As we all know, there are holes on this team offensively, while the strengths are usually pitching and defense. So the idea would be to replace a guy with someone of equal defensive ability while improving offense. We could use help at C,1B, SS, 3B, and RF Since so many teams are technically still in contention, let's first start with a list of teams that are considered to be out. While these teams are still in a position of strength as 73% of teams may still be considering making an acquisition.
Florida Marlins Prime Target: Omar Infante, SS. Infante played great at short for the Braves last year. He's middling a bit this year for the fish and would be a slight improvement over Cedeno offensively. Also of interest: John Buck, C Buck is better than McKenry, Torreaga and Brown. I wouldn't overpay for him though.
Houston Astros Prime Target: Hunter Pence, RF. Pence is a luxury the Lastros(I'm originally from Houston, and that's what they were know as when their outfield had Eric Anthony, Gerald Young and other scrubs you've never heard of) can ill afford. He is their only big trade chip, and Ed Wade is their GM. IMHO, this will take 2 minor leaguers and 2 major league ready guys(when Ed Wade was GM of the Phillies it took Vincente Padilla, Travis Lee, Nelson Figueroa and Omar Daal). So for the low low price of say, Diaz, Josh Harrison, Brad Lincoln and Diego Moreno, we may be able to snag Pence. Also of interest: no one, they are really really really bad.
Chicago Cubs Prime Target: Aramis Ramirez. Would A-ram waive his no trade clause to come back to the Burgh? let's assume yes. No clue what the Cubs would want, or what the market is for A-ram. I don't know if he is a good fit for this team as my last memories of him in a bucco (other than home runs) was him making errors and jogging to first at a rate that made Paulino look like Carl Lewis. Also of interest: Koyie Hill, C. Hill can catch and like Buck, he is better than what we have
Los Angeles Dodgers Prime Target: James Loney. Loney is a more athletic version of Overbay. He has shown the ability to hit for a high average in the past, and he likely can be acquired for cash and marginal talent. Also of interest: Matt Kemp. I doubt that he is on the market. But depending on what occurs with the Dodger being taken over, we may be able to acquire him for below market value. When you get a chance to acquire someone who can potentially a top 5 RF for below market value (even if it's still high), you do it. The defensive range that would be showcased of an OF with Tabata, Cutch and Kemp from Left to Right would be absurd.
San Diego Padres Prime Target: Jason Bartlett, SS. It seems like the Pirates have been trying to acquire either him or JJ Hardy for a long time. Well here's their chance. Also of interest: Ryan Ludwick, RF. Ludwick can rake, and plays an ok RF. He'd be a good rental.
Baltimore Orioles Prime Target: Nick Markakis. Markakis is hot currently, but he is currently overpaid as .298 hitters with limited pop do not deserve 10 mill+ (see Kendall, Jason). He won't be had cheaply if the bucs don't want to pay that salary, but is worthy of consideration. Baltimore has Chris Jakubauskas in their rotation, so it is possible that Pressley and Maholm would make sense from a need/$s perspective. Also of interest: Derrek Lee, 1B. Lee is a one year guy, who could obtain you type A or B compensation. Assuming you give up equal or less value than that, he may be worth picking up.
Minnesota Twins Prime Target: Delmon Young. A quick glance at the Twinkees top 10 prospects shows that they are loaded at outfield in the minors. He won't come cheap, but he could potentially be had depending on what they decide to do. Also of interest: Michael Cuddyer, 1B. Cuddyer is a solid hitting vet. He is also collecting a big paycheck and like Lee would return type A/B compensation potentially upon leaving. worth getting if on the cheap.
Kansas City Royals Prime Target: I don't really like the Royals as trading partners. I fail to identify a singl person who can jump in and help us. What I do see however is that they may be interested in officially acquiring the rights to Nate Adcock given that his ERA is above .500 and they are pitching him once every other week. What exactly is that worth to them? Maybe his rights and someone could get us a rental of Wilson Betemit or Alex Gordon or that Kila K fellow or hell even Frenchy. Since Adcock is getting mashed and they supposedly have the best farm system in baseball, we should be able to eiter re-acquire him or get a player that is about to lose their job to a top prospect.
Chicago White Sox Prime Target: I can't really come up with one that fits. Teahan sucks, Pierre wouldn't fit and Dunn can't field anywhere. Oh well.
Oakland Athletics Prime Target: David DeJesus, RF. DeJesus has been a bust in Oakland, and is on a one year deal. He is left handed, has range and hit over 300 2 out of the previous 3 seasons. He, unlike Willingham and Crisp would actually potentially bring back more compensation from type A/B because of that. He could likely be had for an .OBP machine and a MLB level replacement (Diaz and Evan Chambers). If that's the price, it's a deal worth making. Also of interest: Willingham, LF/RF. Willingham can hit for power. Unfortunately there are more teams interested in him and he looks like a guy someone will overpay for.
Toronto Blue Jays Prime Targets: Kyle Drabek, SP, and Travis Snider, RF. The Jays need a reliever and a starter in the bigs. We may actually have enough of that. They don't actually have someone who fits that is currently on their 25 man, but on the 40, they have Travis Snider, and Kyle Drabek. It would likely cost too much to acquire both of these two, but I would love to see us buy low on either. If we could somehow get Snider for a minor league catcher and then get him to swing in front of a mirror...
Los Angeles Angels Prime Target: Russell Branyan 1B/3B/bad OF/DH. If the price is right, he'd be an ok addition given how his bat could play in PNC. I wouldn't give much for him though. Also of interest: everyone else looks pretty old at our need positions.
Washington Nationals Prime Target: Pudge. He's past his prime, and supposedly overpriced as far as return value. If they change their mind, he'd be good in the clubhouse and would be a sligth improvement on McKenry et, all. also of interest: Matt Stairs, DH/PH. I would love to see Stairs hang out in Indy and get the call for DH duties. I wouldn't trade much of anything for him.
Wrapping it all up.
I'd like to see us get Pence, Kemp, Markakis or Young, and either Bartlett, Cuddyer, Infante, Lee or Loney. Then wrap it up with signing Bengie Molina. I think we could do it without raiding the system, and we could also clear up the rule five issues. I believe the resulting lineup after such a trade:
3B Wood/Harrison (until Pedro comes back unless u trade one of em)
Would that be worth giving up Locke, Wilson, Pribanic, Lambo, Hague, Chambers, and maybe Gorkys for? I think so, considering what we may lose for nothing, with a compensatory pick coming back for a Lee or a cuddyer, Inante or Bartlett. Thoughts?