We outlined our American League trade candidates here; let's head over to the National League.
The Mets and Pirates strike me as two teams unlikely to contend in 2011. The Nationals, Astros, Diamondbacks, and Padres all made win-now type moves this offseason, but at least a few of these teams will be below .500 on July 31st.
- Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Francisco Rodriguez could be big-name trade chips for the Mets if they're healthy and playing well in July. Sandy Alderson could at least listen on Mike Pelfrey and Angel Pagan to see if someone will overpay. Additionally, most of the Mets' free agent signings profile as potential trade bait – Chris Capuano, Chris Young, D.J. Carrasco, Ronny Paulino, and Scott Hairston.
- The Pirates figure to be open to offers on many of their veterans – Paul Maholm, Ryan Doumit, and Lyle Overbay for example. I can also envision Neal Huntington trying to extract a significant return for Joel Hanrahan. Kevin Correia and Matt Diaz, signed to two-year deals, might stay put.
- Like the Orioles, I think the Nationals might strive for a .500 season and hold on to their veterans if they're close. If not, Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez, Jerry Hairston Jr., Rick Ankiel, Todd Coffey, Livan Hernandez, and Nyjer Morgan could be available.
- The Astros' actions, such as extending Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez and bringing in Clint Barmes and Bill Hall, are not those of a rebuilding club. They might find Jeff Keppinger expendable, but I'm not counting on them listening on Myers, Rodriguez, or Hunter Pence.
- Likewise the Diamondbacks aren't in rebuilding mode, so they'd have to be playing pretty badly to start shopping Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew, and Justin Upton. Less-critical veterans could be on the move.
- If things go wrong for the Padres I do see them moving parts, such as Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick, Aaron Harang, Brad Hawpe, Chad Qualls, and Jorge Cantu.
- Clubs with strong depth include the Braves and Reds at starting pitcher and the Nationals at catcher. Again, it's tough to identify an ace starter who could hit the trade block. I don't see Chris Carpenter on the move unless things are really, really bad for St. Louis.