FOXSports.com's resident trade speculator extraordinaire, Ken Rosenthal, opined yesterday that the slow developing trade deadline may continue to be just that right up until the final few days before July 31st. At that point, he suggests that there's ample depth in the trade market to where there could be a trading frenzy. Mr. McFunnypants then corroborated what his FOX colleague, Jon Morosi, had suggested as well, which is that the Baltimore Orioles have their eyes on Cincinnati Reds RF Jay Bruce. While Morosi hinted that the O's may have interest in Cueto, too, there's enough issues with the Baltimore OF that a potential Bruce acquisition makes a lot of sense, really. The Orioles have waved goodbye to OFs Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, Delmon Young, and Alejandro De Aza in recent memory, yet they've struggled to replace their production, and Bruce would be a nice fit in the cozy RF confines in Baltimore.
Complicating any acquisition of Cueto or Bruce by the Orioles is their razor thin farm system, one that's seen top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy & Hunter Harvey lost to injuries yet again. I'm not sure there's enough there to make something work.
Speaking of trade talk, fearless leader BK spoke with the folks at Royals Review about what the Reds may be up to as the deadline nears, specifically the kind of pieces the Reds would be seeking should they finally start selling off their many assets. It's not surprising that Royals fans have interest in what the Reds have on the market, since they have a distinct need for solid starting pitching and a corner OF bat the likes of Bruce would help cover for Alex Gordon's injury or ultimately replace the struggling Alex Rios.
Orioles? Check. Royals? Check. Angels? Apparently check, as Morosi also let us know that the Los Angeles Front Office Disasters of Anaheim were scouting Bruce in the recently completed series against the Cleveland Indians. Hopefully they saw him launch a dinger on Saturday and napped through his 0 for 4, 2 K outing on Sunday.
As for the Reds themselves, The Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans caught up with Bryan Price to get a few thoughts on the vultures swirling over the team's second consecutive losing season. Stuck in the bottom of that piece is a note about Price being excited that Billy Hamilton may crack 80 stolen bases in a season at some point. Hamilton, it's worth noting, has hit just .217/.262/.255 in 236 AB since May 1st, with just 5 extra-base hits in 60 games played. That's...that's not good.
One guy whose name has been surprisingly inconspicuous in rumors lately is Aroldis Chapman. That's probably more due to teams not really needing to intricately scout a guy who can throw 105 mph (since he's such a known quantity) than it is a sign of teams not being interested in the Reds closer, and I do expect interest in him to get more concrete in the next 11 days. Over the weekend, Chapman recorded his 500th career strikeout, and the 292 innings it took for him to reach that feat are the fewest in baseball history.
Finally, Joey Votto's recent hot streak coupled with Todd Frazier's recent slump means that Votto - who Marty Brennaman went out of his way to to label "not elite" - now has the highest OPS on the Reds yet again. That's not an opinion, Marty. That's a fact.