With injuries decimating key players in the offensive lineup, the Reds are being forced to at least consider adding another hitter to the roster at the trade deadline. But who might general manager Walt Jocketty and the club be interested in? ESPN.com's Jim Bowden takes a closer look in his most recent column detailing what he is hearing at the trade deadline.
In the piece, Bowden mentions two hitters that may be of interest to the Reds down the stretch. These hitters are Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist and Minnesota's Josh Willingham.
One of the reasons Zobrist is so attractive is his ability to play multiple positions. The fact that he is a switch hitter and owns a .354 on-base percentage in nine big league seasons isn't too shabby either. However, the 33-year-old is earning $7 million this year and has a team option for $7.5 million in 2015. So the Reds would probably look to have the Rays pay some of his salary if they were to acquire him.
Meanwhile, Willingham has the possibility of adding some much-needed pop to the batting order. The 35-year-old has eight bombs in 156 at-bats this year and is only two years removed from slamming a career-high 35 en route to winning a Silver Slugger Award. His career batting average (.254) isn't anything to write home about. But he does get on base enough (.359) and is always a threat to homer. Plus, he's a free agent at the end of the year.
If the Reds were to trade for one of these guys, the organization would most likely have to surrender a prospect or two, with one of them being among the farm system's elite. I'll ask you, do you believe acquiring one of these guys for the stretch run is worth parting ways with a couple of prospects?