But the Reds went 72-90 that summer, finished fifth in the NL Central and badly needed to improve their starting pitching.
"I wasn't looking to trade Josh Hamilton," Krivsky says of the last time Nashville hosted the winter meetings in December 2007. "If anyone was interested in him, they had to be willing to part with a young starter with a high ceiling.
"That was the only way I was going to entertain trading Josh."
When Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke with Krivsky in Nashville that December, it was a totally different world.
The Rangers had finished last in the AL West at 75-87 and were three years away from their first-ever World Series appearance.
The Reds had just completed their seventh consecutive losing season.
Krivsky told Daniels unequivocally that any deal would have to include young right-hander Edinson Volquez.
Even at that, the Reds proceeded cautiously because Hamilton was an extraordinary talent, and it was simply impossible to read his future.
"There was always pause as to what kind of numbers he would put up," Krivsky said. "He hadn't played in three or four years, then he played 90 games for us and still hit .290 with 19 homers. For not having played in that long. …
"But he also was hurt the last six or seven weeks of the season with a hamstring injury. And he had stomach issues, wrist issues.
"There was some concern, can this guy still play a full season? That's the thing."