The following is a blueprint for the Cincinnati Reds this winter. It does not include any moves that will never happen. The Reds will never be a part of the Alex Rodriguez, Tori Hunter or Mariano Rivera free agent discussions. The Reds will never trade for Miguel Cabrera or Johann Santana. That is not the market they live in. Instead, the following plan only addresses realistic moves that could fit in a budget that needs to expand by $7 to $8 million, which is possible considering the new ticket prices and new radio deal the Reds just signed. The National Central is a weak division. The playoffs are within reach. The Reds cannot sit on their hands and waste the talent of their core players only to be doomed to rebuild again shortly. Seize the day!

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In baseball’s low-revenue markets, flexibility comes at a premium. The ability to maneuver without albatross contracts constraining a team’s payroll is the truest sign of good management.

And it goes on from there…