The trade deadline for MLB is approaching fast and since every Cardinals fan prior to the season was clamoring about Albert Pujols not being with the team after this season, I decided to check and see what the trade market would be for the future Hall of Fame member.
But instead of looking at every team and seeing what 20 or so prospects they would need to give up in order to land Pujols, I made it easy. Let’s make it a player-for-player deal. The one guy for another and no “player to be named later” added in to confuse the crap out of everybody.
With trading only player for Pujols, the guy in return has to be special … and the right age. For example, I find it pointless to trade Pujols, a 31-year-old slugger, for Ryan Howard, who is slightly older and does nothing different.
Following is in no certain order:
C.C. Sabathia – The big lefty may be over 30 now, but it doesn’t seem to matter. He reminds me of Randy Johnson a lot in the way they wing the ball, which seemingly puts less pressure on the arm/shoulder. Trading for him is a guaranteed 200-plus innings and from 7-10 complete games per year.
Adrian Gonzalez — He’s pretty much the same player as Pujols, which is tough to say about anybody, just from the other side of the plate. He adds a very solid glove to his resume, too.
Justin Verlander — No other pitcher right now can compete with his stuff. The only question is if the righty can keep it going. On pace this year to reach 200 innings pitched again, it will be five straight seasons Verlander has done so. For a guy who reaches 100 mph throughout a nine-inning game, he would be a nice piece to have atop your rotation.
Miguel Cabrera — The only question deals with his off-the-field troubles. Besides that, his production since entering the league has been the closest to Pujols. Plus, only 28 years old.
Joe Mauer – This may be the only guy that compares to Pujols with his marketing ability. In a “smaller” market, the hardworking, good guy always comes out on top. Oh, and he’s a solid hitter as well and seems to be ready to play first base.
Roy Halladay – It was a tough decision between Doc and his teammate, Cliff Lee. The reason I went with Halladay was because you know exactly what you’ll get — a healthy winner. Lee wins, but it’s tough stating he will constantly be in good shape to take the mound every fifth day. Plus, Doc has shown he is pretty solid in the postseason (i.e. — no-hitter).
Jose Reyes — Grabbing a shortstop-playing table setter who is a mere 28 years old is very tough to pass on. I understand it seems I am jumping on the bandwagon simply because he is having an awesome year in the final season of his contract, but all one needs to do is look at his season averages from 2005-08: .287, 195 hits, 32 2B, 16 3B, 14 HR, and 64 SB.
Joey Votto — The biggest unknown of the group. Three years ago I would have laughed for days putting him on this list. The 2010 NL MVP has improved every year as the pressure to lead a team and produce has increased, too.
Tim Lincecum — Very similar to Mauer, The Freak easily markets himself when he’s on your side. On this list he is the one guy it would take me a while to pull the trigger on. I like Lincecum and do feel he is one of baseball’s best, but he just doesn’t have a 100-mph heater like Verlander. He doesn’t have the repertoire like Sabathia or Halladay. But he does have two Cy Young Awards and knows how to collect strike outs.
Close, but no cigar: Cliff Lee, Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Jared Weaver, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Mark Teixeira, Felix Hernandez, and Evan Longoria.
At one time maybe: Grady Sizemore, Carl Crawford, Jon Lester, Justin Morneau, David Wright, Chase Utley, and Josh Hamilton.
Posted under Sports
This post was written by jhouchins on July 28, 2011