The Cincinnati Reds sit at just 27-31, and it might seem easy to label them as sellers. However, the season is still young, and they sit just three games back in the wild-card race.
If they stay close to .500 and within a reasonable distance in the wild-card race, Walt Jocketty and the rest of the front office will likely hold out hope for this season. They have been in "win-now" mode for the past few seasons and expected to be in the running this year.
This year hasn't gotten off to a great start, but there is still plenty of time to turn things around. If they are trying to make a playoff run, they will need to improve the offense.
Injuries can be partially blamed, but it is still no excuse for the anemic offense. According to ESPN.com, the Reds rank 28th in runs, 26th in OBP and 24th in average. The Reds should try to target players at shortstop and left field.
Whether they are buyers or sellers at the deadline, the Reds will most likely be listening to offers for their starting pitchers as the deadline nears. All of them have very tradable contracts.
With the return of Mat Latos coming soon, the Reds will have six capable starting pitchers for just five spots. Top prospect Robert Stephenson is also expected to be in the mix in 2015 or 2016.
Depending on where they stand, a nice prospect package or quality bat in the lineup could be enough to pry one of them away.