The entire off season we knew that the Reds needed to improve the offense. Re signing Hernandez & getting Cabrera was an improvement over nothing but i think we all knew that wasn't going to provide enough offense.
I am starting this thread as the official trade deadline watch list thread. you say: dude its only April 11th. I say no time like the present.
Lance Berkman is 34 years old. This is certainly an age where star players decline. Yet in 2009 he was still worth 3.2 WAR. He has a contract that is up at the end of this year (2011 $15M club option with $2M buyout). The Astros have started the year 0-6 in a season that most observers feel is going to be a poor one for them. When their owner/GM decides to throw in the towel what to do with Berkman will top their list. if they decide to rebuild then Walt should be on the phone pronto. Now, Berkman has a no trade clause. why would he want to come here? well i can think of a few reasons. GABP is a hitters park. comfort wise staying in the NL central is an easier transition than going to the AL East. A chance to win both in 2010 & beyond if the team extended his deal as part of the trade.
One question regarding Berkman is whether he can still play the outfield. I believe he was moved to 1B when the Astros got Carlos Lee (as opposed to being moved their because he was a butcher in the field).
New (ideal) lineup:
CF Stubbs +- Dickerson (L)
1B Votto (L)
LF Berkman (S)
RF Bruce (L) - bats 6th or 7th vs LHP
2B Phillips - bats 5th vs LHP
Bench: Dickerson, Gomes, Hanigan, Janish & (hopefully by then) Frazier
THAT is a lineup that combined with our pitchingcould produce a playoff berth. it has was the current lineup sorely lacks: another big thumper for the middle of the lineup.
I was trying to think of who might be available that would fit the Reds needs and Walt's motus operandi of trading for an established star. Berkman fits the bill. I know others have mentioned Reyes. who else do we need to keep an eye on as the trade dealine approaches?