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Likely Trade Targets: 2006 Free Agents

Trade rumors continue to swirl about with less than a week to go until the deadline.  A wealth of names have already been discussed in recent posts here at The Roto Authority, including Adam Dunn, A.J. Burnett, and Alfonso Soriano.  But there are always a few deals no one saw coming, so let's dig into the bag of 2006 free agents to consider a few long shot trade candidates.  This article's list was used as a source.

Matt Morris will be looking for Kris Benson/Jon Lieber/Odalis Perez money this offseason, and the Cardinals may be slightly wary about paying it.  They should be, considering Morris's health woes of late.  The Cardinals should also be a bit wary about Morris's beard.

Morris

Anthony Reyes was been excellent for AAA Memphis this season, and shipping off Morris for a major power bat would be a smooth move by Walt Jocketty.  With the injuries the Cardinals are dealing with currently, dealing Morris to the Reds for Adam Dunn or to the D-Rays for Aubrey Huff is a viable option.

Jarrod Washburn will be expensive after this year, and he'll surely want a three-year package.  However, the Angels are actually in the market to acquire more starting pitching given the injury to Kelvim Escobar.  Escobar did play catch last week, but unless he makes a rapid return the Angels will have to retain Washburn.

Trevor Hoffman is certainly expendable given Scott Linebrink's dominance over the last two years.  But with the Padres struggling to stay in first place in a weak division, they may decide to ride out Hoffman's contract.  Plus, Linebrink has battled some health issues this year.

A move to the AL would make a lot of sense for Mike Piazza.  He could fit quite nicely into a DH role in Los Angeles or Oakland, for example.  As recently as 2004, Piazza managed to post a .362 OBP.  He could fit into the Moneyball mold and give the A's a nice push toward the playoffs.  Billy Beane could swindle Omar Minaya with any number of players, including Joe Kennedy or Juan Cruz.  Beane would likely be content to rent Piazza for the rest of the year as he's done in the past.      

Rafael Furcal isn't having the contract year he'd hoped for, but he is stealing more bags to help boost his value.  But Braves minor league shortstop Luis Hernandez isn't exactly knocking at the door of Turner Field, so Atlanta would need to acquire a replacement shortstop.

Johnny Damon is very popular in Boston, and we've seen Theo Epstein overpay to keep a solid fan favorite in Jason Varitek.  Still, he was able to let Nomar Garciaparra go without getting much in return.  Given Damon's excellent numbers this year and the strong need for centerfielders, Epstein may poke around a bit just in case there's a deal he can't refuse.  Hanley Ramirez could probably take over in center field, although the Boston press would have a field day with it.

Check out all the Roto Authority MLB Free Agents 2006 articles.  You'll find speculation and rumors concerning Rafael Furcal, Trevor Hoffman, Brian Giles, B.J. Ryan, and more.   


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