Here are five guys whose team would benefit from trading them sooner rather than later:
5. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
- Ichiro is one of the best hitters in the game, and has shown it by compiling a .330 career average in nine seasons. He has had over 200 hits in each of his nine seasons and has scored at least one hundred runs as well. However, teammates have complained about Ichiro and there have been published reports that teammates openly do not like him. Making him available could bring in a couple top prospects, as well as clear up payroll and a problem in the clubhouse. Waiting until you need to trade Ichiro would probably mean the return would not be as good as it would be this season.
4. Derrek Lee, Cubs
- Back in October, I wrote about how it was time to trade Derrek Lee. He doesn't have the range or the power that he once had. Lee has needed more time off in the past season and a half, an opportunity that Micah Hoffpauir is making the most of. Since the All-Star break last season (through today), Lee has hit .250 with 8 homeruns. From the 2007 All-Star game to the 2008 All-Star break, Lee hit .305 with 31 homeruns. We need to give Lee till the All-Star break to turn his season around, but now would be the time to start shopping him so if he does turn it around, more teams will be in on him.
3. David Ortiz, Red Sox
- Ortiz is set to be free agent after the 2010 season (12.5 club option for '11), but really doesn't have any trade value at this point. He is available exclusively to AL teams, mostly because his defense is among the worst. Ortiz is hitting just .224 with 0 homeruns and 14 RBI. He has a .338 OBP, but he isn't having much of an impact on the lineup as pitchers are starting to pitch to him. One possible option would be Adrian Beltre, who is making 12 million dollars this season. Because Ortiz has no buyout for his club option in '11, this trade is possible.
2. Garrett Atkins, Rockies
- While I'm sure the Rockies would rather unload Todd Helton, his contract has a full no-trade clause and he 52.3 million dollars left on his contract, plus a 4.6 million dollar buyout. Atkins is hitting just .210 with 3 homeruns in 27 games. He was shopped around to Cleveland and Anaheim last offseason, and could be moved for young prospects. Going after a young pitcher or two would definitely be beneficial for the Rockies future. Atkins would make for a nice corner infielder in Chicago.
1. Cliff Lee, Indians
- 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee got off to a terrible start, but has started to turn it around. While he is 1-5, he has a 3.45 ERA and had given up just seven earned runs in his last five starts, compared to eleven earned runs in his first two starts. The offense needs to come around for him, but he would make for a good midseason pickup. He could be a fall back to teams who miss out on Jake Peavy, is he is made available again.
Honorable mention: Jake Peavy, Hank Blalock.
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.