I posted this on another thread, but thought it was worthy of its own topic.
The Mariners are floundering 9 games under .500. Of course it is still early, so nothing will most likely happen for another month, but this is a situation to monitor:
Cliff Lee has publicly stated he wants to test FA this offseason. The M's have some of the best starting pitching in baseball, but are losing because their offense is abysmal, and there seems to be no help on the horizon from the farm. At 1B, they have Casey Kotchman who is currently under the Mendoza line. Assuming the M's do not drastically improve over the next month, Cliff Lee should be on the trading block, and they could use a Yonder Alonso.
Yonder Alonso for Cliff Lee would be the Reds equivalent of the Matt LaPorta for CC Sabathia deal. Mike Leake will presumably be shut down for the stretch run (much like Yovani Gallardo was after his injury), and the Reds will need a go-to ace if they are to make noise in the postseason. While he does make a lot of money, waiting until June or July to pull the trigger will leave the Reds on the hook for only a fraction of that cost, with no commitment beyond this season. While they can try to make a noble attempt to re-sign him, more than likely he will leave for a huge payday and the Reds can take Type A compensation on him, meaning they get a first round pick and a sandwich selection.
Alonso's stock is quickly rising with his hot start in Louisville, but there is clearly no room for him on the big league team. If the Reds draft a signability guy who is close to the majors in LF (Michael Choice, Bryce Brentz, or Gary Brown have all been mentioned), there will be no use for Alonso at any point in the future other than as a trade chip. Plus drafting a cheaper college guy would (in theory) allow the Reds to save some money for next year, where they could have as many as 3 first round selections and 2 sandwich picks (depending on what happens with Arthur Rhodes.) This is a situation worth monitoring if I'm Walt Jocketty.