Reds free agent targets include Michael Morse, Norichika Aoki

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Reds GM Walt Jocketty has two World Series participants on his list of free agent targets: 1B/OF Michael Morse (formerly of the Giants) and outfielder Norichika Aoki (formerly of the Royals), John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Jocketty prefers to add offense via free agency as opposed to making a trade.

Morse, 32, had another productive season for the Giants, hitting .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 482 plate appearances. During the post-season, Morse started only four games, but hit .300 with a home run and five RBI in 22 plate appearances as the Giants went on to win their third championship in five years.

Aoki, 32, batted .285/.349/.360 with 43 RBI and 17 stolen bases for the Royals during the regular season. In the playoffs, he hit .195 in 48 trips to the plate.

The Reds averaged the third fewest runs per game in 2014 at 3.67. They ranked ahead of only the Braves (3.54) and Padres (3.30), falling under the National League average of 3.95.

Roberto Osuna to be the Astros new closer

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When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.

This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.

Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.