Who do you think should be in the Reds outfield for 2010? There are 9 outfielders in the Reds organization that are candidates for the 40-man roster this off-season.

The team has 6 outfielders currently on the 40-man roster (not counting Baker’s experiment with Drew Sutton): Balentien, Bruce, Dickerson, Gomes, Nix, and Taveras. All are under team control next year. Gomes and (I believe) Nix are arbitration eligible while Taveras is under contract for $4 million.

Plus, the Reds have 3 outfielders in AAA who must be placed on the 40-man roster in the offseason or exposed to the Rule V draft: Danny Dorn, Chris Heisey, and Drew Stubbs.

Is there enough talent from that pool of 9 outfielders to field an above average everyday outfield, or does this team need to look outside the organization for starting outfield help? You could look outside the organization at the free agent market or via trade.

For one of the bigger free agent names, initial estimates already have Jason Bay going for $60 million over 4 years. Jermaine Dye is another player that the Reds were interested in the past. He wouldn’t cost the team Homer Bailey, but he would likely be a Type A free agent and cost the team a draft pick. I don’t expect that the White Sox will pick up Dye’s option after claiming Alex Rios on waivers.

  • I think the first, obvious choice is to part ways with Willy Taveras. Consider him a sunk cost. The outfield offense and defense is immediately better.
  • I would look outside the organization for a starting left fielder. I like Dye on a short-term contract.
  • Drew Stubbs would be my opening day centerfielder.
  • Jay Bruce, though his offense the past two months has been down, should be with the team starting every day in right field.
  • I like the 4th and 5th outfielder to be guys who could start on other teams or start on this team if the starters are injured. I think Gomes and Dickerson are best suited in this role, and I would really work with Dickerson on his corner OF defense.
  • Dorn and Heisey start the year in AAA on the 40-man roster.

Who do you think should be in the Reds starting outfield for 2010? Who should be on the bench? The team’s typical 25-man roster composition has been 12 pitchers, 8 starters, a backup catcher and 4 bench players, which would normally allow no more than 5 total outfielders.

24 Responses

  1. per14

    First thoughts:
    I’m right with you: I’d have five OFers. Stubbs, Gomes, Bruce, and Dickerson are four. The fifth is tougher and I’d look outside the organization and try to find someone like Dye. Perhaps EdE could start in LF?

    Oh, wait…

  2. Coltholt

    I would say that the biggest difference that I have with you is that I don’t put Dorn on the 40 Man. I think that he should be safe without using up a spot on him, and if not, he isn’t one of those that will hurt too much to lose.

    I have Stubbs and Heisey playing everyday, if it is between the 9 you mentioned, they fill it out with Bruce and Dickerson, who would be the rover. If they sign a FA like Dye, I let Heisey and Stubbs fight for the third starting spot and option the other to Louisville. Based on past history, my guess would be that Heisey would outperform in ST. Along with those four, I would like to see Gomes back around, but everybody knows that BC is willing to commit to losers like Dusty and Corey Patterson, so unfortunately Taveras will be back next year

  3. RedBlooded

    LF – Heisey/Dickerson (platoon)

    CF – Stubbs/Dickerson (platoon)

    RF – Bruce/Balentien (platoon)

    Give the young guys a chance to sink or swim. They have earned it. Platoon at EVERY spot. Bruce has NOT proved that he can be in there everyday. Obviously no Willy. OBVIOULSY! Put Dorn on the 40.

  4. per14

    My only thought based on these comments is I think Dickerson is better than many of you seem to give him credit for IF he is playing CF. As a corner OFer, he’s adequate, but as a CFer, I think he can be an above-average regular. A .275/.375/.425 type player with speed and good defense is a lot better than many teams have in CF. Plus, he’s cheap. So, I don’t automatically relegate him to a platoon or “extra OF” status.

  5. Kyle W

    As far as I’, concerned, what I would like to see happen doesn’t have a chance in hell of happening. It’s sad that I feel like the best chance for this club has no prayer of happening. First off, the Reds don’t have a prayer at Crawford. If the Rays don’t pick up the 10 mil option I’ll be shocked, because that’s a bargain for Crawford. If he is a FA, the Reds will be priced out, I’d rather spend the money on Crawford or Dye on an arm.
    As for my 2010 OF…
    Bruce is the RF automatically. Stubbs and Heisey both on the roster battling for CF starting spot, loser gets 5th OF position. Dickerson and Gomes platoon in left. Taveras DFA, Nix let go or traded for PTBNL, Dorn on 40 and in AAA unless he is on fire in spring training. The Reds do have some 40 man flex at the moment, so I don’t have a problem adding all three young guys. We need to save the money for an arm, there just aren’t many plus arms ready in the system right now.

  6. Kyle W

    I just realized I left Balentin out of the equation. In that case, Stubbs, Heisey and Balentin battle for CF, loser goes to AAA, 2nd gets 5th OF spot and winner gets CF.

  7. Glenn

    Because of the minor league guys who would be lost to the Rule V, I don’t see how there’s any way the Reds keep both Nix and Gomes. IMO its going to be one or the other. Belantin will be in camp and should make the team but I think promising anyone a starting job from this year’s roster would be foolish.

    Of course the Reds will bring back WT. Their not going to eat 4 Mil.

  8. Ryan

    Alright, the Reds starting outfield should be as such:

    LF- Jermaine Dye
    CF- Chris Dickerson
    RF- Jay Bruce

    They have to get rid of Willy Taveras, I think they should have Stubbs and Heisey there as backup, Dickerson is doing well in center and he has been hitting well, Dye would be a great pickup, he always performs, and Jay Bruce wont have as bad of a year as he had this year, Balentien has been a good pickup of late but they may have to keep him in AAA, because the Reds have enough depth

  9. RedBlooded

    Would someone, anyone, SOMEONE, please, PLEASE ask Jokertty or Castofthousands if there is anyone, Anyone, in or out of baseball, besides Dusty or Willy’s mother, who thinks WT should be leading off for a major league team? Please!

  10. Willy's Mother

    I don’t even think that Willy should be leading off for a major league team! So now we are down to just Dusty

  11. RedBlooded

    Nix is hitting .239. His career average is .236. It was a good experiment because he seemed to have some untapped potential. I had some hope. The potential, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to have shown itself. He has to. Gomes is hitting .259 with 11 home runs. Not bad. He is a career .238 hitter with only one partial year above .244. And he is a bit of a butcher in the outfield. I think he can be in the mix but I say you have to give priority to Heisey and Stubbs and Balentien at this point. Dickerson and Bruce are givens. All these old guys some of you want to bring in, too expensive and for what? You are not going to the world series with them in ’10. If you have a chance at post season and really need someone in ’11 see who is out there then. And/or by that time some from the group of Heisey, Stubbs, Balentien, Dorn, Votto (Alonso at first), Frazier, etc. may have emerged and solidified.

  12. Tackapalooza

    If I’m GM, here are the constraints and dependencies that I’m operating under…
    The soonest that the Reds can compete as anything other than a fringe playoff pretender is 2011.
    Brandon Phillips is the best and cheapest option we have at short, period.
    Edinson Volquez will not pitch in 2010.
    Ramon Hernandez should be bought out.

    RF – Bruce
    CF – Stubbs / Dickerson straight platoon
    LF – Gomes / Dickerson

    Taveras – It’s not what will happen, but I release him outright. Yes, it’s an expensive move, but it’s the only way to keep Dusty from playing him.

    40 man – Heisey and Stubbs have to go on the 40 man roster. If I’m the Reds, I roll the dice and leave Dorn sitting out there for the Rule V draft. Even if he gets snagged by another team, he’s not likely to stick because he’s a brutal defender. I leave Heisey in AAA, but expect to recall him at the first injury of the year. Let Nix go.

    Fifth outfielder – Sign Xavier Nady and let him and Gomes duke it out for playing time.

    1B – Votto
    2B – Sutton / Rosales / Corpse of Bill Dorn
    SS – Phillips
    3B – Rolen

    C – Hanigan / Brian Schnider

    Rolen – At the first opportunity after the team falls out of the race, trade Rolen. Obviously, I feel that we shouldn’t have traded for him in the first place.

    Yonder – Leave him at AA until he shows he can hack it, literally.

    Frazier – Promote him to AAA as a 3B and recall him as soon as Rolen is traded.

    Rotation – Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Bailey, Maloney
    Relievers – Rhodes, Burton, Masset, Hererra, Chad Bradford, Owings

    Cordero – Trade him NOW. He’s a great guy, entertaining to watch and overpriced for such a payroll strapped team.

    Goals for 2011 – Healthy Volquez, mature Bruce, trade Alonso for an established LF, trade Arroyo for a promising but flawed young arm, groom one of the myriad not-quite-shortstops in the minors to be ready to get 300 AB’s playing second.

  13. Levi

    I make a run at Johnny Damon in LF. He’ll be 36, and there’s no way he’s still commanding $10M plus any more on the open market. I’d guess Abreu’s deal (I think around $5M) is probably more in line with his market value at this point. The guy continues to hit, he’s got playoff experience, and if you can get him for two years at $12M-$15M, he’s the option.

    That allows the team to let Dickerson and Stubbs man center. I think we all want Stubbs to win the spot next year, but Dickerson is a reliable second option in center. I think Bruce has too much raw talent not to play him every day in right.

  14. Kyle W

    I think everyone who thinks that the Reds can just go out and sign people to play in the outfield should be reminded of the financial constraints that Jocketty has put himself into. There is so much wasted money on this team it is unreal. The team has around 70M in commitments already for the 2010 season. There is maybe 5M total to use on several key needs.

  15. catcard202

    I go after NO FA OF’s…& DFA Willy T($4M).

    CF: Stubbs
    RF: Bruce
    LF: Balentien

    Bench: Gomes / Dickerson

    3 RHB / 2 LHB – 3 w/ POP – 2 w/ quicks.

    Then ALL ATTENTION turns to SS (trade for Hardy!)

  16. REDS1

    RiverCity I agree we need to keep Cordero. I believe letting him go would be a huge mistake.

  17. Mark in CC

    A lot of questions to be answered:

    I don’t think Jay Bruce is a lock. Especially if he doesn’t get any better in September. He might benefit from some AAA time to start 2010. BA-.207 is not acceptible for a corner outfield spot if the team hopes to improve.

    Unless he improves I think Gomes is a stretch to make it. For July and August he has hit .213 and .167 respectively.
    If I am going to gamble on that type of production I am going with a less expensive Balentien.

    Nix has not set the world on fire after a fast start as well. He is a lefty which helps his cause.

    If I have to go with 6 today it would be:
    Heisey (his numbers are better than Stubbs even at AAA)
    Taveras (they aren’t going to pay him for nothing and no body will trade for him after this season)
    Free Agent- like one year of Magglio Ordonez on the cheap

    If by mid season Bruce has his act together he replaces Nix or they eat Taveras’s contract for half a year.

  18. Glenn

    I’m with River City. If you get rid of CoCo, who do you replace him with? The point in the exercise is to keep your strong points and improve your weak ones.

  19. Glenn

    Who eats up all the innings when Arroyo leaves? Is there anyone in the system that is major league ready? IMO Homer’s not ready. Neither is Maloney. Lehr’s done ok but I wouldn’t bet next season on him taking over one of the starters slots. Maybe WJ has an answer to those questions but I haven’t seen anything that causes me to put any faith in it.

  20. GreatRedLegsFan

    Balentien (AAA), Bruce (RF), Dickerson (4th), Gomes (LF), Nix (5th), Taveras (Release), Danny Dorn (Rule V), Chris Heisey (AAA) and Drew Stubbs (CF). So, start with Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Dickerson and Nix up. Save money to sign a SS and a catcher. If Gomes fails, replace with Heisey. If Stubbs fails, continue with Dickerson. If Bruce fails again, replace with Balentien and keep Nix in the bench. Finally, please, GET RID OF TAVERAS!!!

  21. JerBear

    I don’t quite understand the Stubbs over Dickerson in CF posts. Stubbs’ strikeout rate in Triple A scares me away. I’m almost curious to see him called up to see what he can do, but I just doubt whether he’s an everday major leaguer. The book is still out on Dickerson, but he’s shown he’s decent at least at this level. After 2 years of supposably very good defensive outfielders with lots of speed but little ability to get on base, and striking out too much, I would question the wisdom of giving Drew Stubbs a starting position. Give him a chance to battle for a position on the team? sure, but he’d have to do something special in spring training to win a starting position.

    2 things that have very little chance of happening…signing Jason Bay, or trading for Crawford. I’d forget about those ideas!

    Heisey is interesting to me. He’s cooled off once he hit Triple A. But he’s had a great year overall.

    Gomes and Nix worry me. I wouldn’t put too much stock into those guys. 4th or 5th outfielder options…I think they may be alright…I may be totally off, but I think Nix might actually be the better fit as an extra outfielder. He plays better defense, and seemed to be decent pinch hitting earlier in the year.

    I think the best hope for the Reds is that a couple of our young guys bust out. I don’t see it happening sadly in 2010, but if Jay Bruce became just a decent hitter, and a guy like Todd Frazier rocketed up through the system, you’d have a real future. Right now it’s just a bunch “ifs”.

  22. th4433

    My idea of 2010 Reds Starting Lineup
    1. Stubbs CF (could steal 30 bases)
    2. Rolen 3B (.280 would be good enough)
    3. Votto 1B (.300 and 30 bombs)
    4. Phillips 2B (.270 and 100 RBI)
    5. Bruce RF (.250 and 40 HR possible)
    6. Gomes LF (.275 and 30 HR)
    7. Janish/Rosales (they can hit after rest)
    8. Hanigan C (.250 and 15 HR would be nice)
    9. Pitcher

    Let Go: Nix, Taveras, Balentin, Hernandez
    Bench: Dorn, Heisey, Barker, Dickerson, Tatum
    Trade: Harang, Cordero

    Starting Pitching:
    1. E. Volquez (if healthy)
    2. B. Arroyo (if good all year)
    3. J. Cueto ( Healthy)
    4. H. Bailey (needs to be consistent)
    5. J. Lehr (Has average stuff that no one can figure out)

    Relief Pitching:
    D. Herrera
    N. Massett
    A. Rhodes
    J. Burton
    R. Ramirez
    CL: M. Owings(He has the stuff to be a top notch closer)