The Cincinnati Reds stood pat at the trade deadline; however, that does not mean they won't be making a move through waivers. If Cincinnati wishes to be playing in October, it will need to bolster its bullpen and lineup.
According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, general manager Walt Jocketty had this to say about not making a move before the non-waiver deadline:
We were involved in a lot of different negotiations, but in the end, we're looking mainly for offense. There really wasn't the offensive pieces out there; none of the guys we talked about were moved. I think the asking prices were beyond what we felt comfortable [with], and obviously other teams felt the same way.
The Reds still rank near the bottom of the league in all of the major offensive categories. Injuries to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips can take some of the blame for that, but the Reds will need to pick it up offensively to make it to the playoffs.
Left field and shortstop are the clear weaknesses in the lineup. It is unlikely the Reds will land an upgrade over Zack Cozart through waivers, but there are options available in the outfield.
Adding another left-hander in the bullpen would also be a welcomed addition.
Lefty Bullpen Arm
Tony Sipp is one reliever the Reds could target. Sipp has been dominant this season, and the Houston Astros are not looking to make the postseason anytime soon.
The lefty has an ERA of 2.48 with a WHIP of .83. Batters are hitting a microscopic .155 off him this season. Another left-handed option out of the pen would provide the Reds with more flexibility. Outside of Chapman, Manny Parra is the only lefty in the bullpen right now.
Sipp would be a nice option to provide the Reds another arm in the pen, and he should not come with too high of a price.
While adding another arm in the bullpen would be a nice addition, Cincinnati desperately needs another bat in the lineup. Jimmy Rollins' contract is likely too high for next season to interest the Reds, and he is likely the only waiver option at shortstop.
Upgrading in left field is much more realistic. Alex Rios drew most of the Reds' attention before the non-waiver trade deadline.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported the Reds were in the mix to land Rios on July 30:
Talks for Rios could go to end. Several of interested clubs - CLE, CIN, KC, SF - fading of late. #Rangers willing to include cash in deal.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
Rios should be the Reds' top target. His power numbers might be down this year, but he is still a proven hitter. He is hitting .298 this season to go along with 44 RBI.
Rios also adds 15 stolen bases on the season, which fits in perfectly with the Reds' new aggressive strategy on the basepaths.
Texas has been decimated by injuries this season, and it might as well look to get something for Rios before the end of the season.
The 33-year-old veteran would be a huge upgrade over Ryan Ludwick and could carry some of the offensive load until Phillips and Votto return.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com, unless noted otherwise