The lingering injury to current Reds first baseman Joey Votto is bound to force some kind of move by the Reds to have a more viable alternative at first base when Votto is forced out of the lineup than switching third baseman Todd Frazier to first and starting the weak-hitting Ramon Santiago at third.
The Reds could opt to promote Donald Lutz to spell Votto at first but seem reluctant to commit Lutz to the big-league roster right now. Without another viable internal alternative besides Lutz, the Reds would have to find another corner infielder to help Votto get the rest he’ll need as the season progresses.
Re-enter Adam Dunn.
Except for the plethora of walks and strikeouts, no one would expect Dunn to be quite the slugger he was with the Reds — 270 home runs and a .900 OPS in eight years with the team. But it stands to reason that whatever pop Dunn has left to offer, the Reds would provide a homecoming scenario that might bring out the best in the 34-year-old bopper, who ranks fourth on the Reds’ all-time home run list.
The trade market value of Dunn may prove cost-prohibitive for the Reds if other suitors target Dunn with a higher priority than the Reds would, but it’s still hard to believe that Dunn would command more in return than a spent Ken Griffey, Jr. did when the Reds dealt him to the White Sox in 2008, receiving Nick Masset and Danny Richar in return.
Should the Reds make a play for Dunn, they have a couple of promising prospect spare parts to offer. With Dunn in the final year of a contract that pays him $15 million this year, the Reds would most likely require the White Sox to pay most of the remainder of that salary, but the return of Dunn to the Reds would be a sight to see in Cincinnati and a boost for a team that needs some insurance for Votto and an infusion of some new energy, even if it comes from an old familiar source.