Re: Cliff Lee
Buster Yankee said on Mike and Mike this morning that the Reds are unlikely to add on much payroll at the trading deadline this season. I don't know how factual that is, just what he said. I could argue for and against that Buster said.
As for Cliff Lee I don't exactly know where I fall on that one. He will be the big trade deadline target for all contending teams, I just don't know if the Reds will commit even more of their resources for pitching help. The Reds have both Volquez and Chapman who may be ready by the trade deadline to fill a SP role if someone falters, or to help in the pen. I don't really know where Lee would fit into the mix, especially if you are giving up your best minor league hitter, as well as someone who plays in a spot where the Reds are of need.
The areas where I think the Reds will, or at least need to, make a move in are Relief Pitcher, Bench Bat, LF Bat.
RP - I like the setup team of Masset and Rhodes. I just don't like so much the RH options before that. Fisher and Ondrusek are ok and Burton isn't a huge question mark. I can see the Reds improving that area of their team.
B - The Reds need to so something about their bench. While the Cards go out and acquire Felipe Lopez to play their utility infielder the Reds get Cairo. I think the Reds need to find a better option than Cairo to be a utility/spot starter. I also think they need a more reliable player than Lance Nix on the bench. Nix hasn't done anything bad this season, just has been unavailable to player for a handful of games that has hurt the team.
LF - I just don't see a position anywhere else on the diamond that makes sense to upgrade. Your not going to upgrade at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or RF. C has been a position of relative strength for this Reds team and CF looks like Stubbs job for the foreseeable future. So that really leaves LF and SS as a position to upgrade offensively. I just don't see the Reds making a move to replace Cabrera at SS. I think they like what he brings to the table, both on the field, as well as in the clubhouse. While I like Gomes, and he is scorching hot right now, I think overall LF production can be improved. Can Alonso be that guy? Its an interesting question and one the Reds will need to weigh. Is the value of an available trade candidate greater than what Alonso can bring to LF? After seeing what Scott Rolen has done to the Reds since his arrival I am less and less favorable of holding onto prospects, but Alonso in LF has really caught my interest.