Five NL trades that must happen

Justin Upton to the Pirates, Cole Hamels to the Dodgers and other deals

Updated: July 17, 2012, 12:04 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | Baseball Think Factory
Justin Upton, Cole Hamels and Carlos Quentin,Getty ImagesUpton, Hamels and Quentin need to move this month, and here's how they can.

Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is a scant two weeks away, so it's rapidly becoming time for teams to start making some final decisions on the near-future comings and goings.

Baseball's general managers continue to brazenly refuse to space the big trades out conveniently for us pundits, instead cramming all the moves into a one- or two-day period. So now's a good time for a little fantasy role play -- for baseball, of course, so put away your 20-sided dice and your NC-17 warnings.

Below are five trades that teams should strongly consider. I'm not reporting rumors here, but rather some win-win trades with an attempt to be fair to both sides. In this case, we're focusing on scenarios in which the NL club is the "buyer" and making a move to win this year. On Wednesday, we'll look at AL buyers.


Trade No. 1: Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton to Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Starling Marte, pitcher Luis Heredia and shortstop Alen Hanson.