ThomeIt isn't every July you get a chance to trade for a 25-year-old with a better career home run ratio than A-Rod, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. But Dunn fits that description, and clubs that have talked with the Reds say Dunn is definitely on the market. There are indications the Astros have made him their No. 1 target -- with both of their top pitching prospects (Fernando Nieve and Taylor Buchholz) potentially being involved. The Reds, however, don't do anything fast (except release slumping closers). And they still aren't sure they'll even trade Dunn. Clubs speaking with the Reds say they're debating whether they'd rather deal Wily Mo Pena. And an official of one team that has been in touch with them says they'll "consider" deals for Junior Griffey (even though Griffey has said he'd veto any deal) -- but not Austin Kearns. Nevertheless, there's no bat on the market more attractive than Dunn. So the big question, between now and deadline day, is whether the Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Indians, Red Sox or anyone else can afford Dunn's humongous price tag.
Randa is the other third baseman on the menu for teams that don't want Lowell's price tag. But despite all that talk of a bidding frenzy building around the eminently available Randa, clubs that have spoken with the Reds say he's been insanely overpriced. The White Sox, Indians and Twins have had some degree of interest. But all those teams are believed to view Randa as no more than a secondary priority. "We're just lukewarm about him," said an official of one team that at least checked in on Randa. "He's had a nice year. But he's never played on a winning team. And he's not the kind of player you overpay for."