INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Reds, who tried but failed to acquire a leadoff hitter at midseason, are interested in Michael Bourn, according to sources.
The Reds can't be considered a favorite to land Bourn, and there's a real chance that his price will go higher than what they can afford to spend. But he's enough of a fit that they are monitoring the market and are expected to keep in touch with agent Scott Boras.
Reds leadoff hitters combined for a .254 on-base percentage, easily the worst in the majors. Bourn had a .348 on-base percentage last year with the Braves, and has been at .340 or higher each of the last four seasons.
While leadoff is an issue, the Reds have other significant needs this winter. They want to re-sign outfielder Ryan Ludwick, and would need to replace his 80 RBI if they can't keep him. They also want to sign a closer, allowing them to move Aroldis Chapman to the rotation.
The Nationals have long been considered the favorite for Bourn. The Braves like him, but expect to get outbid.