You can’t find a middle-of-the-order hitter. He’s just not out there.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In early July, Sandy Alderson talked to WFAN about contacting teams looking to acquire hitters, under contract beyond next season, who would add offense, but not cost top prospects.

In addition, multiple reports indicated the Mets were interest in Marlon Byrd from teams unwilling to overpay for other outfielders, such as the Pirates and Rangers.

SI.com’s Tom Verducci put in best on MLB Network, saying: “Here’s the thing, you know how tough it is to acquire hitting in the major leagues these days? You can’t find a middle-of-the-order hitter. He’s just not out there.”

Alex RiosFor instance, despite countless rumors, it was eventually reported that OF Nate Schierholtz would not be traded by the Cubs (Cafardo, Boston Globe). They didn’t move David DeJesus either.

The D-Backs made OF Jason Kubel available (Stark, ESPN), but he stayed put, despite the Rangers aggressively pursuing offensive upgrades (Morosi, FoxSports).

The Rockies ended up not trading outfielders Carlos Gonzalez or Michael Cuddyer (Heyman, CBS Sports); the Padres said no to all trades involving their outfielders (Stark, ESPN); the Brewers refused to trade OF Norichika Aoki (Haudricort, Journal-Sentinel); and, though Mariners 1B-OF Mike Morse was reportedly very available (Sherman, New York Post), he also stayed put.

The White Sox entered the day wanting to move OF Alex Rios, with the Rangers and Pirates showing more than lukewarm interest (Stark, ESPN). However, despite being close to a deal with the Pirates (Kaplan, CSN Chicago), he wasn’t traded.

Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton was never unavailable, a team executive said (Morosi, FoxSports), even though the Red Sox made it clear they would do whatever it takes to acquire him (Frisaro, MLB.com).