Saturday, May 5, 2012

Could the Reds be eyeing a closer?

Could this guy be pitching for the Reds in August?
ESPN.com's Jim Bowden published an interesting piece entitled "Early trade targets for GMs" on Wednesday. And in it lay a very intriguing tidbit regarding the Redlegs.

Bowden suggests that Cincy could be one of four contenders looking to acquire a closer by the July 31st trade deadline.

That may sound very peculiar considering the club already has Sean Marshall entrenched there, but the former Reds GM doesn't see Marshall as the long-term solution as closer.

Of the six closers he tabbed as prime targets, he singled out three who the Reds may be most interested in. Those pitchers are Seattle's Brandon League, Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan, and San Diego's Huston Street. Both Street and League were linked to Cincinnati in trade rumors this offseason, but obviously nothing came to fruition. Could GM Walt Jocketty and the Reds have yet another trick up their collective sleeves?

Here's an excerpt from Bowden's piece detailing the speculation:

League should draw interest especially from the Angels and Reds. His fastball sits at 96-97 mph, occasionally touching 98-99 with great sink. He’s also got a good slider and a nasty split.

Cincinnati could be interested in the same three in order [League, Street, Hanrahan] to push Sean Marshall back into a setup role. Marshall has shown pretty consistently that his effectiveness wanes when used in consecutive days, and he simply is more attuned to the being a setup man. Further, the Reds clearly see Aroldis Chapman as a potential No. 1 starter, but to move him from the bullpen to the rotation, they need to be able to fill the void with another relief arm.


Needless to say, I'm overly curious to see if the team does indeed opt to make a move such as this. Personally, I'd be surprised to see them acquire an outside closer being that they already have a reliable one (and perhaps Ryan Madson or J.J. Hoover down the road), but I've been wrong before. However, anything seems possible now when you consider their shocking signing of Madson over the winter, coupled with the Joey Votto/Brandon Phillips extensions.

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