Hard not to keep one eye on the Reds these days. Perhaps no other team has as much potential to trade a big hitter the next nine days.
With that backdrop, the Junior Conundrum reared its head the other day. Rumors began swirling that it might be Ken Griffey Jr. — not Adam Dunn, not Austin Kearns, not Wily Mo Pena — who gets dealt to a team looking for a big bat. And, to his credit, Junior said all the right things, keeping his focus on the present while understanding why moving him would make sense for the club.
If they could. But they can’t.
When HOF writer Hal McCoy says he spoke to scouts from 15 clubs, and none of them were there to scout Junior, that tells you something. Even the Yankees — desperate for a center fielder and seemingly the only team in baseball that could take on his monster contract — aren’t giving a sniff. Big money and too many injuries in recent years have conspired to make Junior appear stranded in his hometown. While he says he’d consider waiving his 10-and-5 right for the right club, getting all these stars to align seems like too much to ask.
Remember, though, the Reds did have a deal done to send Griffey to San Diego a couple of winters ago, but Phil Nevin’s no-trade clause nixed it. So it’s not as though the Reds wouldn’t have to consider it. Getting a partner, that’s the rub. Never say never, but … (It would be a doozy if they did.)
The Reds still have some stuff they can do, that’s for sure. They should be able to find a taker for Joe Randa (Padres? Twins?), and they could do themselves some good by picking up some young pitching for Dunn. He stands out as the most likely of the three to move simply because he’s the most marketable and he’ll be the most expensive to keep. Gotta say, the Dodgers and Dunn seem like a good match, though his hometown Astros could use him as well.
Meanwhile, we await the inevitable A.J. Burnett finale — O’s still seem like the best call, with or without Mike Lowell — and figure for the moment on the Yankees picking up Randy Winn to help out in CF.