With another disappointing game last night, our beloved Redlegs fall to 1-4 on this roadtrip. Had you asked Jay Bruce, myself or any other Reds fan last Wednesday night after the Reds swept the Astros, we would have told you no way we drop 4 out of 5 to begin this trip. Of course since last Sunday, we have lost our best hitter Joey Votto and our 2008 All Star Starting Pitcher, Edinson Volquez (again) to the 15-Day DL. Edwin Encarnacion remains atleast a couple weeks away. Willy Taveras hasn't played with a leg injury, and when he was put in the lineup last night, he wasn't healthy enough to run down a flyball, and will not start again tonight. One of the Reds' better hitters in May, Jerry Hairston Jr. has been out sick the first two games of the St. Louis Series. Our available bench has consisted of light hitting utility guys like Paul Janish and Wilkin Castillo, with the only viable threats being Jonny Gomes and Micah Owings. Dusty is absolutely trying to do the best with what he has to work with, but let's face it....right now, it isn't a whole lot. If the Reds are serious about winning in 2009, it's time to start looking to make a move. We have heard it time and time again from Walt , "We are always looking for ways to improve our ball club". As Slyde pointed out in this great post yesterday, we are getting terrible production from LF and 3B, and with Joey Votto out, you can expect a slide at 1B as well.
Need some trade options? Here are my top 5:
Luke Scott is an interesting case, he has played mostly DH for the O's this year, and is limited to LF, but I can't find any stats that say he is worse in left than say Josh Willingham. Scott has ripped 11 homers in just 123 AB's this season, while still hitting .317. The O's could use pitching, or some help at Shortstop.
Willingham got off to a terrible start, not happy with the 600 outfielders on Washington's roster, forcing him into a platoon role. He since has embraced the role, and has performed a lot better in May. While his defense isn't much better than Jonny Gomes, Willingham would be a better 1B option than Gomes, and the guy had a ridiculous .303/.411/.684 line in May. Washington wants and needs pitching, so the price could be a bullpen arm like Jared Burton + mid level prospect, or maybe even a guy like Ramon Ramirez. The Nats just got Elijah Dukes back, so Willingham's P/T could be scaled back in Washington.
Adding a second Hairston could be very interesting for the Reds. While he is only an Outfielder, he can play left or center, and has a great .327/.385/.571 line. (including a 1.187 OPS against LHP, and a .802 OPS vs RHP). Honestly I believe he could be had for a young, cheap arm like mentioned above.
By all accounts DeRosa is available. Problem is he is getting paid 6.5 Million this year, and you have the Yankees, Cardinals, and most likely the Cubs and Brewers all interested. So the price will be higher to acquire him. We all know what DeRosa has done to the Reds over his career, and how versatile he is, being able to man 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, and the corner OF spots.
So it's pretty obvious Holliday has been a small dissapointment for the A's. Billy Beane is a smart guy though, and is not afraid to take risks. So why the A's may not win the trade with the Rockies, He may move Holliday to add to an already very nice and deep farm system. Of course for the Reds, Holliday's 13.5 Million in salary for 2009 will be one of two huge hurdles, unless the A's take a bad salary back (not likely). Obviously the other hurdle will be the players it takes to get him. No doubt they would want Homer Bailey + another player or two.
Personally, I feel the market for Holliday isn't going to be as big as some may think. Of the teams currently in contention, with the exception of the Mets, Braves, and Reds, they are all pretty well set in Left Field. Of course an injury can always change that, but it will be hard for a lot of teams to take that kind of payroll on and miss the playoffs. Obviously this is a move the Reds won't be able to make until mid-July, and it will only be made then if the Reds can get healthy and be able to hang around. Can you imagine Holliday at GABP in the 2nd half of a contract year? I bet the guy would put up 25 bombs after the all star game to get that massive Free Agent contract. One plus, is Holliday will be a Type A Free Agent, so the Reds could get a nice extra draft pick for the 2010 draft.
Did I miss anyone? Any thoughs/observations?