The Reds’ Billy Hamilton lines out to end a game against the Cardinals on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Could a contender take Billy Hamilton off the Reds’ hands?

Over the winter, any report about the Cincinnati Reds potentially trading Billy Hamilton was sure to get fans of the team fired up. 

What about now? 

Hamilton is having his worst year at the plate and stealing fewer bases as the team also flounders for a fourth straight season. 

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He remains an outstanding defensive player, but the flashes of his potential to be an offensive catalyst seem to be growing fewer and farther between. 

And yet ESPN’s Buster Olney put forth the idea Hamilton could be of value to a contending team. 

A very specific value, but a value nonetheless. 

Hamilton also is a high-impact defender in center field, with his fearlessness translating in those moments he pursues drives into the gaps and near the fences. So Hamilton’s perfect role would be to serve as a pinch runner in the right spot and then assume a spot in the outfield for the late innings, to help protect the lead that he created.

What do you think, Reds fans? 

He suggests the Giants, Mariners and Astros as teams that could use Hamilton and his very specific set of skills. 

Should the Reds make a deal if there is one available? 

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As Olney points out, they may need to move on from him anyway after this season considering the salary he is likely to qualify for given his service time.