May 26, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span (2) hits a home run in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Cincinnati Reds’ "No. 1 need" is a reliable leadoff man, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and he believes Juan Pierre of the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span could be potential targets for the club.
The question is who’s available. Philadelphia’s Juan Pierre apparently is. He’s having a decent year. He’s a rental player, which works well for the Reds since Billy Hamilton will likely be ready by 2014.
Minnesota’s Denard Span likely is available too. He’s hitting .270 with a .334 on-base this year. His career numbers are .282/.357. He under contract the next two years at $4.75 million and $6.5 million with a club option for 2015.
Even if the Phillies don’t decide to engage in a complete fire-sale this summer, they could still elect to trade Pierre. Philadelphia signed the 34-year-old to a minor league deal this off-season, and he’s hit at a productive clip of .307/.344/.378 over his 241 at-bats.
The Twins are reportedly willing to trade Span this year, but he’s going to cost more than Pierre. The 28-year-old’s contract runs through the 2014 season and includes an option for 2015. While he owns a career OPS of .742, his production has been down over the past few seasons. He’s pushed his OPS back north of .700, and on the year he’s posted a line of .270/.334/.375 with 20 doubles and 39 runs scored.
What is the Reds greatest need at this point?