What should the Reds do?
What should Reds GM Walt Jocketty do before the Trade Deadline? Buy? Sell? Stand pat? I say keep trying to buy…but stick to the apparent plan of not overpaying. The Reds have been painfully inconsistent and yet are still only five games back. Each of the three teams ahead of them have flaws and none of them have separated.
Forget about Ubaldo Jimenez — that’s the epitome of overpaying for what the Rockies seem to want in return. Forget about James Shields, too.
Get a hitter. Sometimes it takes just one addition to provide the jolt. I remember while covering the Twins in 2003 as they were coming off their first division title in over a decade, they made an All-Star break trade for OF Shannon Stewart. It was needed after the team limped to the second half losers of 26 out of 28 games. All they had to give up was Bobby Kielty. No important prospects were shown the door.
Stewart lacked all of the usual credentials of a quality leadoff hitter…but he did the job (batted .322 in 65 games) and he helped get Minnesota out of its offensive funk as they went on to repeat as division winners. Jocketty doesn’t have to sacrifice the farm system for a rent-a-player like Ryan Ludwick or Carlos Beltran. If he can find a hitter under team control for a while and not give up the farm for him — do it. It doesn’t have to take a blockbuster deal to create the desired spark for a team that’s sagging.
The Reds don’t have many guys they could sell to get prospects even if they went that route and if they did — ticket sales at GABP would plummet if the Reds aren’t in it to win it. Francisco Cordero is in the final year of his contract, but who would close? Aroldis Chapman hasn’t shown he can pitch more than two days in a row. Ramon Hernandez could make way for Devin Mesoraco, but it would still take Mesoraco some time to adjust to calling games here even if he can hit.
It’s good to give some the younger players a chance like the Reds have started to do. Let’s see what Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso and Zack Cozart (when he is off the DL) can do. But it’s not time to start a full-fledged youth movement yet.
Reds lineup vs. Mets