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Thinking about Shortstops

The Diamondbacks have 35 year-old Cody Random playing at AAA, he's tearing the cover off the ball but he has a .311 major league OBP in his career.

The Braves have Brandon Hicks and Diory Hernandez behind Alex Gonzalez. Hicks looks to be nothing more than a career AAAA type guy, Hernandez has spent the better part of four seasons at AAA and hit .296/.338/.400 there. His Totalzone numbers at short look to be a bit below average in the minors. If I'm Melvin I have a scout looking at him at least.

The Orioles have J.J. Hardy, who has an expiring contract, and the Orioles have a team that isn't going to be contending this year. They didn't give up a whole lot to acquire him this offseason, and he's hitting .243/.329/.392, and nobody needs reminding how good he is on defense. If Hardy's feelings weren't hurt by being sent down to AAA to delay his service clock too badly (something the front office knows but I don't), I'd be calling the Orioles about 7 times per week to see what they're asking for. I'm sure some combination of a pitcher and a few outfielders could at least get the conversation started. I'd rather stay away from Gamel, but I'd be fine giving up anyone else not on the major league roster. And if they want Kotsay, heck, I'd be willing to part with him. In addition, the O's have 27 year-old Robert Andino, who hit .268/.366/.330 filling in for Hardy to start the year, and he looks to be a roughly average defender at short. Cesar Izturis is also on the O's roster, though I think he may also be hurt. Anyways, I hope there's a big poster with all the team names on a wall in Melvin's office, and there's a big red circle around the Orioles.

The Red Sox have Marco Scutaro. He's hitting .235/.316/.309 this year and he's making $5 million (with a 1.5 million buyout after the season), but his ZiPS rest-of-season projection is .270/.340/.377. He's roughly average on defense, possibly slightly below. He's backing up for the Red Sox because Jed Lowrie has established himself as the starter.

The Cubs have a Jonathon Mota at AAA. He's been a solid hitter there and he's only 23, so he's probably a prospect yet, and it's not like the Cubs are going to give him away anyways.

Behind Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox have a 22 year-old named Eduardo Escobar who has a .300 OBP at AAA. He probably has a pretty high asking price if he's a 22 year-old at AAA.

The Reds have Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria, and they weren't going to trade us any shortstops anyways.

The Indians have breakout shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera starting in the majors, and 2008 3rd round pick Cord Phelps at AAA. He's crushing the ball at AAA, with a .927 OPS in 197 plate appearances. Doesn't look like he's played shortstop before this year, though, so before I make an offer I'd check with a lot of scouts to see if he can play out there.

The Rockies have Tulowitzki, and Alfredo Amazega is the primary backup there. Chris Nelson, at AAA, looks to be a capable young hitter but also has some defensive questions, and he has been shifted around though he still plays short regularly.

The Tigers cupboard is bare behind Jhonny Peralta.

The Marlins have pretty much nothing behind Hanley Ramirez.

The Astros.... yikes. 

The Royals have some Alcides Escobar character. Their AAA shorstop, Irving Falu, has hit pretty well this year but looks like a AAAA guy.

The Angels have a bunch of shortstops behind Erick Aybar that are hitting well this year, but not many have much of a track record of success. They'd be worth a call to upgrade Josh Wilson as a backup, but none are really worthy of a starting spot. 

The Dodgers have Jamey Carrol and Rafael Furcal. Carrol played short and hit well, and now Furcal is back at shortstop and Carrol has been bounced around. Unless they want to keep a Carrol/ Aaron Miles middle infield, not much to see here.

The Brewers have Yuniesky Betancourt.

The Twins have Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert. Neither can really hit. They have that in common with their counterparts in the upper system.

The Mets have Jose Reyes, who is a free agent after the year and very likely won't be back. He's good, but he's probably going to get a big package in return, and it doesn't seem to be worth it to me at least. I'd much rather gun for Hardy, who should probably produce similarly overall for less prospects, and it's not like we're overflowing anymore.

The Yankees have Jeter of course, and Eduardo Nunez, and... yikes. They're going to have to find a free agent when they move Jeter off short.

The A's have Cliff Pennington, who's not hitting very well. I'm a bit surprised they haven't tried Eric Sogard, a 25 year-old who has a .373 OBP at AAA. Doesn't seem like they'd be dealing a shortstop when their shortstops are one of weakest spots on their team.

The Phillies have Kevin Frandsen at AAA, and in a much more exciting note, Brian Bocock! He can't defend, but he is Brian Bocock.

The Pirates... when Ronny Cedeno is your starting shortstop, it means bad news.

The Padres have Jason Bartlett. At AAA they have Everth Cabrera. In the majors in 2009, Cabrera hit .255/.342/.361, and he wasn't as good last year, when he was basically replacement level, which is why the Padres got Bartlett. He has a good defensive reputation but his UZR numbers in the majors at short were pretty bad.

The Giants have had more trouble at shortstop than the Brewers. Miguel Tejada has been awful. .242 OBP, yikes.

We already have half the Mariners old, bad shortstops anyways. Jack Wilson would be a target, but the Mariners are in contention and aren't going to give him away, and he's also somewhat expensive. Wilson's playing second for the Mariners because Brendan Ryan has taken over at short.

The Cardinals have Ryan Theriot, who somehow manages to not be terrible.

The Rays have Reid Brignac in the majors, who hasn't been great but probably will improve. Not too much for the Brewers to look at, they have some good prospects lower in the system but they'll all be expensive.

The Rangers have Luis Cruz, but I heard he's a racist. He's hitting .279/.317/.441 at AAA.

The Blue Jays have Yunel Escobar and not much else. Mike McCoy is interesting but doesn't look to be much more than a Josh Wilson type.

Finally we're at W. The Nationals have Ian Desmond, who has been bad but has promise, and little depth of consequence behind him.

*Holy crap this has got to be a record for the auto-tagger for players and teams mentioned in a post.