Braves could wind up entertaining a trade with another team to secure a more consistent bat at second—like Boston perhaps—considering Edwin Encarnacion is the only other second baseman right now.
Infante has talent, but is nothing more than bench material right now in most fantasy baseball leagues.
Marco Scutaro, SS/2B, Boston Red Sox:
Regardless of whether or not the Boston Red Sox will be in contention this year, there is a slight chance they could deal Marco Scutaro, if Jed Lowrie really continues to push him now, and in the regular season.
It really all depends on what the organization will want to do for the long-term, not the interim. The Red Sox have a knack for managing such questions in-season, and my guess is Scutaro is a golden option for them to create some nice deals.
Scutaro has enjoyed pretty good success in Boston hitting .275 with 11 taters in 2010, and could be a nice pickup for a team in need of a quality upgrade at second base…ya know like Florida perhaps.
Michael Young, 3B, Texas Rangers:
With a new financial officer in town the Rangers have now said they are willing to gobble up half (24 million dollars over three years) of what Young is owed if the right deal comes along between now and mid-season.
That right deal, of course, would be a collection of top prospects from any team dumb enough to eat 24 million, AND, give away their top crops from the farm.
Well, the Royals have done worse deals in their history. Perhaps they’re likely candidates?
Depending on where Young goes, however, he could still retain some value so keep an eye on this situation.
Jon Rauch, RP, Toronto Blue Jays:
The Blue Jays wisely kept their relievers last year, and now have some bargaining leverage come time the break. This is good news for a team that is in need of a SS and a quality left fielder.
Jon Rauch is a near elite reliever who could be used to entice teams who share similar needs with the Blue Jays in regard to available players….Jose Reyes, I’m looking your way.
Rauch racked up 21 saves with a 3.12 ERA last year, and if traded, his value could rise depending on who scoops him up.
A.J. Pierzynski, C, Chicago White Sox:
Let’s face it, the Chicago White Sox have got to be fed up with waiting for Pierzynski to come into his own. And with highly touted prospect Tyler Flowers lurking in the background, the White Sox are more than likely to try and deal him away when the time comes.
Pierzynski is a good backfill in any given fantasy baseball draft, but not an elite player by any means.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, San Francisco Giants:
Big Panda is a solid mention to pay close attention to, considering all the news that has surrounded him since 2010. He has shed a ton of weight just to prevent the brass from sending him to the minors, and is arbitration eligible for 2012.
What does that mean?
The Giants can opt to not negotiate with Sandoval, deferring to trade by mid-season if he doesn’t improve upon a dismal 2010 campaign.
With rookie Brandon Belt (1B) eventually coming up, the team has plenty of consideration to think about, like trading for another third baseman, moving Belt to the other corner for the interim, or even a little from Column A and Column B.
If Sandoval tanks, the San Francisco Giants are likely to try dealing him.
Pablo Sandoval is still a nice fantasy option, however, so keep an eye on his development….he could even be dealt within the division.