No one expected near .600 baseball out of this club thus far. That said, we're due some regression as the offense is near replacement level as a group. I thought I'd discuss some (of my own perceived) needs and look at one good trade partner -- the Chicago White Sox - a team reportedly listening on their assets.
#1 - RF/Alex Rios
(2013) and, as a bonus, he can hit both lefties and righties.
#2 - A Viable Sub Option for Both Alvarez and Walker Against LHP/Dayan Viciedo(?)
(Career against LHP) admittedly, this is a stretch as the Sox roster and some questionable defense pushed Viciedo to OF but I *did* read an article that Chicago was thinking of getting him some reps this year at 3B again. Is it possible to try him as a Utility IF?
#3 - A "We Don't Believe in Jordy" SS?/Alexei Ramirez
This is an *only if* scenario. No need to acquire Ramirez if the FO actually does see Mercer as an answer. Still, Alexei is a 2-3 WAR bet at SS for probably a few more years.
#4 - One More Lefty in the Pen/Matt Thornton
That's his line against LHB. Nice to have against the Reds. He's expensive but...
I'm not a prospect guru -- not exactly sure what'd we'd have to offer. I'd guess Thornton's value is low considering his salary and likelihood of being worth 1 WAR ROS, Ramirez 2ish, Viciedo's never put up a full WAR, and Rios is the really expensive piece at nearly 5 WAR last year and tracking to 4 in 2013. That's all just this year's considerations, too. Viciedo goes to ARB next year and he's 24, Rios is signed through next year with an option for 2015 at around $13M per, Ramirez is guaranteed about $27M more through 2015 with an option in 2016, Thornton's guaranteed $6.5M (with $1M buyout) and there's an option for next year.
So, this whole thing is a bit lazy and convoluted and comes from an amateur prospecteur but I'd be interested in the board's thoughts. Could Viciedo move back to the IF? Is Rios worth top prospects? Do we believe in Mercer this year and beyond? Could we use another lefty in the pen?