Stop, rumor time

It’s the time of year you know is coming but can never really brace yourself for properly. I’m not even sure what to call it.

Trade deadline rumor-a-rama? Silly season (that’s more about winter rumors)? The chasing of rumors, legit or not that rarely pan out time of year? I’ll keep working on it.

Anyway, there have been two rumors linked to the Reds the past couple of days and I thought they should be addressed.

The Toronto Sun is reporting today that the Reds have had “internal discussions” about Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen. It’s a natural thought — Rolen played for the Cardinals when GM Walt Jocketty was there. He’s a bat needed for an offense bereft of run producers. Maybe they did discuss him. Lots of players get discussed, year-round. Many GMs and front offices have a big giant board in their office with every club’s players on it.

Here’s the problem: Rolen is making $11 million this year and is owed $11 million next year. He’s 34 years old. The story says the Reds are “dangling” Edwin Encarnacion, who makes $2 million this year and $4.75 million next year.

Unless Toronto is willing to eat much of that money, the Reds aren’t looking to take on that kind of salary hit to their payroll. It’s just a plain fact. 

On Thursday, the Denver Post dropped that the Reds were interested in third baseman Garret Atkins, possibly for relievers David Weathers and Nick Masset. That’s just not happening. I was told from someone in the know that Colorado has called every team in the league trying to unload Atkins. So far, no takers.

Atkins is making $7.05 million this season and batting just .227 with six homers and 27 RBIs. He wouldn’t an offensive upgrade from Encarnacion…who the Reds would still have on the roster in this scenario. Neither guy can play a bunch of positions.

And a Reds official made it clear to me that Masset isn’t going anywhere. Not when he’s doing what he does for such a reasonable salary ($418,000).

If the Reds are buyers, they wouldn’t get rid of two key parts to the bullpen.

I would look for smaller moves. The Reds have a deep farm system and will be able to use it, within reason. Don’t look for giant transactions for rent-a-players like Matt Holliday. This team is finally headed in the right direction and it wouldn’t take a blockbuster move to win the NL Central this season. If they stick to the plan they’ve had lately, they can be contenders both this year and the long term.

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I know I commented on a story a few days ago and said this, but fans need to stop criticizing Dusty and show the man some support. I agree with a lot of other people’s complaints that Taveras plays over Dickerson too much, but besides form that I think that Dusty is doing a good job with this young Reds team. He has a deep young bench with a lot of platoon opportunities, so he mixes up the lineup. The way that he has mixed up Hernandez and Hanigan has been solid, and the same goes for Gomes and Nix. You can say that Gomes should be in there more often, but he is a defensive liability. I went to the 3-2 win over Arizona last week and the first run we gave up was because Gomes couldn’t track down an easy fly ball to short left. Another misconception about Dusty is his ability to use the bullpen. Our bullpen has (or had a few days ago) the 2nd best ERA in baseball, so I can’t see how anyone can say that he is not using them well. As one more piece of evidence, his own players NEVER complain. Listen to what Hernandez said about the Reds on THIS website two days ago:

“This is a good team. We have good pitching. Guys help each other out. You don’t see anybody playing for their own numbers or being selfish.”

“I’m really happy where I am,” Hernandez said on Wednesday. “This is a great organization with a great bunch of guys and the coaching staff. They teach the game the right way and we play the game the right way.”

This team wants to win, and we are only 4.5 out, so let’s start to support them, even after this rough series, going into the second half of the season.

Also, one question, who do you guys see as other possible trade pieces for the reds? Maybe Jeremy Hermida from Florida? Personally, I’m not even sure if a trade is the answer for this young team. We just need our core of Phillips, Votto, Bruce, E^2, and in my opinion Hernandez to start producing RBI’s, and fast.

Go reds

Hey, man, I’m with. No sense in panicking when we’re only 4 1/2 games out of first place. I mean seriously, when is the last time we’ve been able to say that as Reds fans this far into the season (aside from a couple of years ago). And people DO need to stop doubting Baker day in and day out. I’m not his #1 fan by any means, but I’m not dumb enough to say he has nothing to do with our success this season.

Don’t kid yourself. This team cannot compete for the division without offensive upgrades. The transition Jocketty is making is a good one, but he has not come close to putting together a contender. Jocketty knows he still needs a big RH bat. He’s been trying to get one since the winter. He tried for Derosa and missed. “Smaller moves” are not going to bring that hitter aboard.

I’m not saying they don’t need offensive help. They must do better in that area to truly contend. But they also don’t need to blow up the farm system for a rent-a-player slugger to get them over the hump. Not in this division, this year.

And I would qualify DeRosa as a smaller move, the type they should make.

Yes, I agree. DeRosa isn’t a .335, 40+hr, 100+RBI guy. He’s a player who can field many positions and will always give you get at-bats and a good average and on-base percentage. He IS the sort of player we could use, because you wouldn’t have to give up too much to get him. I really, really hope we trade for Rolen, and then sign him to a three-year extension in the off-season. He’d offer superb defense and a consistent bat, something we’re lacking in Edwin. But… Edwin is still young, so I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining TOO much. And Rolen is 34 (I think).

Arroyo’s shutout suddenly raises his trade value. With Bailey pitching well and EV due back after the break.

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