Before a hamstring injury shortened his 2012 season, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was putting up MVP-caliber numbers.

The 27-year-old finished among the National League’s top 10 batters in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS this year. Had he not been limited to 132 games, perhaps Gonzalez’s home run and RBI numbers would have ranked him among the top in the league as well. 

Gonzalez is the type of player a roster can be built around. He’s the sort of young superstar a rebuilding team like the Rockies should covet, knowing that he could be a cornerstone talent for years to come. 

But should a team far from contention think about trading a budding star like Gonzalez in hopes of getting a load of developing prospects in return? That’s how ESPN’s Jim Bowden sees it. 

In his latest column for, Bowden lists five moves that could be made by playoff contenders. One of them is the Rockies trading Gonzalez to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal and outfielder Jon Jay. 

That would be a curious move for the Cardinals, leaving them without a true center fielder. Gonzalez has played 200 games at that position, however, so maybe the added offense he would bring to the lineup would compensate for defensive shortcomings. 

But there are plenty of other MLB teams with whom Gonzalez might be a better fit. Here are five clubs that should check in with the Rockies to see if their left fielder is available. 

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