Looking at the Rosters around the major leagues, a lot of teams don't have anyone better than Paul Janish to back-up at SS. OTOH, most of those don't have a rookie penciled in as the starter, but it won't be as easy to upgrade as people think.
These are the guys who I wouldn't mind seeing the Reds acquire for MI depth providing the trade is right. Only listing the ones I think would be better than the FA candidates or maybe Janish (who, because of severe defensive questions among the FAs, is probably better than any of the FAs on the market).
Robert Andino BAL. - A pretty good defender at all three spots who isn't a world beater, but hits better than Janish. 2B is the concern of the O's with Hardy at SS and Roberts a question mark. They have a few younger 2B options nearly ready. The Reds would probably need to offer something like Masset and Janish or Ondrusek and Janish. The O's need OF help. Maybe they'd be interested in Phipps. I'd hope the O's could throw in something else if the Reds give up 2 guys. Its not really the best fit from a trade standpoint.
Marco Scutaro BOS - The Red Sox are looking to free some dollars from the luxury tax cap to allow them to go sign a starting pitcher without bumping the luxury tax to a higher percentage. Scutaro makes $6 Million, so the Reds can't afford him unless they get creative. The Red Sox dealing him from the roster gets him off the payroll and any money they send with him doesn't count against the Luxury Tax number. The Reds could deal say Ondrusek and Janish for Scutaro and $3 Million and the Sox would still clear over $5 Million from the luxury tax number. Of course, with the shortage of MI, the Sox may be able to get a decent prospect from somebody for Scutaro and cash.
Trevor Plouffe Min - The Twins are probably stuck with Tsuyoshi Nishioka, they have Alexi Casilla at 2B and just signed Jamey Carroll to play SS. They don't view Plouffe as their SS of the future, but he's possibly an upgrade for the Reds. They are thin on position players, especially OF. They actually don't have a reserve OF who looks like a realistic shot to make the team. Perhaps a Todd Frazier for Trevor Plouffe deal would provide both teams with a better fit. Its questionable that he's better than Janish, but he was a a slightly better hitter in the minors and is younger.
Maicer Izturis LAA - The Reds could probably afford Izturis at $3.8 Million and he's probably the best reserve IF in baseball. The Angels are looking to add to the bullpen so maybe a Masset for Izturis deal could work. I'd guess the Angels would aim higher or just sign a FA for the pen. Not sure why they would deal such a good bench guy for a middle reliever when so many are on the market for the taking unless they have Luxury Tax concerns as well. If so, they'd probably want a pretty decent prospect instead of a middle reliever.
John McDonald or Tommy Manzella AZ - If Stephen Drew looks fully ready in the spring, the D-Backs may look to move a MI. Drew and Aaron Hill are going to play every day. They have Willie Bloomquist on the bench already. Manzella basically is Paul Janish (but possibly with less defense) and McDonald has basically had the career that Janish should hope for. Not sure either is an upgrade, but one could probably be had. Not sure what the Reds would have to deal that would interest the D-Backs without it being a huge overpay. Perhaps a bigger deal would make sense. Gerrardo Parra would be a nice get for the Reds if they could find a match that would net him with one of the IF options. I don't see one though.
Chris Nelson Colo - Jonathon Herrera, Eric Young Jr and Chris Nelson are all fighting it out at 2B in Colo. I like Nelson the best in that group as far as potential goes, but most places that I've seen have Herrera penciled in. None would be a great defensive option at SS, but probably better than Theriot or Renteria. Not convinced I'd rather have either over Janish.
Ivan Dejesus Jr. - LA - He was a pretty good SS prospect before he was hurt. LA used him mostly at 2B last year, but that was probably more because of Dee Gordon than anything. Not sure if he still is an option at SS, but if he is, he'd be a good get. The Dodgers have Mark Ellis at 2B now with Gordon and still have Adam Kennedy and they signed Jery Hairston. Probably no room for Dejesus. He might be cheap to acquire.
Jason Bartlett or Everth Cabrera SD - The Pads want to dump Bartlett's $5.5 Million salary and $1.5 Million option buy-out. That probably is too rich for the Reds. He'd be a fine option if the Reds could swing it. Maybe moving Masset's money and the Pads eating a little could get it done. Cabrera is another Janish, but I'm guessing they'd rather keep him and dump Bartlett's cash.
That's it IMO. Others aren't available (Eduaro Nunez for example) or just not as good as what the Reds already have. I'd rank them:
The last five are really questionable as to whether they'd even be an upgrade to Janish IMO.