The trade deadline is fast approaching and thus far there has been very little activity on the trade market. That isn't due to a lack of options though as there are a number of quality players who seem quite likely to get moved between now and July 31st. The question isn't so much if those players will get dealt but when and where. Alas, the trade market is an imperfect market. Players don't always end up in the destination to which they are ideally suited. To that end, we have matched ten players, based on our list of the ten players most likely to get traded this month, with what would be their ideal trade landing spot:
Matt Garza, Cubs
Ideal landing spot = Indians: If the Indians have any hopes of overtaking the Tigers in the AL Central, they are going to need an impact arm. Garza is the best available and Cleveland already showed with their off-season moves that they are playing to win now, so the rental aspect of Garza shouldn't scare them off.
Bizarro world landing spot = Angels: Because no team loves gutting their already weak farm system to land a rental pitcher from the NL Central who won't help them reach the playoffs and then signs with someone else in the off-season more than the Angels.
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
Ideal landing spot = Tigers: I don't know if you have heard, but the Tigers kind of have a problem at the back end of their bullpen. However, Detroit has also shown some reticence to pay up for someone to close for them or even just step into a primary set-up role. As a low salary rental, K-Rod should be right in their price range.
Bizarro world landing spot = It doesn't matter: Just so long as whoever acquires him releases him before the end of the season so that he is forced to re-sign with the Brewers due to a lack of other options for the third time in 18 months.
Kendrys Morales, Mariners
Ideal landing spot = Pirates: The Pirates actually have a shot at the post-season for the first time in a long time, but that isn't going to happen if they don't inject some more pop into their lineup. While it was tempting to match them with Alex Rios, that seemed to rich for the Pirates' notoriously frugal blood. Morales would come at a much more palatable price and upgrade their current first base platoon of Gaby Sanchez and Garrett Jones.
Bizarro world landing spot = Philadelphia Phillies: In a misguided effort to make a post-season run, Ruben Amaro acquires Kendrys Morales to fill in for the injured Ryan Howard. When Howard returns in September, the team is forced to pick between two first basemen who really should be DHs and have only one good leg and struggle against left-handed pitching with the loser comically being moved to the outfield to replace Delmon Young (which actually might be a defensive upgrade).
Alex Rios, White Sox
Ideal landing spot = Reds: Rios is almost so perfect for the Reds that it is guaranteed not to happen. While not really a center fielder anymore, Rios could certainly fake it a lot better than Shin-Soo Choo has been. He'd also solve that pesky problem if the Reds batting Cozart in the two-hole as Rios could take over the spot, or bat behind Votto thus allowing Brandon Phillips to jump up second in the order. The only issue here is the money owed to Rios, but from a roster perspective, he is perfect.
Bizarro world landing spot = Blue Jays: Considering that it was only a few years ago that Toronto was elated to dump Rios and his contract on the White Sox for free, it would be sweet, sweet irony if the Jays coughed up legitimate prospects to reacquire him and the rest of his big, fat contract.
Steve Cishek, Marlins
Ideal landing spot = Cardinals: St. Louis has never been big on giving up prospect assets but hasn't been shy about trading for relief help. Cishek would be a nice pick up for them as he still has years of team control left and could come at a talent discount since Miami made it clear in the Nolasco deal that they are far more interested in acquiring cash.
Bizarro world landing spot = Marlins: Wait, the Marlins have an asset that they would refuse to trade? I don't believe it.
Chris Carter, Astros
Ideal landing spot = Rangers: Carter would make an ideal platoon candidate or even a full-fledged replacement for the struggling David Murphy in left and would also be a decent insurance policy if/when Nelson Cruz gets his Biogenesis suspension handed down.
Bizarro world landing spot = Athletics: Because what the A's really need is to reacquire Carter to add to their glut of 1B/OF/DH platoon options.
Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
Ideal landing spot = Rangers: The Texas rotation has been ravaged by injuries, so they need all the help they can get. They have long coveted Cliff Lee, but that doesn't look like it is going to happen. Gallardo would make for a solid consolation prize, especially since he is under team control through 2015, which is far more Texas' style than pursuing a rental like Matt Garza.
Bizarro world landing spot = Diamondbacks: With a treasure trove of young arms, the last thing that Arizona could possibly be thinking about doing is forking over some of that talent for a pitcher having a career-worst season. What? This might actually happen?
Kevin Gregg, Cubs
Ideal landing spot = Orioles: There is never anything ideal about acquiring Kevin Gregg, so this is a loose interpretation of the word. That being said, Baltimore would be a nice landing spot for Gregg as they are familiar with him and thus have no allusions as to what kind of pitcher he actually is. They need more right-handed depth in their bullpen, which is a good role for Gregg as opposed to any other team that might foolishly believe he should be working in high leverage situations.
Bizarro world landing spot = Dodgers: The Dodgers actually probably could use a little bullpen help, but nothing would be funnier than seeing the Dodgers trade for a guy that they released in spring training. Well, except for the inevitable $20 million contract extension that Ned Colletti would give him.
Michael Young, Phillies
Ideal landing spot = Yankees: An overrated hitter in his mid-thirties? How is he not a Yankee already? Young is a good fit for the Yankees in that they really just need any hitter with a pulse and the fact that he can play several positions would allow them to keep him in the lineup if/when their various injured players return from injury.
Bizarro world landing spot = Diamondbacks: Arizona doesn't need a third baseman, but so much grit, you guys. SO MUCH GRIT.
Glen Perkins, Twins
Ideal landing spot = Red Sox: Boston has been burnt several times over in trying to trade for a closer, but the third time is the charm, right? Bringing in Perkins to take over the closer role from Uehara would ease the organization's fear of Koji getting overworked and hopefully bring some stability to the role since Perkins is signed through 2015. It is a perfect fit from Minnesota's standpoint as well as they are said to be asking top dollar for Perkins and Boston clearly isn't shy about overpaying for saves.
Bizarro world landing spot = Red Sox: Seriously, Boston should stop overpaying for saves.