Blog posts are not the ideal medium to talk about trade rumors. They come and go so fast that you really need Twitter for that. But there are a few trade considerations that are worth mentioning in the relatively permanent chronicles of blogging:
Drew Stubbs is making things difficult
For a long time the team has been saying it needs a lead-off guy. And since Dusty Baker was never going to give Ryan Hannigan that chance, it seemed to be a good thing to be looking for. Then, someone realized that they forgot to turn the StubbsBot back on after a routine cleaning, and he came tearing back into the picture, getting himself named Player of the Week last week.
Stubbs is streaky as hell, but no one in this game is perfectly consistent. The Reds might think he’s about to trend downward again and want to find someone on the upswing, or they might want to ride him as long as they can.
The three guys that the Reds were rumored to be talking about don’t seem to be working out anyway: Shane Victorino appears to be going to the Dodgers and talks seem to have ended over Juan Pierre. Meanwhile, the Twins are asking more than the Reds are willing to pay for Denard Span. This morning I’ve seen Lyle Overbay’s name mentioned. He was DFA’d yesterday and could add some depth to the bench.
The catching situation
No one’s talking catchers, so I’m coming out of left-field here, but the potential suspension of Devin Mesoraco has highlighted a weakness in the Reds’ organization. Not only do they not have an emergency third catcher to speak of, but they only have the two catchers in AAA Louisville. Even though the backstop has not been a problem this season, it might be smart for the Reds to get someone to throw in a minor league catcher into any deals they do make, just to have a body available.
A few weeks ago, someone sent me an email asking if I thought the Reds would be in the running for Cole Hamels’ services. My first inclination was to think that was about the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. Who would need an expensive starter when you’ve already got such awesomness toeing the rubber each day?
But then I thought about how the fact that the starters have been so good has made the lack of depth in the starting pitching less noticeable. If a starter goes down, I’m not sure who’s ready to jump in at this point. Someone, surely, but someone good enough to keep the team rolling along? The rumor I’ve seen today is that the Reds might be looking at Matt Garza from the Cubs.
To me, the most interesting story in the arena of trading pitchers doesn’t involve the Reds at all: the Cubs are trying to unload Ryan Dempster. I have a distaste for Dempster: not only did he suck for the Reds and then suddenly was awesome for the Cubs, he looks like the mean principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
In spite of that, though, he’d gotten quite a following in Chicago until he started getting really picky about where he’d let the Cubs trade him. Basically, it’s the Cubs or the Dodgers or nothing. Why someone would be so insistent on playing for the Cubs I don’t know, but it surely is dramatic.
Check out the #TradeDeadline and #Reds hashtags on Twitter for breaking news. I also recommend the #HugWatch thread for all the reports of players hugging in the dugout and the conclusions watchers are jumping to about where they might be traded to.