Ronny Cedeno gets little love in these pages. If you use Fangraphs' Wins above Replacement data over the last two years, Ronny shows up 17th among major league shortstops. Using these metrics Ronny is 7th in fielding and 63rd in hitting. From my perspective that makes replacing him a low priority, but given the limited opportunities to improve the 2012 Pirates it should be considered.
Who might represent an improvement and be available? The pool is pretty small.
Jose Reyes may be a free agent. He's a much better hitter than Cedeno, but a significantly worse fielder these days. That was news to me. He used to be a superb fielder, but has been subpar for the last three years.
Hanley Ramirez might be available. Over the last two years he's been below-average with the glove and average at bat. He actually ranks behind Cedeno in terms of Wins above Replacement, but might be a candidate to do more. In 2006-2010 he hit well above average, so he could be an expensive bounce-back gamble. The Marlins have been forced to play Emilio Bonifacio at short this year, and he's responded well. A below-average (but not dreadful) fielder, Bonifacio can really hit for a shortstop.
Steven Drew would involve really rolling the dice that he can recover, so the targets (if any) are likely to involve talented minor leaguers (which will take some serious talent in return). This list is not long either.
Hak-Ju Lee or Darwin Barney might be available from the Cubs. Jose Iglesias of the Red Sox seems unlikely to be available. And, it is hard to project that he will be significantly better than say Jordy Mercer after all the hype is done. What other options do you see? I must confess I'm a bigger Cedeno fan now than when I started this post.