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Trade deadline: 16 days and counting...

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Perhaps i am crosseyed after reading every team's site and looking over the possibilities up and down and all over again.

It isn't that this team doesn't need something, it is that what seems available versus what we could replace it with internally pares down interesting trades to nil levels.

Without complicating things over exciting three team trades of big names and bigger contracts, there is only one feasible trade I think would help this club:

Trade Kevin Gregg to the Reds for Kent Mercker and a prospect.

The bullpen needs a lefty. Mercker is a veteran who has been in the NL for quite some time. He's had a restful summer in the midwest and would be as fresh as any arm we get at this time of the year. Mercker would replace Gregg in the pen and supersede Gregg's most obvious internal replacement Jake Woods. Woods is still feeling his way, and could be a starter anyway - he's no Scot Shields, but he may be a serviceable Jarrod Washburn in '06. K-Gregg is toast and must be expelled while we can get anything. His value as a starter or reliever plus his sinkerball in a hitter's park makes him look good to Cincinnatti.

And even though people contest chemistry, Mercker almost died on the Anaheim mound in 2000 and would uplift the veteran teammates and come full circle with a compelling psychological narrative that could impact his ability in a way that pinheads will never have the imaginative capacity to quantify.