Two moves today at least don't make an A's-Indians trade involving Asdrubal Cabrera any less likely. The A's have agreed to terms with Bartolo Colon on a one-year contract for 2013. Meanwhile, the Indians have reportedly acquired Mike Aviles, along with Yan Gomes and Esmil Rogers, giving them a potential SS replacement were they to move Asdrubal Cabrera.
It still remains to be seen whether the A's re-sign Brandon McCarthy. Even without him in the mix, a depth chart of Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Bartolo Colon, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily, and Travis Blackley, with Brad Peacock at the ready and Sonny Gray not far behind, should reasonably allow the A's to deal a SP and still maintain adequate quality and depth to lay claims to contention. Doubly so if the A's were to ink McCarthy for 2013.
Of course the question, when contemplating potential trades, is what does each side have that the other really wants and needs? The A's, if they don't re-sign Stephen Drew, most certainly need a SS. The Indians, like 29 other teams, are on the lookout for better starting pitching.
Beyond that, it's a question of whether the Indians feel they are truly rebuilding, and want "high upside" prospects who might not make an immediate impact, or whether they feel they are one or two shrewd moves away from contending in a relatively weak division.
For example, Seth Smith could be a useful addition to team contending in 2013 or 2014, but is not helpful to a team that is rebuilding long term. So the question becomes: What should the Indians most be looking for -- and do the A's have it, and are the A's in position to part with it and still be better off?
Can you suggest a trade that brings A. Cabrera to Oakland that qualifies as a "win-win" at least on paper? And yes, we're getting way ahead of ourselves. As well we should -- it's the off-season, the "season of armchair GMing"!