2. The Cincinnati Reds shore up their bullpen by trading SS Zack Cozart to the Houston Astros for RHP Matt Lindstrom, and acquire RHP Michael Wuertz from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for OF Chris Heisey and LHP Donnie Joseph
With a 4.73 bullpen-wide Fair Run Average that betrays how little they have going for them beyond Francisco Cordero and Arthur Rhodes, the Reds rate 12th in the National League in that category. That's the worst mark of any of the league's contenders. During Walt Jocketty's tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals, the current Cincinnati GM was a master at dealing middling prospects to acquire veterans -- but the Reds' need is immediate and dire. Getting Lindstrom shouldn't be all that expensive, but he's a hard-throwing veteran closer bound for free agency and the Astros should try to respond to the Reds' desires by getting themselves a shortstop. Cozart isn't a blue-chip stud, but he's playable and is hitting .262/.329/.446 for Triple-A Louisville (and a .254 True Average), with 23 steals and 14 homers at 25 years old; he would immediately fill Houston's need up the middle.
Trading for Wuertz is almost the opposite of renting Lindstrom because he'd be a long-term fix. Oakland's setup man was one of the game's best relievers last season, finishing 11th in WXRL without being a closer; after missing the first month of this season with shoulder trouble, he has settled back into slider-driven dominance. He's under contract through 2011 for $2.8 million with a $3.25 million club option, a relative bargain compared with what top relievers can command on the open market. The A's need an outfielder, and Heisey's a grinder whose value might never be higher after he popped five homers in his 10 weeks on the Reds' bench.