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MLB Rumors: Cincinnati Reds Interested in Shane Victorino?

The MLB Rumors are in overdrive lately as the trade deadline quickly approaches.  There are rumors as to who is buying, who is selling and who will be traded to whom.  The Cincinnati Reds have been linked to several possible trades – sped up recently with Joey Votto going on the DL.  However, conventional wisdom still has the Reds mostly in need of either a clean up hitter or a lead off man.  Thus the rumors about Carlos Quentin and, now, Shane Victorino.

Now I know that Victorino is not a classic lead-off hitter.  If you look at his history, even this season, you will see that Victorino has been all up and down the line up.  That being said, if the Reds are interested in Victorino’s services, it will be as a lead-off hitter.  The Reds desparately need one. 

Here’s what Victorino brings to the Reds (Aren’t MLB Rumors fun?):
-Batting average – Down a little this season at .249, but he is a career .276 hitter, so you would expect that average to come up during the second half of the season.
-On-Base-Percentage – Pretty decent number here at .313.  That would be nice ahead of a healthy Votto.
-Stolen Bases – Not bad here either with 19 stolen bases.  That is a big number for the Reds who just don’t run that much.
-Base-on-Balls – Victorino only has 32 BB in 390 at-bats.  It must be noted, however, that he only has 43 strikeouts too.  So he is a contact batter.
-He’s a switch hitter.  The Reds need a lefty now, desperately.

The major downside for the Reds is that Victorino is in his final year of his contract and making a little over $7M this year.  So given his age (31), I don’t know if the Reds would be interested in more than renting him for the rest of the season (or able to re-sign him to another contract).

As the MLB Rumors fly, one thing is certain for the Cincinnati Reds – they need just a little more help.  Shane Victorino could fit the bill for one of those needs without costing the Reds too much.

Stay tuned to MLB Rumors we get closer to the trade deadline in about two weeks.