-- Nick R., Chillicothe, Ohio I think most, if not all, of those guys will be Reds on Aug. 1 -- unless the offers improve. Reds GM Walt Jocketty has indicated he hasn't been too impressed with the proposals he's gotten to this point. He shouldn't give away players just because big-market clubs want them. Here's my opinion: do not trade Dunn and then try to re-sign him. Do not trade Arroyo. Many have been trying to move Dunn out of here for years. Don't take a perpetual 40-homer, 100-RBI, 100-runs and 100-walks guy for granted. Who's going to fill that offensive void next year, Ryan Freel? Norris Hopper? Chris Dickerson? The answer is no one, unless you spend more for a free agent than it would cost to keep Dunn or trade for someone else that will cost a ton in prospects. As for Arroyo -- yes, he's hot and his stock couldn't be higher. Right now though, he's the only healthy and thriving veteran in a very young rotation. Looking towards the future, there is not a wealth of durable 200-inning arms in the organization, so why trade one of the few you have?
-- Michael J., Cincinnati, Ohio Right now, there's a lot of feet dragging with all the top-level Draft picks before an Aug. 15 deadline to sign them or lose them. Among the top 10, no one has signed except the No. 1 and No. 6 picks. Agents aren't in a rush because they don't want to set the bar too low on the bonus money. And to no surprise, clubs don't want to set the bar too high. I talked to scouting director Chris Buckley late last week and he seemed optimistic that Alonso would get signed. Will the Reds get any compensation Draft picks if any of their possible free agents are not signed (like Dunn or Josh Fogg)?
-- Tom W., Mt. Washington, Ky. There is no guarantee compensation picks come back, which is why the Dunn situation could be a sticky one. First, a free agent has to be classified as to whether he can yield compensation (Type A, B, C, nothing). Then a club has to offer the free agent arbitration in order to get that compensation if the player signs elsewhere. If they don't offer arbitration to a free agent and the player signs with another team, the Reds get nothing back. If they offer arbitration, they have to take the player back if he accepts and sign him to a one-year deal.
Have a question about the Reds?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Reds beat reporter Mark Sheldon for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
I heard Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh talking on FSN the other day about the Reds wanting to try to keep Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez's innings down under 200 to save their arms. I understand where they are coming from, but what happens if the Reds are still in the Wild Card hunt? Do they need to go out right now and get another pitcher or do they just use Homer Bailey and Daryl Thompson?
-- Casey W., Continental, Ohio
-- Cody O., Piqua, Ohio Right now, Maloney is on the disabled list with a right oblique strain. His won-loss record of 9-7 is decent, but his 4.19 ERA at Triple-A Louisville isn't as savory. It's not always easy to judge based on Spring Training appearances, but the lefty looked overmatched. More time in Minors won't hurt his career. He will eventually be in the Majors. With the trades that are happening in the NL Central, whether it be the CC Sabathia deal in Milwaukee or Rich Harden going to Chicago, don't you think the Reds should go after a quality pitcher before the Trade Deadline is over?
-- Matt W., Independence, Ky. I answered a similar question earlier this month and that answer was no. The Reds shouldn't blow up the farm system to get someone that would only serve to upgrade their playoff chances from marginal to unlikely. When players need surgery due to injury, who makes the decision on the doctor that performs the procedure? I have noticed that the Reds team doctor performs surgery on players around the league.
-- Brad W., Frankfort Ky. The club and doctor have great influence, but the decision ultimately rests with the player and his advisors. Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek performs most of the team's operations and has worked on other teams' players (like Kerry Wood). Kremchek is considered one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country. But if a player wants a second opinion or is more comfortable having another doctor operate, it's their right, and I've seen it happen over the years. Why doesn't MLB put the Astros in the AL West? It would make all divisions five teams and would save Houston on travel costs and the NL Central would get to play more games outside the division.
-- Tim P., Heiskell, Tenn. Moving one team to the AL would mean Interleague Play the entire season, and no one seems to want that. Other than more series vs. the Rangers, it wouldn't help Houston with travel costs -- it would increase them because of more West Coast trips. And although the unbalanced schedule can mean some tedious repetition, beating the teams within your own division is the best option at winning the division.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.