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Cincinnati Gives Bettors Food For Thought!

The Cincinnati Reds sent the loud message to the rest of major league baseball that they are playing for keeps this season by completing an eight player deal just a week after acquiring Seattle’s ace in the bullpen, Eddie Guardado. Any time you ship out two starting position players, one who was an All-Star last year and the other who has 16 homeruns and 50 RBI’s, there must be method to your madness. The Reds presently sit 4 games behind the high flying Cardinals, but have a good shot at snaring the wild card for finishing with the fourth best record in the NL. General Manager, Wayne Krivsky, realized that his inept bullpen needed an overhaul and he has addressed that need. Cincinnati gets Washington’s Gary Majewski, who has already logged 55 innings in the first half, and Bill Bray, a former first round draft pick of the Montreal Expos. Besides the right-handed Majewski and lefty Bray, the Reds acquired shortstop Royce Clayton, infielder Brendan Harris and pitching prospect Daryl Thompson.

The 36-year-old Clayton, who will take over as shortstop for Felipe Lopez, made his first All-Star team last year. Headed to Washington is the aforementioned Lopez and slugger Austin Kearns. The Reds also gave up reliever Ryan Wagner a first-round draft pick in 2003. National’s general manager Jim Bowden acquired all three players when he ran the Reds. Kearns, one of the team's building blocks during Bowden's 11-year run in Cincinnati, was soaking in a whirlpool Thursday when he got called into the manager's office for a private meeting.

The 26-year-old Majewski was 3-2 with a 3.58 ERA in 46 games. He led the Nationals with 79 appearances last season and had a 2.93 ERA. The 23-year-old Bray was the 13th overall pick in the June 2004 draft and was considered one of the Nationals' top pitching prospects. He was 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 19 relief appearances this season, his first in the majors. Kearns was hitting .274 with 16 homers and 50 RBIs. He became a fixture in right field after Krivsky traded outfielder Wily Mo Pena to Boston in March for starter Bronson Arroyo who represented the Reds in the All-Star game.

Lopez is hitting .268 with nine homers and 30 RBIs, but has occasionally failed to make the routine play. The Reds are second-to-last in the NL in-fielding. Making the routine plays all the time and getting quality middle relief should put the Reds in position to challenge the Cards who have struggled all year with injuries. Bob Acton Online Sports Betting.


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