The 2013 MLB season is still young, so many of the apparent "pretenders" have time to improve their playoff prospects by completing blockbuster deals. Each of the following teams can use trades to address their glaring weaknesses.
As of April 29, 12 ball clubs that spent last October on the couch have begun 2013 with losing records. We'll discuss seven of them in depth.
The Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins were excluded because they have committed to long-term rebuilding plans. Though they'll put forth strong efforts on the field in the coming months, their front offices wouldn't dare relinquish young talent and mortgage the future for short-term success.
This article doesn't address the Tampa Bay Rays or Toronto Blue Jays either. The former has a large concentration of MLB-ready pitching in the high minors. With so much depth, the Rays belong in the contention conversation despite their sub-.500 winning percentage. And the Blue Jays already have the necessary veteran talent to excel immediately. Panicking and making significant roster changes wouldn't better their situation.
Critique all trade proposals independently because they were devised under different assumptions. The first slide, for example, makes sense in a universe where the San Diego Padres struggle, while another speculates about what the team might do to build off an encouraging start.
With all that written, enjoy this list of potentially transformative swaps.