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Reds Interested in Matt Holliday, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Gary Matthews Jr.

According to the Columbus Post Dispatch, the Cincinnati Reds may be in the market for a big bat, most notably Oakland A's slugger Matt Holliday.

Holliday has been the subject of several trade rumors this year; however, he may not be the only player the Reds are targeting. Apparently the Reds also have similar interest in Blue Jays outfielders Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, along with Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.

The Reds, following a 10-1 defeat to the Cardinals last night sit at a dead even 40-40, and are three games out of first place. The Reds have failed to make the postseason since 1995, so this may be the time to make a run for it.

In the current economic climate it's always difficult to gauge who in fact is willing to add payroll, but according to Reds owner Bob Castellini, the Reds are one of those few teams that have that luxury.

Now when you talk about acquiring players of this caliber more often than not it's going to take substantial prospects in addition to absorbing payroll. A's GM Billy Beane has made it clear that he is looking for two major league ready prospects at the minimum in exchange for Holliday, and while I imagine Blue Jays GM J.P. Riccardi would love to move Vernon Wells contract, he's not going to just give him away.

The Reds have apparently been active so far this summer; they were believed to be one of the finalists for Mark DeRosa, ultimately to lose out to the Cardinals. The activity should give Reds fan's clear indication that this team is willing to upgrade and make a run for the postseason.

Ultimately, I'm not sure I can see the Reds parting with any significant prospects in order to obtain Holliday, Wells or Rios. They seem to be in a similar position as the Brewers were last year. The Brewers, who elected to make a postseason run, gave up highly touted prospect Matt LaPorta in order to obtain C.C Sabathia. The quick fix allowed the Brewers to make the postseason, only to be eliminated in the first round. As we all know Sabathia left following the season and signed with the Yankees.

At the end of the day Reds ownership and management are going to have to get together and really evaluate this team. If they truly believe they are one bat away from having a shot at winning it all, then you make the move; however, if this is going to be a three month rental at the expense of a top prospect than you pull back. If the Reds failure to acquire DeRosa tells us anything, it at least tells us that the Reds are really evaluating these players, and not necessarily willing to mortgage the future at any cost.

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