Well, 2008 ended with a thud. When do pitchers and catchers report, again?

Use this thread to discuss all the moves the Reds need to make to be competitive next year. Actually, use it to discuss anything you want, including Junior Griffey’s game today against the Tigers.

22 Responses

  1. iMonk

    Sign long term: Votto, Bruce
    Sign: Hairston, Jr., Keppinger
    Trade: Encarnacion, Dickerson, Lincoln
    Send to Third: Alonzo
    Keep: Hannigan, Phillips, Valentin
    Acquire: One more quality starter, Clean-up hitter/center fielder, 2 quality bullpenners
    Lose: Patterson, Weathers, Dick Pole, Brook Jacoby

  2. Kevin

    John Fay’s comment about off season needs I’m just about totally in agreement with:

    Walt Jocketty says the Reds’ biggest offseason need is right-handed hitter who can produce runs. I tend to agree.

    I’d list the priorities as: a) right-handed run producer; b) center fielder/leadoff man; c) shortstop; d) catcher.

    I’m actually 100% in agreement with Fay on this one. They’re saying the payroll should jump to 80 million, which would mean about 20 million to spend. With that kind of money, I trust Jocketty (I think) to come up with the right-handed bat he’s talking about. I’d also like to see Bailey and Dickerson and maybe a couple of other guys traded for one good player to fill another one of the holes.

    The question is, do we sign a guy like Burrell and then use our trade bait like Bailey, Thomspon, Francisco, etc. for another player (lead off batter, etc.) or do we trade Cueto and Francisco for Holliday, basically using up our money and trading chips in one move, and having to hope Bailey or Thompson are rotation ready?

    I think the strongest argument against the Holliday idea is that it’s totally based on contending in ’09, since we’d only get him for that season. Unfortunately, I’m expecting Jocketty and Castellini to base their moves on the idea of contending in ’09. I’d rather improve the club as much as we can without losing people like Stubbs, Francisco, etc. who I think can be important parts of 2010, find someone like Ordonez or Burrell who would be locked down for multiple years, and trade people who shouldn’t be part of our future but might have some value somewhere else (people love to take risks on people like Bailey, right? Like we did with Phillips and Volquez, which both turned out great). That being said, I’m not expecting the moves to be based on a 2 or 3 year plan at all, because that’s not the way Castellini has shown that he thinks. I think we can potentially improve a good deal this offseason, or dig ourselves into a deeper hole with moves that trade away the light at the end of the tunnel for a pipe dream of contending in ’09…

  3. Sultan of Swaff

    If you look at the final W-L totals for the teams in both leagues, there’s quite a few in the 85 win range. I have no doubt the Reds can be one of those teams next year if we simply tweak the roster. Maybe luck/health are with you and you jump up a few games and make the playoffs. But if you want to foolproof (relatively speaking) your chances of making the postseason, it’s gonna require Mr. C spending more money. Given that we only drew 2 million this year, that’s gonna be a tough sell. To that end, we’ll likely have to explore various trade scenarios to acquire the talent we need. The first team I’d talk to would be Florida. They have something like 9 arbitration eligible players and an owner who wants to keep the payroll at $30mil. I would also dangle Arroyo to test his value.

  4. Kevin

    Stubbs and Alonso for me, I guess Frazier too. Stubbs and Alonso, in the long run, are great candidates for filling out some of the holes we’re talking so much about.

  5. GregD

    “Locks” for next year based on current roster:

    Harang
    Arroyo
    Volquez
    Cueto

    Cordero
    Burton

    Votto LH
    Phillips RH
    Gonzalez RH
    Encarnacion RH
    Bruce LH
    Freel RH (because of $4M contract)

    Those 12 players will make about $50million next year (Not exact because Encarnacion is arb eligible.) Freel and Gonzalez combine for almost $10M of that.

    You’ve got Bruce/Votto from the left side
    Phillips/Encarnacion from the right side

    Why is it a given that RH bat is needed? Looks like they need a solid bat still from each side of the plate.

    I find out from the Indians if catcher Kelly Shoppach is available.

  6. Kevin

    How are you determining those people as locks and not others, for example Owings, Hanigan, Keppinger, Dickerson, etc? They’re all at least bench players, and I think Owings is almost certainly our #5 starter.

    I think the RH bat talk comes from how weak we were against left handed pitchers this year, it was really out of balance. Maybe you have a good point though, I think we might be thinking like Griffey and Dunn are still in the middle of our lineup. But, I do think that it’s true that we’re still weaker from the right side, comparing EdE and Phillips numbers to Votto’s numbers and Bruce’s upside (although you’re right that we’re probably missing something from both sides).

  7. The Redhead

    I cannot believe ho much talk their is about a need for a CF and someone who can lead-off. I believe Dickerson fills that role. A LF with pop that will produce RBI’s would be nice, but why throw money out there when Dickerson can fill that role. Or use Hopper!!

    I’d like to see Bako the Taco gone, and Valentin coming up once a game and swinging as hard as he can somewhere else…but I like Hanigan. Lets sign another catcher off the market or get one in a trade.

    Our rotation looks good, the bullpen needs some upgrading but I like this lineup;

    CF – Dickerson
    RF – Bruce
    LF – (New signee)
    2B – Phillips
    1B – Votto
    3B – Encarnacion
    SS – Gonzalez
    C – Hanigan

    (That’s not a batting line-up, just a run down of positions)

    I live in Cardinal and Cubs country and even their fans tell me, “You guys have so much young talent, you are gonna be good.” I agree.

  8. Phill

    The funny thing is this year

    The Reds hit with a .257 AVG .336 OBP .756 OPS against lefties

    Which is slightly better than the line of .243 AVG .314 OBP .716 OPS against righties.

    They definately need a guy who will drive in runs I couldn’t care if he’s left handed or right handed as long as his splits against either side aren’t a dramatic drop off.

    Matt Holliday would be a one-year rental with a really high prospect price. Should the Reds really bite with that? In my opinion, no, but that is just my opinion.

    Pat Burrell for better or worse is a slightly older version of Dunn.The scary part about him is his second half production. He went from a 162 Ops+ in the first half to a 90 Ops+ in the second. Unlike Dunn though when he slumps he doesn’t even draw walks. I think I’d pass on him too.

    As far as what to do with the current players…we all know the first move. Do not resign Patterson or Bako. I’d try to resign Hairston but not for very long and not for a lot of money. He had a career year and while he could do it again he’s still an injury risk. Also try to resign Affeldt. Most everybody else could be let go and replaced through free agency.

  9. Sultan of Swaff

    For reference, Reds offensive team ranks:
    Average 29th
    OBP 24th
    Slg. % 20th

    There’s still a lot of work to be done.

  10. doug

    Keep – Votto, the 4 guys in the rotation, Bruce.
    Most likely keep – EE and Cordero. I would move either of them in the right deal, but Cordero has to approve any move that has him going anywhere and EE, I am only moving in a very special deal.

    Move – Brandon Phillips. I think his perceived value is a lot higher than his actual value. This year he was a below average hitter at second base. He is starting to get expensive and now is the time to move him.

    Players to trade – Juan Francisco. With his plate discipline, AA is the level where I think he starts getting eaten alive by more advanced guys. Some other teams are VERY high on him. I don’t think there is anyone that is ‘untouchable’ in the minors, but Drew Stubbs is the last guy I would trade because of the need he fills and how close he is. Alonso can’t be traded, so thats irrelevant at this point. I would hesitate to deal Neftali Soto as well, but would move him in the right move. Anyone else past that is fair game, but I don’t want to give guys away either.

    Guys I would talk to on the FA Market:
    Jerry Hairston (1 year deal, under 3 million)
    Jeremy Affeldt
    All shortstops because I don’t trust Gonzo to be healthy and Keppinger isn’t the answer.
    Milton Bradley
    Pat Burrell

    Thats where I would start.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    Yep, I forgot about Soto–keeper. Looks like a young Moises Alou to me. Francisco doesn’t have the plate discipline, you’re right. Doug, wouldn’t you entertain Phillips at SS before moving him, especially since you don’t trust Gonzo to be the man? That could potentially open up a spot at 2B. Orlando Hudson and Mike Fontenot (in trade) intrigue me.

  12. doug

    Sultan,
    Yeah, I would entertain that idea. In fact, I would make that idea happen if I were making those decisions, but I don’t think the Reds see him as a shortstop.

  13. GregD

    How are you determining those people as locks and not others, for example Owings, Hanigan, Keppinger, Dickerson, etc? They’re all at least bench players, and I think Owings is almost certainly our #5 starter.

    All just my opinion, of course. My assessment of “locks” are folks who have “guaranteed” starting roles, or in the case of Gonzalez and Freel salary that impacts payroll, and I’d expect them to be on the team in some role if healthy.

    Owings is one of many competing for the #5 starters spot. He hasn’t been healthy a lot this year. I understand that it’s been shoulder problems. So, while I would agree that he appears to be a frontrunner for the 5th spot, I wouldn’t ink him in as a lock.

    For the rest of the players mentioned, I agree that they’ll likely be options as part of a bench role, but given the expectation of a lot of changes this offseason, I wouldn’t consider any major league minimum bench players to be a “lock” for the 2009 opening day roster.

    I don’t see how Burrell would go over with fans any better than Dunn did. And I don’t think he’ll help the Reds as much as Dunn did. Burrell’s slumps typically last an entire half season. Look at 2nd half 2008 and 1st half 2007. He was even sitting the bench a lot mid-year last year. It was speculated that he’d be a $10M 4th outfielder just last summer until he started to hit a hot streak.

  14. Phill

    My thought on shortstops is this:

    My first choice would be Alex Gonzalez. He’s already on the team and if healthy will serve the role just fine. If there are doubts about his knee or anything else I’d look at some of the free agents. Maybe see if you can strike up a 1 or 2 year deal with a guy like Orlando Cabrera or Edgar Renteria. I would say Furcal but I just don’t ever see that happening. Jeff Keppinger should not start a single game at shortstop next year. I’m fine with him as an emergency sub but nothing more.

  15. Mark in CC

    Little early to give up on Francisco. The guy batted third for the Dominican Rep. in the Carribean World Series last winter. His stike out numbers are pretty comparable to Bruce and Stubbs at the same level and he us very young. In two years he could be the third baseman.

    As far as base on balls go he will get better the old saying by the Latin guys is “You can’t walk off the island”.

  16. GregD

    A thought, though this may grossly exceed payroll?

    C – Trade for Shoppach
    1B – sign Teixiera
    2B – Phillips
    SS – sign Renteria
    3B – Encarnacion
    LF – Votto
    CF – Dickerson/Freel platoon
    RF – Bruce

    Rotation
    Harang
    Arroyo
    Volquez
    Cueto
    Owings

    Bullpen
    Cordero
    Burton
    TBD

    I’d also leave open the option of trading Phillips and Arroyo. Free agent Orlando Hudson is as good defensively, a switch hitter, and a better on-base threat. Probably cheaper over the duration of Phillips remaining contract given Hudson’s current salary, age, and season-ending injury.

    You could have Hudson, Teixeira (both switch hitters) batting 2 & 3 in the lineup.

    Even without going that far, the lineup would be pretty good:

    Freel/Dickerson (R/L)
    Renteria (R) (i have to follow Baker’s formula for CF leadoff and SS bat 2nd)
    Teixeira (S)
    Votto (L)
    Encarnacion (R)
    Bruce (L)
    Shoppach (R)
    Phillips (R)

    1-8 can hit. 1-9 when Owings starts.

    Of course I seriously doubt anything like this would happen, (1) I doubt the Angels let Teix walk (2) I doubt the Reds would offer enough to sign him and (3)I also doubt that the Reds would move Votto to the outfield.

  17. NickP

    Try to trade for Randy Winn. The Giants are going to suck next year, so they might want to dump payroll.

    Move Phillips to SS.

    Sign Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis (I think Ellis would be cheaper).

    Let Jerry walk.

    That roster could win a 85+ games.

  18. NickP

    I’d like CoCo Crisp for center field, but that’s probably a pipe dream. I don’t know what we have that Boston would want.

  19. Ron

    I try to get Holiday only if he is willing to sign at least 3-4 year deal with us. Hudson is going to want mad money and will probably end up with a big money team … plus, I think the Reds keep Phillips anyway and leave him at 2B. I wouldnt trade Arroyo unless someone bowls us over with an offer … say like the Yankees want to give us Austin Jackson+ for him. Pitching has been hard for this franchise to get, no sense trading it now that we have it.

  20. mhopp

    1st and foremost—rid the team of Bako, Patterson, Majewski, and Fogg…if this does not transpire then quit and wait until 2010 which is the last year of Dumpy Baker’s contract another load that needs to leave.

    1) a. Move Votto to left field, the guy started the season looking bad at 1b but improved greatly over the season and is a hard worker with a great mind set, sign him immediately.

    2) a. Sign Mark Tex
    or
    b. Move Eddie E to 1b and sign
    Jorge Cantu…look at his numbers and he played 3b this year. He could also play LF and Votto stays at 1b with Eddie E at 3b. They never should have let him go. Florida is what the Reds should model their team after…plus $50mil…think about that as they contend almost every year?

    3) re-sign, keep in minors or keep in majors Affelt, Weathers (veteran presence & knows how to pitch without great stuff), Roenicke, Thompson, Volquez, Bruce, Ramirez, Hannigan, EE, Phillips, Gonzo, Keppinger, Hopper, Dickerson, Owings, Massett, Lincoln (very good for 1st year back just over used by the fool mngr), Bray, Burton, Cueto, Harang, Herrera, Arroyo and Cordero.

    4) Dangle Lincoln, Bailey and Arroyo as pitchers with Freel as a hitter but let Bailey work more in the minors as he may still improve if they’d just leave him there for a while and let him settle in.

    5) Try to get Lindstrom in the bullpen and maybe Nick Markakis from the O’s (he’s a lefty but his #’s are great .299 career avg with 59 Hr’s and 261 RBI’s and he’s not year 25, if he’s available of course).

    This team already has talent, the management just needs to use it properly and not with fill-ins of you know who. I say look at Florida, Baltimore, Oakland, Seattle and Minnisota and other low Market teams.

  21. mhopp

    I wanted to remind everyone of some of the best teams that the Reds beat and some of the best pitchers:
    Yankees 2 of 3, Angels K-rod-Reds beat him once and almost beat him again the next night when this man set the record this year for all-time saves in a season, Indians Cliff Lee who is most likely the AL Cy Young award winner with 10 hits 5er and 2hr’s. And that is just a few so don’t trade the future away. I didn’t even mention Drew Stubbs who had a year slightly under what Votto and Bruce produced in the same minor league system, he got better at each level so there is much hope in the youth!