OK, let's take a little break from all the Cliff Lee talk. Of course, a trade for Lee would solidify the Reds as serious pennant contenders. But there's also a smaller, much more low cost move I also think the Reds need to make. And that's to sign Garrett Atkins.
One area of need the Reds must address is their bench. They're extremely punchless, especially in the infield. Janish and Cairo aren't going to get it done offensively. And I'm skeptical of the help from down on the farm. Francisco would be a disaster defensively, and Frazier has struggled all season. I wouldn't want to turn to those guys in a pennant race. Basically, if the Reds lose Votto or Rolen for any length of time, they're screwed.
I know he's been lousy the last couple years, but Atkins would be a perfect bench bat to back up 1B and 3B. He can also play 2B in a pinch. As a utlility guy, there would be no pressure on him to perform, and maybe a move back to a friendly hitters park in the NL will help his offense a bit.
So sign Atkins to a major-league minimum deal. What's everyone think?