The Cincinnati Reds struggled on offense for much of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, so ownership should consider going after Kevin Youkilis and other free agents in the offseason.
It will be a big surprise if the team goes after a high-profile free agent. Fans should not expect a big splash this winter, but that does not mean the team can't make improvements.
Going into the offseason the team needed to address two issues: left field/leadoff and the bench. Not only were they looking to fill those holes, but a left-handed bat was one of the key areas to add. The bench went through several left-handed bats before settling on Xavier Paul. While it would be ideal to get a left-handed bat, getting a good player is the most important part.
This list includes players who are versatile, fit the left-handed need or would help improve the offense in general. A few former Reds make this list (and no, not Josh Hamilton), and they have proven they can play at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati is set with pitching, so it will be crucial for the team to add to its offense.
Ryan Ludwick is the key to this offseason. If he re-signs with the team, the bench will be the only hole to fill. If he leaves in free agency, the team will have more money to spend to bring in players. So for this article, let's just assume he is not back in Cincinnati next season.
What other free agents join Youkilis on this list?
*All stats are from ESPN.com