First, make no mistake that I'm perfectly satisfied with riding out this Laynce Nix - Jonny Gomes platoon to see how far it takes the Reds. Right now, the results have been unquestionable.
Nix - .308 / .361 / .615 / .976 OPS before tonight (v. RHP). 4 HR / 10 RBI total in 80 AB.
Gomes - .500 / .500 / .600 / 1.100 OPS before tonight (v. LHP). 0 HR / 4 RBI.
In close to 100 at bats, the two are combining on nearly a 1.000 OPS when used against their opposite hand. Clearly that will not keep up over 500 plate appearances, but it's good enough to keep the Reds competitive.
But just in case this platoon does not work out, while Matt Holliday is the obvious bat available if the A's continue to fall out of the race, my preference is that the Reds make a run at Brad Hawpe.
The Rockies did just extend his contract three seasons last fall. However, he's due 7.5 million in 2010 and there's talk the Rockies are still willing to listen to offers in the right trade. He's a guy, because of his value, might be worth laying down some good prospects for.
Before anyone says "Coors Field" it should be noted his 3-year averages from 2006-2008, he had an identical OBP on the road as he did at home and was within 30 points of his home slugging percentage - for a road OPS of .889.
The more I see of a Nix-Gomes platoon the more I think the Reds can afford to avoid overpaying for any LF option. However, since we're pondering all the possibilities, I'd like to see the Reds make a run at him and throw him in left should things not work out from the in-house options.