Despite losing eight of their last nine, and falling six games back of first place, reports continue to suggest that the Reds are prepared to be buyers as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
With Cincinnati struggling mightily to produce runs, evidenced by the mere 16 they have plated since the All-Star Break, the club's top priority at the deadline is adding a run-producing bat. And one of the hitters the Reds are reportedly targeting is Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Reds are among at least four teams interested in Rios. The Mariners, Giants and Yankees are other contending clubs reportedly interested in the veteran as well.
Rios, 33, is hitting a respectable .299/.328/.426 with 4 home runs and 43 RBI for the Rangers in 2014. In 11 big league seasons, Rios has posted a .280/.324/.442 line, which is not too shabby at all.
With that being said, the lack of home runs is very much a concern, especially considering Rios has rocked up plenty of at-bats to deep this year (385). Perhaps his power would translate better inside Great American Ball Park? Even if it did, would giving up prospects in already mediocre farm system be worth the price for Rios? I'm not sure.
Plus, his $13.5 million option for 2015 is going to be too pricey for the Reds anyway. Well, unless the Reds are planning on freeing up some serious payroll by parting ways with players set to hit free agency.
In my opinion, I would be very surprised (and disappointed) if the Reds chose to give up part of the farm for Rios, which essentially seems like an overvalued rental player. At this point, as much as it pains me to say it, the time has probably come to start thinking about 2015 and beyond. And thus begin to make decisions about the futures of players getting ready to reach the end of their contracts.