If I'm Walt, here's what I'm doing over the next three weeks:
While I would love to get Matt Kemp (I would offer Dunn and Keppinger,) I'm beginning to think it's not likely he'll be moved- or, at least that the Reds don't have what it will take to pry him loose. Thus, I'd turn my attention to Jason Bay, who the Pirates are definitely trying to move. Published reports over the last two days have said that they're asking for Emilio Bonifaciio from the D'backs and Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals. So I would offer either of the following two packages: Homer Bailey and Jeff Keppinger; or Chris Valaika, Drew Stubbs and Matt Maloney. Either package would give them the 2B they are looking for in addition to a strong additional prospect. Bay is signed for next year at a reasonable rate and would provide a RH-bat and upgrade defensively over Dunn. If they take the first package (Bailey and Keppinger), I would immediately promote Maloney to take Bailey's place in the rotation and let Hairston be the everyday SS for the remainder of the season, with Janish as the backup. Valaika seems poised to take over SS in Cincinnati at this time next year. If they take the second package, the Reds have added a critical piece to the major league team without disrupting any of the organizational core. While the second package may seem weak to some, Valaika is better than Bonifacio IMO and Stubbs would give them the CF they appear to be looking for in Rasmus (obv a lesser prospect, but the Bucs have been reportedly just asking for Bonifacio.)
Second, I would shop Bronson Arroyo around the league, but only move him if we get a favorable return back that would hopefully include a young SS, CF or C of the future. Possible targets include Taylor Teagarden from Texas, Justin Masterson (and/or Jed Lowrie) from Boston, and Austin Jackson from the Yankees. Lou Marson from Philly would be nice, but apparently he might not be moved. If Arroyo is traded, I would make an offseason play for Derek Lowe, offering him something in the neighborhood of a two year, $24 MM deal. That way, the $$ comes off the books by the time all the rookies are eligible for arbitration. If you don't get any favorable offers, I would hang onto him as my #4 pitcher going forward.
Assuming there aren't many good trade offers out there, I would hang onto Dunn and offer him arb at the end of the year, hoping he declines so we can take the picks.
I would trade Jr. asap for any return in talent or players that exceeds $4 MM. Maybe the Rays would give up Reid Brignac for him?
I would trade David Ross immediately (most likely to Florida), taking advantage of his recent hitting surge. Any positive return would be a nice bonus- trades like these were Krivsky's specialty, he had a way of extracting nice talent for marginal players.
Ditto for David Weathers- trade him immediately (for any return) and DFA Gary Majewski (who is one of the worst pitchers I've ever seen in Cincy.) Bring up Belisle and Roenicke to take their place, and your team is instantly better IMO.
Speaking of Roenicke, once he is promoted I would send Manuel to Louisville to close games there, and bump LeCure and Jukich to the AAA rotation. I would also DFA Corey Patterson, bring up Chris Dickerson, and promote Henry and Dorn to join Cumberland in the Louisville OF. I would also have Stewart finish the year in Sarasota, and begin 2009 in Chattanooga. Finally, I would offer Jay Bruce a 7 year, $30-35 million deal. Lock him up now, and you're really not risking a lot even if he achieves his worst-case scenario.