So I was thinking after the defensive debacle last night that if we want to actually win some games this year, we need to change the defensive complexion of this team. I'm not just referring to the errors; watching weak groundball after weak groundball slip through the infield for hits made me cringe. The first thing would probably have to be Pedro to first, Walker to third (and maybe in the future, Walker to RF where his speed and strong arm would play well), D'Arnaud to second, and put Ciriaco in at SS. However if Ciriaco is as huge an offensive downgrade as people say, it would be hard to stomach two big downgrades at 2b and SS.
So my next thought was Alcides Escobar. Not a great bat, but not a downgrade from Ronny, young enough to get better, and reportedly with a very good glove at SS. Kansas City might be willing to part with him for less than a huge sum, since he's not a stud player and they have Christian Colon coming up fast. My first thought was a trade of Cedeno (bridge the gap to Colon) and Justin Wilson for Escobar. Royals get an arm that's almost ready with upside plus a short term starter, Pirates get a long term starter at SS. I don't know if that would be enough to pay, or maybe even too much, what do we think?
Looking ahead a bit, now you have a coming lineup of:
1B Alvarez (has tools to be v. good defensive 1B)
RF Jones/Diaz/Walker/Lambo/Gorkys/S. Marte/Presley
In the short term, decent offense and strong defense, in the long term very strong defense and possibly strong offense. In both the short and long term, we'll see a big boost in pitching performance just from much improved defense, especially from guys like Morton and Maholm (and I think Owens) who are generating lots of groundballs.