By Illya Harrell on June 23, 2014
To pitch for the Cincinnati Reds—especially in their home stadium— pitchers need to keep from issuing free passes to opposing batters, and they need also keep the ball from flying over the fence. The Reds' middle relief pitchers receive a big fat "F" in both those categories so far in 2014. The Reds would be wise to trade for a couple of these guys.
Sidewinding 34-year-old, Brad Ziegler, of the Arizona Diamondbacks is a bubble "bargain"—.5 million in 2014, million in 2015 and a team option .5 million in 2016. Ziegler's season 3.09 ground ball/fly ball ratio—career 4.02 GB/FB— is perfectly suited for Great American. A mid and low-level prospect should be enough for the rebuilding D-Backs.
Houston Astros' Chad Qualls is risky. Coming off a fine 2013 campaign for the Miami Marlins, Qualls is again pitching very well this season. However, from 2010-2012, he was hit harder than a birthday party pinata. A couple low-level prospects should be enough to satisfy Houston.
Wesley Wright uses a four-pitch arsenal to keep the ball in the yard. His early career was marred by a lack of control. Currently not great, but better than average. He's still arbitrating for salary and will not be a free agent until 2016. It would probably take a high-to-mid level prospect to get him.
Okay, allow a fan to dream, will ya? Jake McGee is the future closer for the pitching rich Tampa Bay Rays. His GB/FB of 0.97 is distorted by a 19.2 line drive percentage. He can touch 98 on the gun and averages 96.5 MPH. It would take a top hitting prospect as well as a mid-to-high level batting prospect to get him.
Colorado Rockies closer, LaTroy Hawkins needs to become a member of the Cincinnati Reds. The 41-year-old does not allow walks, is a ground ball pitcher and comes with a very friendly contract. In 12 career games at Great American, he's allowed three hits—no homers—in 32 at bats. His experience would be comparable to a bullpen Scott Rolen.
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