The MLB trade deadline looms large this week, with a number of legitimately big names potentially on the move as teams assess how close they are to competing for a World Series title. Of course, there's a big difference between what's going to happen and what we think should happen, so we asked ESPN.com's Bradford Doolittle and Dave Schoenfield to figure out the best possible trades for eight of the biggest names on the market.

 

The Chicago Cubs should trade Craig Kimbrel to the ...

Doolittle: The Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen has been a yawning chasm for a couple of years. Just over the past month, they've led the majors in blown saves, so it's not a problem that appears to be getting better. And yet the Phillies have gradually improved their playoff odds with each passing week, to the point that they are in a legit, three-team race with the Mets and Braves. Giving Joe Girardi the luxury of penciling in Kimbrel to protect ninth-inning leads would at least give the manager the chance to focus on bridging the matchups between the starters and Kimbrel. As good as Kimbrel is, as a short reliever on an expiring contract, his trade value should be somewhat limited. Yet teams will be after him, so the Phillies might have to overextend in terms of prospect quantity. Given the past decade or so of Phillies baseball, it's the least they can do for their fans.

Schoenfield: The Houston Astros were No. 3 in this week's Power Rankings, with an argument to be No. 1, but adding Kimbrel to the back of the bullpen might make them the team to beat in October. Their lineup is as good as anybody's -- even without Alex Bregman for more than a month -- and their rotation goes seven deep with quality starters. Rookie Luis Garcia, by the way, has been crushing it, with a 2.49 ERA since the middle of May. Closer Ryan Pressly has been dominant (1.35 ERA, one home run allowed), but good luck beating the Astros in the late innings if you slide Pressly into the setup role with Kimbrel as closer. The Astros ranked just 28th on Kiley McDaniel's preseason farm system rankings, but they do have some power arms the Cubs could roll the dice on (although don't expect Houston to trade Hunter Brown).

 

The Cubs should trade Kris Bryant to the ...

Schoenfield: This has to be the New York Mets, right? They need a hitter, they could use Bryant's versatility at third base or in the outfield and they have an owner who should be aggressive enough to take on Bryant's remaining salary and give the Cubs a prospect in return. The Cubs know they can get a compensation pick for Bryant in next year's draft if he leaves as a free agent, so they're not going to give him away. The Mets and Steve Cohen have incentive to get something done, with the Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals all closing in.