The Orioles, Yankees, and Athletics are among the contenders getting subpar production out of the designated hitter spot. Let's take a look at the trade market.
Starters (click here for leaderboard)
Kendrys Morales (Mariners), Adam Dunn (White Sox), Paul Konerko (White Sox), Adam Lind (Blue Jays), Ryan Doumit (Twins), Carlos Pena (Astros), Raul Ibanez (Mariners)
There are some interesting names in this mix. Ibanez has shown vintage power in his age 41 season, while Morales has been solid as well. I think a lot of armchair GMs would recommend the Mariners trade both players to stockpile prospects and young players, though the team's real GM, Jack Zduriencik, has said he doesn't expect to aggressively market his players. Morales and Ibanez will be eligible for free agency after the season, and some have wondered if the Ms intend to make a qualifying offer to Morales.
Dunn will have about $20MM left on his contract at the trade deadline, as he is signed through 2014. Konerko, who has full no-trade rights, will have about $4.5MM left and will be eligible for free agency. Both players could at least be useful in a platoon, though trading Konerko for a modest return or salary savings might be more trouble than it's worth given his status as a fan favorite. The Sox would have to pick up some of the tab on Dunn.
It's happening entirely against right-handed pitching, but Lind is having a resurgent year. The 30-year-old could provide a major offensive boost, but the Blue Jays have affordable club options for 2014, '15, and '16 on him and may not be inclined to trade him. Pena and Doumit would be nice bench additions, but both are slugging under .400 this season.
Mike Morse (Mariners), Carlos Quentin (Padres), Chris Carter (Astros), Lucas Duda (Mets), Aramis Ramirez (Brewers), Alfonso Soriano (Cubs), Michael Young (Phillies), Justin Morneau (Twins), Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays), Jesus Montero (Mariners)
Here are nine potentially available players who have not been regular designated hitters, but might be good fits to spend a few months in that role due to defensive questions or in the name of preserving health. Ramirez, a third baseman by trade, is eligible to return from the DL from a knee injury on July 22nd. If the clock runs out for him in July, his salary makes him an August trade candidate. Some of the more controllable players listed here, such as Quentin, Carter, and Duda, are unlikely to be traded but we won't rule it out. Montero, currently at Triple-A, hasn't hit well and has the Biogenesis cloud over him.
Soriano, Young, and Morneau have full no-trade rights, so potential suitors would want to gauge interest in a regular DH role in advance.
Check out the other entries in our trade market series.