Five Trades that Should Happen this MLB Off Season

1. Trade: The Chicago Cubs trade starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to the New York Yankees for 1B/OF Nick Swisher and prospect starting pitcher Manny Banuelos.

Reason: After an outstanding second half, Zambrano's value has skyrocked. His stuff is as filthy as ever but his fiery personality could use a change of scenery. The Yankees need an a new top pitcher to replace the ineffective Javier Vazquez (and make up for the ineffective A.J. Burnett). Swisher is expendable (and would be a good guy to move to make space for a run at talented outfielder Carl Crawford) but would be a great stopgap at first base for the Cubs and Banuelos is a talented prospect who can help the Cubs' future more than that of his current big league club.

2. Trade: The Boston Red Sox trade most of their farm to the Diamondbacks for right fielder Justin Upton.

Reason: The Red Sox have a very, very deep farm system but only two of their players-Casey Kelly and Ryan Westmorland-should be off limits. The rest should be sent to Arizona for their All Star right fielder who would look great in Fenway Park and form the best 3-4 hitting tandem in the league once Adrian Gonzalez is signed next summer.

3. Trade: Texas Rangers trade several prospects to Kansas City for starting pitcher Zach Grienke.

Reason: The Rangers should trade for the talented Grienke this offseason no matter what: if they lose Lee to the Yankees then Grienke makes an even better replacement and, if they manage to retain Lee, the addition of Grienke would make the best 1-2 tandem in major league baseball. As for Kansas City, Grienke is unhappy with the losing culture and will leave before their top prospects make an impact so they have to move him and the Rangers' deep farm system has several players who could put them over the top a few years down the road.

Carlos Zambrano
Big Z Carlos Zambrano.
Thanks to terren in Virginia at for this photo.

4. Trade: Milwaukee Brewers trade Prince Fielder to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Hank Conger and several other prospects.

Reason: Fielder needs to DH and the Angels need a top notch middle of the order hitter to anchor their otherwise effective lineup for years. The Brewers will also get a chance to get some talent in return for a great player who is bound to leave and, unfortunately for them, only a good fit for about one third of all baseball clubs.

5. Trade: The Arizona Diamondbacks trade 1B/3B Mark Reynolds to the Angels for midlevel prospects.

Reason: Reynolds is only a fit for some lineups: he has both power and speed but strikes out far too much. The Diamondbacks need to unload him and the Angels have almost no other players with high strikeout rates so he would be a good fit in their lineup and provide much needed power if they can't land Fielder.

Hank Conger
Hank Conger.
Thanks to Les_Stockton at for this photo.

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