Reds let trade deadline pass quietly

Reds let trade deadline pass quietly

SAN DIEGO -- The Reds were one of the few teams labeled as bona fide "sellers" in the July trading market.

Rumors swirled nationwide, seemingly about every player, clubhouse worker and batboy wearing a Cincinnati uniform.

As it turns out, all that chatter was much ado about nothing. Or, at least, much ado about little.

The July 23 trade that sent Joe Randa to the Padres for pitching prospects Justin Germano and Travis Chick was the only move made by the club.

Sure, the talking heads in the national media might have been disappointed in the lack of a blockbuster deal to emanate from Great American Ball Park. And even a few fans expecting a July fire sale in this rough-and-tumble '05 season might have been let down.

But general manager Dan O'Brien makes no apologies for his relative lack of action on the trade front.

"We're not going to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade," he said. "Our No. 1 priority was [trading] Randa. We accomplished that. And if any other scenarios were to unfold, it would be based on a deal that we feel is in our best interests. A fair deal, but one that would have to benefit the organization."

O'Brien didn't see any such deals on the horizon this month.

When the second-year GM scoped out the trade menu, he put in an order for pitching with a side of pitching and pitching for dessert. But that order was out of season.

"If a team wants a regular Major League player from you, however you want to define that, we have to have some Major League-caliber pitching coming back our way," O'Brien said. "That's where the rub is."

The majority of O'Brien's conversations were with general managers of contending teams, so pitching wasn't easy to come by.

"It's a little difficult for them to part with that commodity at this time of year," O'Brien said.

And O'Brien decided one commodity he wasn't going to part with was his young core of players, most notably outfielders Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena.

That's not to say a deal involving one of those players couldn't be on the horizon in the offseason. It just wasn't going to happen in this current climate.

O'Brien was adamant in stressing that deals could be on the horizon in August or even September. Players such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Sean Casey, by virtue of their big contracts, would probably pass through waivers unclaimed if they were dealt to another club.

"Sometimes people don't appreciate the fact that the trade deadline doesn't preclude other opportunities from unfolding in August or even in the month of September," O'Brien said. "A lot can happen."

That little happened in July came as a relief to the Reds players, who endured rumor after rumor all month.

"It'll be a relief to wipe the slate clean," Casey said. "Guys pay attention [to trade talk]. You'd be lying if you said you didn't. Even Dunner, who never watches [ESPN's] 'Baseball Tonight,' has been watching every night the last couple weeks. I think he'll go back to not watching it again."

And O'Brien will go back to business as usual, trying to find ways to improve the quality of his club, via trades or otherwise.

O'Brien said the fact that he didn't satisfy the salivating trade hounds in July doesn't mean he's satisfied with the state of the team.

"As I've said, our posture isn't because we're content with the 25-man roster," he said. "We're always looking to improve. But the time of the trade may not be appropriate. It might have to potentially be something in the offseason."

So expect the rumors to start swirling again.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.