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Reds rumors: Cincy interested in Dexter Fowler

Could a trade for right-hander Homer Bailey be in the works in Nashville this week?

Bob Levey

The Cincinnati Reds are interested in Colorado Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler, and could look to acquire him for a starting pitcher, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:

How about Dexter Fowler for Homer Bailey?

We know this much, from major-league sources: The Colorado Rockies like Bailey, the right-hander who looked like a legitimate No. 2 starter for long stretches of this year. The Cincinnati Reds like Fowler, the antidote to their worst-in-the-majors .581 OPS from the leadoff spot.

Now the question is whether the mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during this week’s winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

No talks have actually occurred between the two sides regarding a swap for Bailey and Fowler, but Morosi writes that the one-for-one trade works on several levels. The Reds have been on the lookout for a leadoff hitter and a replacement for center fielder Drew Stubbs for some time, and have the rotation depth that will allow them to trade a starter like Bailey.

The Rockies are seemingly always on the prowl for starting pitching, and their league-worst ERA in 2012 makes this offseason no different. Bailey and Fowler, both 26 years old, have comparable salaries and are both coming off of career years, so their trade values are pretty close to equal.

One thing that could put a stop to the mutual interest is if the Reds feel that top prospect Billy Hamilton is close enough to breaking into the big leagues that the acquisition of Fowler is unnecessary.