From Jayson Stark of ESPN:
The Reds are so convinced that minor league player of the year Jay Bruce could be ready for the big leagues by June, they’re actively marketing outfielders to clear space. Don’t figure on Junior Griffey or Adam Dunn changing zip codes. But the Reds are aggressively dropping Ryan Freel’s name. And maybe most surprisingly, they’ve told other teams Josh Hamilton is also available in the right deal. “It really makes you wonder about his health,” said an official of one team that spoke with them, “and whether all that time he missed took more of a toll than we thought.”
I think they’d trade Freel for a bag of baseballs at this point. I believe they feel that Hopper is a cheaper version of the same player in the outfield (but better defensively) and Keppinger in the infield. With his last couple of seasons, Freel doesn’t have a lot of value, but he’s taking up a roster spot and if they can trade him, that’s salary off the books (another bad signing by Krivsky).
As for trading Hamilton, as I said a couple of days ago, it’s a risk, but if you want to get something of value, you have to be willing to give up something of value. The only thing is, to get the type of pitching the Reds need, Hamilton will have to be packaged with someone else.
The exciting thing is that this is the first I’ve heard of the Reds believing that Jay Bruce might be up before the All Star break. As someone that has seen Jay play probably 25 times in his career, I’m very excited about him being with the big club. He has a very real chance to be a very special player.