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Modest Proposals
JOE SHEEHAN
July 23, 2012
What deals will go down by the July 31 trade deadline? Good question. But here are five mutually beneficial swaps, involving players rumored to be on the block, that should happen
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July 23, 2012

Modest Proposals

What deals will go down by the July 31 trade deadline? Good question. But here are five mutually beneficial swaps, involving players rumored to be on the block, that should happen

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LHP COLE HAMELS

Philadelphia is buried in the NL East and must act accordingly. The team has made noise about re-signing Hamels, a free agent at the end of the season, but doing so would mean paying in the neighborhood of $70 million for three starting pitchers in 2013. It's time to start over, and dealing Hamels for a package centered on the 23-year-old Olt—a righthanded hitter with power and OBP skills—would put the talent-thin organization back on the right track. Even without the ability to claim compensation picks for Hamels if he signs elsewhere this winter, Texas has every reason to upgrade its rotation in an effort to win its first championship.

3B MIKE OLT, LHP CHAD BELL, CF JULIO BORBON

RF HUNTER PENCE

Pence isn't a free agent until after 2013, and at age 29 he's what amounts to a youth movement in Philly. Nevertheless, he—along with centerfielder Shane Victorino—should be moved. The surprising Pirates have outscored their opponents and are getting good work from the top of the rotation, where James McDonald and A.J. Burnett are striking out batters and providing innings. Pittsburgh also has an MVP candidate in breakout star Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen has carried the offense—the rest of the Pirates have a .284 OBP—and he needs help. Pence isn't having his best season (.278/.344/.477) but would still be a big upgrade over the disaster than has been Pittsburgh's rightfielders (.261/.299/.434 combined).

CF STARLING MARTE

RHP RYAN DEMPSTER

Dempster is having the best season of his career at the best time for Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who needs to fill the talent coffers of his new employer. Dempster, who has an MLB-leading 1.86 ERA, is a less-expensive option for teams unwilling to pay in talent for Hamels or Zack Greinke—he's a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. He's an excellent fit in Boston, which has used a patchwork of arms at the back of the rotation. Don't discount the relationship between these two front offices. Epstein took Owens, who's at Class A, as a supplemental first-round pick in 2011, Epstein's last year as Boston's G.M.

LHP HENRY OWENS

OF CARLOS QUENTIN

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