As the Cincinnati Reds continued to sputter last night, dropping another game to the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, there was finally a small tangible ripple in trade rumors surrounding the club. According to former Reds general manager Jim Bowden, Cincinnati may be working to acquire Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd:
Reds and Phillies continue trade talks regarding Marlon Byrd according to sources
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 23, 2014
The 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Tuesday was a great example of why the Reds’ offense needs help. Cincinnati struggled to get anything going most of the night and then rallied in the sixth with a string of singles and hit batsmen to score two runs. The good vibes were short-lived, though, as Billy Hamilton lined to second and Zack Cozart was caught off the bag to end the inning. Jonathan Lucroy homered twice for the Brewers, including a walk-off job that dropped the Reds four-and-a-half games off the pace.
As I mentioned last week, Byrd normally plays in right field, while the Reds are generally thought to be looking for help in left, at first, and in the middle infield. Most pressing of all for Cincinnati, though, is to beef up their offense, and Byrd fits that bill with 19 home runs and an .802 OPS through Tuesday.
Whatever general manager Walt Jocketty does, he needs to make it happen soon because the Reds are already on the verge of needing to reconsider just how realistic their 2014 playoff aspirations are.