Do you think the Reds have a chance of getting five players on the National League All-Star team this year? In my opinion, Ken Griffey Jr., David Ross, Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo and Todd Coffey should all be there. -- Jeff N., Hamilton, Ohio
All are at least worthy of consideration, but the cynic in me says the Reds will be represented by only two players, three tops. You have to remember that every team must be represented by at least one player and that NL manager Phil Garner's roster decisions aren't his alone to make. The players vote for reserves, and fans get a vote on MLB.com for each team's final reserve. The league also has input. And for guys having first-time success, like Ross and Phillips, it sometimes takes an extra year before everyone around the league truly notices what they're doing.
My prediction: Griffey will be elected a starting outfielder by fan balloting and Arroyo and Phillips will be named to go to Pittsburgh for the July 11 All-Star Game.
Just wondering, could the Reds go after Barry Zito from the A's or has his stock risen too high? Your thoughts? -- Scott L., Granite Bay, Calif.
Considering that he's one of the best lefties in the game today, Zito would certainly be a nice addition to any rotation. But with quality pitchers appearing scarce on the trade market this summer, Oakland is sure to expect a lot in return, namely big prospects. That's something the Reds are not plentiful with. The lefty is also a free agent next year and is sure to command maximum dollars this winter -- likely beyond the Reds' budget threshold. I don't see GM Wayne Krivsky giving up good players to get someone, even Zito, as a "rent-a-player" for half a season.
Juan Gonzalez is playing well in an independent league. According to reports, he seems to be healthy. He does not have a contract with any Major League team. Because of his past problems with injuries, Major League teams have not shown great interest in him. A team could probably sign him for the minimum salary and a half-year contract. It does not seem to be a great risk financially. Do you think the Reds GM should consider giving Gonzalez a chance? I think it is worth it. Look at how many injuries Griffey has had over the years, and he is still producing. The Reds can certainly use more power in the lineup, and Gonzalez might still have a couple a years left. -- José J., San Juan, P.R.
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I don't think the Reds have ever been accused of being starved for power -- they lead the National League in home runs. No way, no how should they (or any big league club) waste even $1 to sign Gonzalez, who is trying to resurrect his career with the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League. There have been way too many "health issues" that have burned too many teams. Last season, Gonzalez earned $600,000 with Cleveland for what literally amounted to one at-bat. I was even there in Minnesota to see this historical moment when he pulled up with a hamstring injury halfway up the line on a groundout. He never played again in 2005.
I'm not entirely sure about the Juan Castro trade. Although his defense will be appreciated in late innings, how many infielders do we need? And catchers for that matter? Is Jason LaRue going to be traded soon? It seems we have a lot of players looking for playing time. -- Matt H., Cincinnati
The Reds' error total this season, especially on the left side of the infield, was costing the club games and something needed to be done. Castro's bat won't be a plus in the late innings, but his sure glove could make his acquisition a steady move. As for the three-catcher situation, the Reds are in a position of depth for dealing should another team need a veteran catcher later in the season.
Recently I've been hearing trade rumors about Griffey. Do you think the Reds would actually trade Griffey now when we seem to be playing so well? -- Noah S., Bryan, Ohio
No way. Why would they weaken the team by getting rid of its most prolific hitter? It's wishful thinking for media in Chicago and/or New York.
Now that Mike Remlinger has been designated for assignment, do you think the Reds will try to trade for him? -- Vince V., Chicago, Ill.
Remlinger, who was jettisoned by the Braves on Saturday, is 40. The Reds' bullpen doesn't need to get older. It needs to get younger.
(P.S. Vince V.: loved you in "Old School" and "Swingers" -- just in case that's you -- even though I highly doubt it).
What's the word on Johnny Cueto? Apparently, he has been blowing away low Class A hitters in the Midwest League with Dayton. Will he be joining Homer Bailey in the high Class A Sarasota rotation anytime soon? Also, why hasn't he been mentioned as one of the Reds' top pitching prospects? -- Kyle E., Fort Myers, Fla.
This question was sent a few weeks back (before Bailey was moved up to Double-A), but it was a good time to dust it off. We have a feature about Cueto that ran on the same day as this mailbag -- so be sure to check it out here.
Cueto has been dominant for the Dragons this season, and I've been told that a promotion to Sarasota could be forthcoming soon if he continues performing well.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.