As many as six contenders could use help at second base, though not all of them will look externally. Several may never enter buying mode. But here's a look at the contenders that could consider a second base upgrade:
- Indians: Rookie Cord Phelps has entered the mix with Orlando Cabrera at second base. Phelps was hitting .299/.391/.488 at Triple-A, so if he gets established the Indians already have their upgrade on O-Cab. If not, Jason Kipnis has been similarly productive in the minors.
- Tigers: They've been using Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn of late. I'm sure they'd like Raburn to run with the job and provide offense, but he's shown little to date. There's always the option of giving Will Rhymes another go.
- Cardinals: Nick Punto is on the disabled list, leaving Skip Schumaker as the main second baseman and Tyler Greene as another option. The Cards could consider acquiring a shortstop and moving Ryan Theriot to second base.
- Giants: Starter Freddy Sanchez has a shoulder injury, and the plan is for rest and rehab over the next six weeks. Mike Fontenot should come off the DL soon, and the Giants recently signed Bill Hall.
- Blue Jays: Aaron Hill is the starter, though he hasn't done much. At five games out in the wild card, the Jays still have a chance, so they could try to upgrade.
- Marlins: Their second base starter is Omar Infante, who's had a rough year but has at least been a little better in June. Even if they do turn things around I don't expect the Marlins to look for an outside upgrade at second.
So who's available? Jeff Baker, Adam Kennedy, Jeff Keppinger, Clint Barmes, Jamey Carroll, Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Aviles, and Mark Ellis are viable trade candidates. Ellis is currently on the DL, while Aviles is in the minors.