Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies hits an RBI double against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Reds are in the market for some sort of leadoff hitter, and Shane Victorino is at least theoretically available.
Or as I like to call it, "tradar."
It wasn't long ago that the Cincinnati Reds lost star first baseman Joey Votto to knee surgery. It wasn't long ago that the Cincinnati Reds began their current ten-game winning streak. They're weathering the Votto absence, their pitching has been terrific, and you might think that the Reds are just the happiest with their team as it is. But oh, how they pine; how they pine for a leadoff hitter. Danny Knobler:
The Reds continue to search for a leadoff hitter as the hours tick down to Tuesday's 4 p.m. (ET) non-waiver trade deadline, sources say. Shane Victorino of the Phillies has been their top target, but the price has thus far been out of the range that the Reds are willing to pay.
The Phillies are also shopping Juan Pierre, but the Reds' interest in him appears to have been exaggerated.
Ryan Ludwick has hardly been a problem, and Jay Bruce has hardly been a problem, but the Reds haven't gotten what they would like to get out of Drew Stubbs in center field. Stubbs owns a .300 OBP, and Shane Victorino is the far more proven leadoff hitter. Of course, Victorino also has just a .324 OBP, and he's on the wrong side of 30, so one can see why no Reds/Phillies trade has yet been agreed to. Victorino would be a fit for the Reds, but only at a certain cost.
Other teams, including the Dodgers and Pirates, have been linked to Victorino, who's a free agent in a few months. He seems like a pretty obvious piece for the Phillies to shed before the deadline, so we'll just have to see if their asking price comes down. Victorino's OPS+ is at its lowest since 2006.
As for the Reds' exaggerated interest in Juan Pierre, Danny Knobler previously reported that Reds team officials told him they were "in love" with Pierre, like "in-love love," and that "the thought of him plying his trade anywhere but Cincinnati" left the officials "broken-hearted and helplessly despondent." That seemed rather over-the-top at the time. But this close to the trade deadline, who really knows?