The Cincinnati Reds are in the midst of a tailspin. After losing a season-high six consecutive games, the Reds have dropped to 5.5 games back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and four games behind the leaders of the National League Wild Card.
All of this is happening without the services of arguably their two best players—former All-Star and Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips and former MVP, All-Star and Gold Glove first baseman Joey Votto.
The problem for the Reds is that, as per Jim Bowden of ESPN (h/t SportsIllustrated.com), both are reportedly out for at least another five weeks. That would indicate that the soonest either would return would be middle-to-late August, with just about 30 games or so remaining.
In the meantime, the Reds may have to make a move (or two) to salvage a fading season. The following are four bold predictions for the Reds at the 2014 trading deadline. The order will go from most likely to shocking development.
Rather than reiterate every package, just know that any deal the Reds make will likely involve expendable MLB talent like Ryan Ludwick (they would have to eat salary) or a Chris Heisey, but also their top prospects in Robert Stephenson, Ben Lively, Michael Lorenzen, Phillip Ervin or Jesse Winker.