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6 Moves That Should Happen Before The Baseball Trade Deadline

Since we’re at the halfway point of the 2012 baseball season with this week’s All-Star Game, there’s going to be a lot of trade talk and rumors.

While the rumors and discussions will certainly heat up as the trade deadline approaches, the reality is that there probably won’t be as many trades as we would like, or that should be made. This is mainly due to the addition of a second wild card spot and the fact that this off-season will have a rather large and interesting free-agency class.

Regardless, trade talk and speculation is fun. So, here are 6 baseball moves that should happen before the 2012 trade deadline.

6. The Cubs Deal Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster

Chicago isn’t having the best of seasons, as usual. However, all is not lost for the Cubbies, at least not for the future. They have a pair of pitchers in Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster that have garnered a lot of interest from many teams that could result in some prospects.

While Garza and Dempster may not be the most elite of pitchers on the market, they’re still quality players that could help a number of teams. Clubs like Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta and the Yankees are just some of the teams that could use some assistance in the pitching department. Garza and Dempster could definitely help any of those teams to secure a playoff spot while giving the Cubs some players or draft picks to help them rebuild.

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5. Justin Upton Gets Traded to the Blue Jays

Despite Justin Upton not having the season that he did last year, he’s still a young (24 years old) and exciting player that many teams would love to have. Also, he’s in the middle of a six-year contract and is willingly to be dealt by Arizona. A perfect trade scenario.

While getting traded to Pittsburgh would be a great move for the Pirates and Upton, it most likely won’t happen. Unfortunately, the Bucs don’t have a lot to offer the D-Backs, who are looking for a third baseman, shortstop or a pitcher. Toronto, does have have the pieces to make a trade for Upton happen. And, it would be cool to see Justin play against his brother B.J., at least for the time being.

Expect the Blue Jays to be major players before the deadline to strengthen their squad and make the AL East one tough division.

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4. Carlos Quentin Lands in Pittsburgh

If the Pirates can’t get their hands on Justin Upton then they should go after the Padres slugging left-fielder Carlos Quentin. Quentin is a San Diego native, but has struggled at Petco Park, for example, he’s hit just .196/.288/.348 in 14 home games compared to .318/.477/.636 in 19 games on the road. Besides wasting his talent in San Diego, the struggling team could use the prospects or draft picks from the trade. Enter Pittsburgh.

The Pirates have had an amazing season thus far, they’re even currently first in the NL Central, so the extra bat could certainly help the young team maintain their momentum. If the Pirates fail to secure Quentin, he could end up in nearby Ohio, with both the Indians and Reds expressing interest him, but we prefer seeing him hit homers into the Allegheny River.

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3. Detroit Stretches for Jose Altuve

When the Tigers signed Prince Fielder during the off-season they instantly became favorites to win not only the AL Central, but the entire American League. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out exactly as Detroit had hoped. They’re currently third in their division and are 3.5 games back from the division leading White Sox. So, how can they turn things around during the second half?

Well, pitching is one area, but we’re going to focus on defense, specifically second-base. The team desperately needs help in the infield and the Astros’ Jose Altuve would help rectify that problem. The All-Star is hitting .302 with a .344 on-base percentage, five homers, 27 RBIs and 15 steals and is solid in the infield as well, which could both help Detroit. The only problem is that Houston will probably not want to trade a key piece of their young team, especially with their move to the AL next season.

Still, Detroit should try and do everything possible to make this trade happen. If this trade can’t materialize then the Tigers should make a move for the Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley and do some roster adjusting.

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2. The Phillies Keep Cole Hamels and Trade Shane Victorino

Philly is in a pickle. Their an aging team that has dealt away many of their prospects over the years. Still, they sell out games and make money, so they could keep buying players. But it’s going to be tough to rebuild this club. Which is why there’s a win-it-now-mentally. So, on paper it seems to make sense to trade an upcoming free agent in Cole Hamels for prospects.

The problem is that the Phils have to look towards the future at some point. And, with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee getting up there in age, there’s no doubt that Cole Hamels is going to be the ace pitcher in Philly. It’s understandable to want to trade Hamels, since the team is having a dismal season, but it’s still early enough, and the team is finally getting all their starters back. Ehile difficult, they could turn things around. Besides, Philly is asking too much for Hamels and not too many teams, like Texas, will be willing to part with four or five prospects for a player whose contract expires at the end of the season. Philly just needs to make this deal happen and make sure Hamels retires as a Phillie.

Now, if a trade is going to happen in Philly then it’s for Shane Victorino. While they may not get a lot for the center fielder, he could bring some prospects or draft picks from interested teams that include the Pirates, Indians, Dodgers and Tigers.

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1. Baltimore Trades for Zack Greinke

It’s never actually been confirmed that Zack Greinke is on the trading block, but he is one of the most talked about possibilities. It’s been rumored that many teams, like the Yankees, Rangers and Braves, have expressed interest in the Brewer ace, especially Atlanta. But, we like him getting traded to Baltimore.

The O’s have had an exciting and surprising 2012 season and if they could add another quality pitcher to their rotation they would become a serious contender. Plus, Baltimore is a smaller market, which Greinke prefers because of anxiety issues. If the O’s could make a move for Greinke that doesn’t involve getting rid of prospects Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy, then it’s a must.

Sure. Greinke’s contract is done after this season, he could at least help get Baltimore to the postseason season and hopefully sign a new contract with them next year. As well as, getting something in return for Milwaukee who probably won’t resign Greinke anyway.

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