Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Check out these 8 fun Trade Deadline proposals

MLB.com @castrovince

The problem with baseball's annual non-waiver Trade Deadline is that all these high-minded, analytically advanced executives care more about making reasonable, responsible, smart baseball trades than they do about crafting compelling storylines. They put what is best for their teams ahead of what is best for the narrative.

Crazy, I know.

The problem with baseball's annual non-waiver Trade Deadline is that all these high-minded, analytically advanced executives care more about making reasonable, responsible, smart baseball trades than they do about crafting compelling storylines. They put what is best for their teams ahead of what is best for the narrative.

Crazy, I know.

Fortunately, those of us outside the front offices are not bound by duty and due diligence. So here are eight swaps that would simply be fun, be it because they would reunite familiar faces or create an interesting plot point. The beauty of it is that all of these deals -- well, OK, most of them -- actually do make sense on the baseball front, too.

1. Cole Hamels to the Phillies
Hamels was an icon in Philadelphia, and his last start with the Phillies was his July 25, 2015, no-hitter at Wrigley Field. Perhaps there's danger in disrupting that idyllic image. Hamels, who has surrendered a Major League-high 20 homers this season, is not the pitcher he was in his heyday, obviously.

Video: TEX@LAD: Hamels strikes out 6 across 6 strong innings

Still, it would be nice to see Hamels in the red pinstripes again. The Phillies are one of nine teams that can acquire him without his consent, and they are one of the few clubs with the financial flexibility to absorb significant salary in-season (Hamels is making $23.5 million this year, $2.5 million of which is already being paid by the Phils anyway). Heck, you could include reliever Jake Diekman in the Hamels trade, just like he was included in '15.

2. Josh Donaldson to the Braves
Wouldn't it be something if Alex Anthopoulos acquired Donaldson … again? The first trade -- the November 2014 deal that sent Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie and Sean Nolin to Oakland when Anthopoulos was still GM of the Blue Jays -- was an unqualified success for Toronto. Donaldson was an instant American League MVP Award winner in 2015, and the Blue Jays won the AL East for the first time in 22 years.

Video: TOR@CLE: Donaldson rips an RBI double in return

It wouldn't take nearly as many bodies to land Donaldson for his last few months of free agency, and the Braves might be in a good position to pounce given their wealth of young talent, financial flexibility and eligibility for an upgrade at the hot corner. Trouble is, Donaldson's been banged up most of this year, so Anthopoulos might have to turn to other options. So for the record, we'd consider a guy named Anthopoulos dealing for a guy named (Mike) Moustakas to be effective at "Greece"-ing the trade wheels.

3. Adrian Beltre to the Red Sox
It has become common knowledge that the 39-year-old Beltre is a surefire Hall of Famer, one of the greatest to ever handle the hot corner and the owner of more than 3,000 hits, 450 homers, 1,600 RBIs, etc.

Video: TEX@MIN: Beltre clobbers a solo homer to left-center

But such a thought would have seemed unlikely after Beltre's five-year tenure in Seattle from 2005-09. His glove was impenetrable but his bat had sagged. The Red Sox signed Beltre to a one-year deal in 2010, largely on the might of his defensive reputation. Little did they know he'd begin a career renasissance with one of his best statistical seasons -- a .919 OPS, a career- and Major League-high 49 doubles and his first All-Star appearance.

That offseason, the Red Sox regrettably signed Carl Crawford to an extravagant deal and let Beltre walk to the Rangers, who now have the option of either retaining him as a legacy player these last few months of 2018 or putting him in a better position to win his first World Series. The Red Sox could provide that latter opportunity by moving Rafael Devers to first and/or giving J.D. Martinez more time in the outfield and letting the Cooperstown-bound Beltre bang more extra-base hits off of and over the Green Monster again.

4. Adam Jones to the Mariners
Seattle's February 2008 shipment of a five-player package featuring Jones, Chris Tillman and George Sherrill to Baltimore in exchange for two seasons of control of Erik Bedard is on the short list of worst trades of the last decade. The 5-for-1 netted the M's just 164 total innings from Bedard in '08 and '09, while Sherrill and Tillman became All-Stars for the O's and Jones became their franchise face. It's never too late to right a wrong!

Video: NYY@BAL: Jones opens scoring with a solo home run

At this stage of Jones' career, with shakier defensive metrics in center, he would be an imperfect fit for the Mariners, who might be due to upgrade in that spot if the slumping Guillermo Heredia doesn't turn it around offensively. But with a little financial wiggle room provided by Robinson Cano's suspension, Seattle could probably do this deal without surrendering much in the realm of prospects, assuming Jones wouldn't veto a trade back to his original team.

5. Manny Machado to the Indians
There are other, more realistic fits for Machado in this market. The Indians might be in the market for a third baseman, which would allow them to move Jose Ramirez to second and make Jason Kipnis either a bench or outfield option. But it appears doubtful the team would be willing to both absorb Machado's remaining salary ($8 million) and fork over controllable pitching for him.

Video: MIA@BAL: Machado flares 2-run single to right-center

But the reason this one is worth including in the fun bunch is it would align brothers-in-law Machado and Yonder Alonso on the infield corners in Cleveland. Machado is married to Alonso's younger sister Yainee, and the two are longtime friends who have even been known to share gloves.

An alternative for the Indians would be to trade for Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett, if only because we know Terry Francona loves scooters.

6. Bartolo Colon to the D-backs or Cubs
Really, a Big Sexy trade to any contender would be fun. But Chase Field and Wrigley Field are the only two active parks where the 45-year-old Colon has yet to notch a win. So let's try to take care of that before it's too late.

Video: TEX@MIN: Colon strikes out 5 over 7 strong innings

7. Jonathan Lucroy to the Brewers
The reputations of both Lucroy and the Brewers have evolved a lot in the past two years. In 2016, Lucroy was a hot trade commodity on a Milwaukee team mired in rebuild mode. The Brewers got outfield prospect Lewis Brinson (who was later used to acquire Christian Yelich) back for Lucroy in a deal with the Rangers, and we can look back at that trade as a pivotal piece of their rise in prominence in the National League Central.

Video: KC@OAK: Lucroy rips a two-run double to left field

Lucroy, meanwhile, struggled offensively with the Rangers in 2017 and was dealt for a modest return at last year's Deadline. And his subpar numbers with Oakland this season once again make him a much lower-profile trade target than he was in '16. Whether he'd be a legitimate offensive upgrade to current starter Manny Pina is an open question. But Lucroy raked with the Rox in the second half last season and could do it again in a place where he would obviously be quite comfortable.

8. Matt Harvey to the Yankees
There are people who will tell you that the only way for Harvey to revive his career, after the disastrous end to his tenure in Queens, is to be in a lower-profile market where, away from the limelight and away from the attention of gobs of reporters tracking his every move or misstep, he can continue to build off the mechanical tweaks he's made and the very small steps back toward respectability that he's taken in Cincinnati. They will tell you that the idea of Harvey returning to New York, joining a Yankees team that certainly could use a more stable and meaningful rotation upgrade and certainly doesn't need the distraction potentially presented by the so-called "Dark Knight," is a disastrous idea.

Video: CHC@CIN: Harvey fans 6 over 6 innings of 2-run ball

Well, those people just don't appreciate a good story. They're probably baseball executives.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Adrian Beltre, Bartolo Colon, Josh Donaldson, Cole Hamels, Matt Harvey, Adam Jones, Jonathan Lucroy, Manny Machado