Another entry in our Trade Market series: shortstops. We covered free agents here. As always, it's one of baseball's scarcest positions.
- J.J. Hardy, Brewers. GM Doug Melvin admitted to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that it would be "very difficult" to keep both Hardy and Alcides Escobar on the roster. Due to an August demotion, Hardy is under team control for two more years (he earned $4.65MM in '09). He was very valuable in 2007-08, and the 27-year-old is easily the prize among all available shortstops (considering both trade targets and free agents). Despite Hardy's off year, expect Melvin to demand a quality starting pitcher in return.
- Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks. Drew popped up in one Tweet/rumor a month ago, but beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic heard a trade is very unlikely.
- Cristian Guzman, Nationals. Guzman had shoulder surgery this month, and the Nats intend to shift him to second base in 2010. Given the $8MM remaining on an extension Jim Bowden engineered, you have to think GM Mike Rizzo would listen to offers. UZR/150 says Guzman hasn't been a positive defensively since '04, but he hasn't been bad either.
- Maicer Izturis, Angels. There is no indication Izturis is available, but the Halos might be able to spare him or Brandon Wood given the emergence of Erick Aybar. Izturis could start at shortstop for several clubs. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2010 season.
- Brandon Wood, Angels. With 236 career plate appearances and 574 innings in the field, Wood is obviously less proven than Izturis. 2009 marked his third Triple A stint. Wood, 25 in March, remains an interesting trade target. The Angels, however, may be less inclined to let Izturis or Wood go if they fail to re-sign Chone Figgins.
- Reid Brignac, Rays. Brignac hasn't excelled offensively in the high minors, but Baseball America likes the 23-year-old's defense. Regarding his availability, MLB.com's Bill Chastain suggested in September that Brignac could have an expanded role with the Rays next year.
- Mike Aviles, Royals. Aviles had Tommy John surgery in August and hopes to be ready for Spring Training. The Royals currently have Yuniesky Betancourt and Alberto Callaspo in the middle infield, but Aviles is just a year removed from a .325/.354/.480 rookie performance. Perhaps he can be pried loose.