3 Blockbuster Deals the Cincinnati Reds GM Should Be Proposing

Justin OlexaContributor IIIJuly 14, 2014

3 Blockbuster Deals the Cincinnati Reds GM Should Be Proposing

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    Cincinnati Reds
    Cincinnati RedsJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Cincinnati Reds enter the All-Star break as one of the hottest teams in baseball. After a 23-29 start to the season, Cincinnati goes into the break at 51-44 and just 1.5 games back in the NL Central. However, the Reds can't afford to stand pat if they want to win the division.

    The top four teams are separated by just 3.5 games in the Central, and the race will be tight until the end of the year. All four squads have very talented teams, so the Reds need to look to improve their roster before the trade deadline.

    The starting pitching has been phenomenal, so there is no need to upgrade there. What the Reds could really use is an upgrade at shortstop and left field. A lefty in the bullpen should be the other target player.

    Let's take a look at the deals Reds GM Walt Jocketty should be proposing before the deadline.

Alexei Ramirez

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    Alexei Ramirez
    Alexei RamirezJim Mone/Associated Press

    While there is no questioning Zack Cozart on the field, the Reds desperately need more offense from their shortstop. Alexei Ramirez would be the perfect target.

    He had a better dWAR than Cozart the past two seasons, and Ramirez is a much better hitter. Cozart's offensive numbers all rank near the bottom of the league for shortstops, but Ramirez ranks fourth in the league in WAR.

    He is hitting .282 with eight home runs and 42 RBI. Ramirez also has 15 stolen bases and will be representing the White Sox in the All-Star Game.

    The Chicago White Sox won't be making the postseason this year, and they would be better off adding a couple of young pieces to continue rebuilding. Cincinnati has depth at the starting pitcher position and could pair one of those young arms with Cozart to make the trade attractive for the White Sox. 

    Possible Trade Offer

    Reds Trade: Zack Cozart, Donald Lutz, Michael Lorenzen

    White Sox Trade: Alexei Ramirez

Oliver Perez

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    Oliver Perez
    Oliver PerezKathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

    Cincinnati desperately needs a shutdown lefty in the bullpen. The Arizona Diamondbacks have exactly that and will be sellers at the deadline. Oliver Perez will likely be on the move and would be a perfect fit for the Reds.

    Outside of Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton, the Reds' bullpen has really struggled. They currently sit at 23rd in the league with an ERA of 3.88.

    Manny Parra is the only lefty in the bullpen at the moment, and Perez has been a far better pitcher. His ERA currently sits at 2.06, and opponents are hitting just .214 off of him.

    Having a second lefty in the pen will allow manager Bryan Price more flexibility in the late innings. Perez could also take over the seventh inning, which would set up a lethal closing group with Broxton and Chapman.

    Another good thing about Perez is that he should not cost a top-tier prospect.

    Possible Trade Offer

    Reds Trade: Daniel Corcino

    Diamondbacks Trade: Oliver Perez

Alex Rios

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    Alex Rios
    Alex RiosTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    There is no reason for the Texas Rangers to hold onto Alex Rios. They are 38-57, and Rios is in the last year of his contract. Texas won't be contending this year, so it's better off trying to get something out of his expiring contract. 

    Rios would be a definite upgrade over the platoon of Skip Schumaker, Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey. His power numbers are down with just four home runs, but he is still hitting .305 with an OBP of .333 and has 42 RBI. 

    The Rangers would likely need a solid prospect package to pry Rios away, and the Reds aren't likely to be the only suitors. 

    Possible Trade Offer

    Reds Trade: Neftali Soto, Ben Lively, Ismael Guillon

    Rangers Trade: Alex Rios


    All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com