Cincinnati, OH- It’s been a rough couple weeks for the Cincinnati Reds. After losing series to Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, the Reds are finally back home, now sitting third in the NL Central Division. Many question marks have been raised about the cause of the recent skid but I believe all the struggles can be solved with two easy solutions. One, time for healing and two, a trading deadline deal.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently sitting at fourth in team Earned Run Average (3.48) and third in strikeouts (675). With that said, the pitching is obviously of no concern and the Reds even have key bullpen pieces Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton coming back from the disabled list very soon. Johnny Cueto was just placed on the disabled list again but should be ready to go with about a month of rest. So as stated before, the pitching is already stellar and will only get better with a little time for healing.
The second piece to igniting the push the Reds need to move into first place is a trading deadline deal with the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are currently sitting in last place in the AL Central at 32-47 and have recently released a statement saying they are looking to trade many of their players and start a rebuilding process.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is telling other executives that any and all players on the White Sox are available via trade for the right offer, with the exceptions of Paul Konerko and Chris Sale. With that said, the White Sox have two players who should be all over the Red’s radar. The first is Alex Rios and the second former Red, Adam Dunn.
The Reds currently rank in the middle of the pack in runs and home runs even though they play in a top five hitter-friendly ballpark. They also rank below the bottom half of the league in slugging percentage. But if you look at the Reds from a distance, you don’t really see a glaring hole in the lineup. The infield is all solid; Ryan Hanigan and Devin Messaraco are having a great combined season from the catcher position and Jay Bruce is tearing the cover off the ball lately. There is one major spot though where the Reds are struggling and that is left field. Ever since Ryan Ludwick went down on opening day, the Reds have looked for a player to replace his production. Derrick Robinison and Xavier Paul have been placed in his spot but Robinson has only five RBIs with zero home runs and Xavier Paul is barely hitting .250 with not much more power.
That’s where Dunn or Rios can take this team over the edge. Rios put up a fantastic season last year with 25 homers, 91 RBIs and over a .300 average. He is currently on pace to put up those same numbers again and if you let him hit in Great American Ballpark who knows what could happen. Rios may be a little expensive to trade for though so then you have the option of Adam Dunn. Adam Dunn already has 21 home runs and 52 RBIs this season and with Dunn added to the lineup Brandon Phillips could go back to hitting second with Dunn being a natural cleanup hitter. Either way, with Rios or Dunn, the Reds would drastically improve their lineup by making a deal with the White Sox.