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MLB Trade Rumors: Early Thoughts On Deadline Deals

With the MLB trade deadline just over a month away, many GMs are working their Blackberries and travelling to minor league games to figure out who is available in the trade market, and who they can trade, depending on the GM's decision to be a buyer or a seller.

There are a few teams right now who are either desperate for a hitter or a pitcher to fill their needs leading up to the trade deadline. Let's talk about a few of those teams:

Mets-Omar Minaya was quoted in an interview on XM Radio's Baseball station-XM 175- saying that he doesn't know when OFer Carlos Beltran will return from the DL. Best case scenario will be after his 15 day DL stint is up. Add Beltran to the Mets M*A*S*H unit of Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, John Maine, Oliver Perez and JJ Putz. Minaya, in my opinion, needs to get a bat with Beltran out at least 15 days, and more than likely longer. Shortstop Jose Reyes is out until at least the All-Star break, and I heard he could be out for the year. First baseman Carlos Delgado is supposed to return in late July or early August. I think that is his best case scenario.

So who do the Mets trade for? I think they go after the big name, to keep the fans coming to the new ballpark, and his name is Matt Holliday. What will it take to get Holliday? In two words, a bundle. But, I think Omar Minaya is caught in a corner, and has to pull a major deal, so he will have to give up one of his top prospects Fernando Martinez, MR Bobby Parnell or pitcher Jon Niese, especially when dealing with A's GM Billy Beane.

Brewers-GM Doug Melvin is desperate for a starting pitcher after losing CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency in the offseason, Manny Parra to the minors after getting tuned up almost every time he stepped on the bump, and now Dave Bush to the DL. The Brewers have a few more decent prospects they could dangle in SS Elcides Escobar, 3Bman Mat Gamel, and C Angel Salome, but Melvin has been quoted as saying he won't be dealing either Escobar or Gamel.

That tells me one of two things. One, he is posturing as he has made an offer for a starting pitcher and doesn't want to give up his cheapest prospects. This happens alot in roto baseball. Or, he really doesn't want to deal the two prospects, as he would prefer to deal an established hitter like OFer Corey Hart or SS JJ Hardy. Unfortunately for Melvin, both have underperformed this year. I think he deals one or both to make room for Escobar at SS and Gamel in RF, and deals for a starting pitcher such as Brad Penny.

Phillies-GM Ruben Amaro is looking for both a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher, and he has an multitude of prospects to deal depending on who he gets in return. The list of prospects is long and starts with AAA OFer Michael Taylor, A OFer Dominic Brown, AAA SS Jason Donald, AAA C Lou Marson, and pitchers Carlos Carrasco, Alberto Bastardo, Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ and Jason Knapp. I think he could get both by dealing with one team-the Diamondbacks. I think he could deal a Happ and Knapp for starting pitcher Doug Davis and relief pitcher Chad Qualls. Qualls, if healthy, could provide a quality backup to closer Brad Lidge, especially after the way setup man Ryan Madson performed in the closer role last weekend, while Davis is a veteran lefty who has pitched very well this year.