MLB Trade Rumors: Shane Victorino Is Exactly What Cincinnati Reds Need

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2012

DENVER, CO - JULY 14: Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies  bats in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 14, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 8-5.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds are currently sitting atop the NL Central standings, but if they want to fend off the dangerous Pittsburgh Pirates, they still have some improvements to make.

As of today, the Reds are last in the majors in both average (.203) and on-base percentage (.248) from the lead-off spot. If the Reds are looking to make some noise in the playoffs, that kind of production—or lack thereof—isn't going to cut it.

Enter Shane Victorino, the Philadelphia Phillies' reliable outfielder who just happens to be available. According to Danny Knobler of, the Reds covet Victorino, who could completely solve their lead-off woes.

Unfortunately, Knobler also said the Reds were scared off by the Phillies asking price, which one team called "outrageous," according to Jon Heyman of

asking price said "outrageous'' by 1 team on victorino. #phillies are making things interesting

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 30, 2012

It's unclear what exactly the Phillies are demanding for Victorino, but unless it's something that would cripple their future, the Reds should pull the trigger. The 31-year-old Victorino is past his prime, but he's still a threat at the plate.

He has hit nine homers and driven in 40 runs this season, while posting an average of .261 and an on-base percentage of .324. That's not an incredible amount of production, but it's much better than what the Reds are currently getting from their lead-off hitters.

They may have to pay a pretty penny, but landing Victorino—who could be the final piece to their championship puzzle—should be the Reds' top priority.