While it's clear the Reds are one of the few true "sellers" in the trade market before the July 31 deadline, expectations for the team to make a flurry of deals in the next few weeks probably aren't justified.
In fact, Saturday's deal that sent Joe Randa to the Padres for pitching prospects Justin Germano and Travis Chick might be the only trade the Reds make this month.
"This time of year, [the deadline] is intriguing for fans," O'Brien said. "Having said that, the vast majority of the information that's circulated is erroneous."
This much is known. O'Brien has no interest in dealing any of his younger players, most notably young outfielders Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns or Wily Mo Pena, unless he is, as he put it, "overwhelmed" by an offer.
That hasn't happened yet. But that doesn't stop the rumors from circulating in the clubhouse.
Manager Jerry Narron said he thinks those rumors can be distracting for a young player.
"There are some guys who are concerned who have no chance of being traded," Narron said. "I like the way [Ken Griffey Jr.], from what I've read, has looked at it when he says, 'It's not in my hands, so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm here, and I'm going to play.' That's really the way I want them to look at it."
But Narron admitted all the talk "probably does" affect a younger player mentally.
O'Brien said he hasn't had specific conversations with any of the younger guys to alleviate their concerns.
"But I think I've stated very clearly what our position is," he said. "As one of our players told me, [worrying about trade talk] is the equivalent of wasted energy."
Especially given the way the trade outlook is shaping up for the Reds here in the final days before the deadline. O'Brien knows inaction on his part would probably disappoint the talking heads in the national media, but he's not going to make a deal that would disrupt his younger core of players.
"I think we've been very clear as to how we prioritize our roster, what we're trying to do with the future and how the young players are a part of that mix," he said. "I think there's a pretty good chance for disappointment [in the media], at least on a grand scale. But I think people become a little too immersed in this July 31 [deadline]. There's still deals to be done in August and September."
Back at it:
Right-hander Josh Hancock got the start for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday night in the first game of his second rehab stint with the Bats and gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts over four innings of work.
Hancock was limited to 60 pitches in that outing. The plan over the 20 days of his assignment is to work his pitch count over 100.
"Each outing thereafter, [the pitch count] will increase in increments of 15 pitches," O'Brien said. "That will chew up 20 days."
Hancock has been out all season with a strained right groin. His first rehab assignment, last month, was cut short when he suffered a setback during a relief appearance for the Bats.
"No matter how you characterize it, he's had no luck at all this year," O'Brien said.
But if Hancock is lucky enough to make it back to the bigs before the end of the season, will he be slotted into the rotation or placed in the bullpen?
"According to Jerry and [pitching coach] Vern [Ruhle], that's yet to be determined," O'Brien said. "From a medical point of view, they thought the best thing to do for his overall health was to have him on the starting track as part of his 20-day rehab, because of the conditioning he can do between starts."
Sean Casey entered Wednesday's action leading all National League first basemen in fielding percentage (.999, with one error in 830 chances).
Casey committed his only error on May 2 against the Cardinals. Since that time, he's gone 67 games without an error, tied for the longest errorless streak of his career, which he previously accomplished between May 2 and July 23, 1999.
Casey's streak is the second-longest by a Major League first baseman this season. The Angels' Darin Erstad went 83 games without an error between April 4 and July 7.
The Reds had won 10 straight games in which Griffey homered until Tuesday night's 7-4 loss to the Dodgers. ... The annual Rosie Reds Ins and Outs Tour of Great American Ball Park is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13. The tours begin at 8 a.m., with the last tour beginning at 2 p.m. For $10, fans will be taken in the Reds' dugout, clubhouse, Diamond Club, press box, broadcast booth and the Crosley Room. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Tammy Little at (513) 353-3016 or in person that day at the Crosley Terrace gates.
Down on the farm:
Right-hander Jimmy Serrano (3-1) has pitched well for Louisville since signing a Minor League deal with the Reds on July 1. But he blew up Tuesday, allowing eight runs on 10 hits in five innings en route to a 10-1 loss to Durham. ... Right-hander Chick, making his debut for the Reds organization after being acquired from the Padres in the Randa trade, allowed one run on four hits over six innings for Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday. ... Right fielder Ben Himes went 2-for-4 with a run, double, triple, sac fly and three RBIs, first baseman Joey Votta went 4-for-5 with a run and left fielder William Hudson went 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a stolen base in Class A Sarasota's 6-2 win at Palm Beach.
The Reds and Dodgers wrap up their four-game set with Thursday's 3:10 p.m. ET game at Dodger Stadium. Left-hander Brandon Claussen (4-8, 5.00 ERA) will face right-hander D.J. Houlton (4-3, 5.68 ERA).