There are plenty of reasons to feel awesome about the 2013 season on the horizon for Cincinnati Reds fans. The vast majority of a team that won 97 games will be back on the field and ready to do battle once again. The one thing that scares us as fans, however, is the glaring problem at leadoff. It is clear that the Reds intend to address that in some manner via free agency, but what that means remains a mystery. Here is a look at five guys that would fit the bill nicely should the Reds decide to open the checkbook:
I have admired Bourn from afar for quite some time and would absolutely love to see him sitting at the top of the Reds lineup. His position makes sense and would allow us to use Drew Stubbs as trade bait or in spot duty against left handers. Bourn is a potential superstar at the position and would be the ultimate signing if we could afford him.
Pagan is like Bourn but with less steals and a bit more pop in his bat right now. I think Bourn will actually pass Pagan in years to come but for now, Pagan strokes the ball a bit harder and consistent. Again, his position makes sense as well.
A career .341 on base percentage means that Victorino would be an awesome fit. The problem with him will be money. I seriously doubt that he will be willing to accept what the Reds could offer him. I don't see as much upside as I do with Bourn and Pagan for the amount of money they would cost.
Pierre could be the perfect candidate. He steals enough bases, gets on base, scores runs, plays good defense and walks enough to make an impact. At 35 years old he makes sense because Billy Hamilton will be here soon enough. He also would not cost a fortune to solve a short term problem. The big decision would be whether he would be durable enough. Perhaps they could sign him and platoon him with Stubbs for one season?
Crisp is a possibility but I think that Drew Stubbs would be just as good. Crisp hits for a better average, but not by much. This was especially true in 2012 when he hit only .259. Stubbs is a better threat overall in my opinion, but some folks like Crisp a whole lot. He is certainly an option.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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