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NL Central Notes: Reds Better Off Standing Pat?

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Here's the latest from the National League Central:

Cincinnati Reds (59-40)

The Reds are in the market for a leadoff hitter, but actually rejected a trade offer from the Philadelphia Phillies that incuded Shane Victorino. They've also shown some level of interest in fellow Phillie Juan Pierre and Denard Span of the Minnesota Twins. A piece ran yesterday at Red Reporter stating the case for the team to not make a big move.

"I don't see Span or Victorino being worth the price tag for what looks like it could be a nominal upgrade over what we have now, and we know about slap hitters not being as effective in GABP. Making a move just for the sake of making a move is not good baseball business."

Pittsburgh Pirates (57-42, -2 in Central, in No. 1 Wild Card spot)

The Pirates made two big moves last week, trading for starter Wandy Rodriguez and calling up outfielder Starling Marte, who hit a home run on the first pitch he saw as a major leaguer. The team is still looking into corner outfield help, with Shane Victorino and Vernon Wells as possible targets. The addition of Wandy has made Kevin Correia expendable, and the team is motivated to trade the veteran sometime by the deadline.

St. Louis Cardinals (54-46, -5.5 in Central, -1.5 in Wild Card)

The Cardinals have been linked with several of the top starting pitchers on the market, including James Shieldsand Ryan Dempster. The team already filled a hole when it signed left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes. Viva El Birdos took a look into some unconventional trade options for St. Louis, suggesting trading for Stephen Drew and moving him to second base would be an outside the box option.

Milwaukee Brewers (45-54, -14 in Central, -10 in Wild Card)

The Brewers traded away their most valuable chip in Zack Greinke, but still have several other pieces that could be moved by the deadline. Other players who could be on their way out of Milwaukee include Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford, Manny Parra and Kameron Loe. It could be an all-out fire sale when all is said and done.

Chicago Cubs (40-58, -18.5 in Central, -14.5 in Wild Card)

The Cubs still haven't been able to get Ryan Dempster off their hands after a trade with the Atlanta Braves fell through. His rotation mates Matt Garza and Paul Maholm are still on the market, as well. The Cubs are desperate to dump Alfonso Soriano and there's at least one team that's shown interest.

Houson Astros (34-67, -26 in Central, -22 in Wild Card)

The Astros have already traded away several of their veterans, and have made everyone but All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve "up for grabs." The team is on pace to lose 107 games and is moving to the American League West next season. Seems like a good time to bottom out and start over.