From today’s Enquirer:

Baker is optimistic about next season.

“We’ll have Scott Rolen all year,” he said. “We’ll have Joey (Votto) all year. I hope and pray we keep the bullpen intact – that’s been our strength. Our young guys have gotten a couple of months under their belts.

“Jay Bruce will be better. Hopefully, we’ll re-sign Ramon (Hernandez) and have him all year.”

Re-signing Hernandez could be problematic. The club holds an $8.5 million option on the catcher’s contract but is unlikely to exercise it. He could re-sign at a lesser amount, but the Reds probably will have little to spend on free agents.

“Hopefully, some of the other clubs have spent so much money that they can’t add any more money (for player payroll),” Baker said. “I’ve heard it’s a subpar free agent year; that might make it better for us, too. Some clubs might have to stand pat.”

And some teams sign Wily Taveras to two year deals.

His calling for the re-signing of Hernandez concerns me…I have no problem with bringing him back, at a low ball salary, but I don’t get the impression that Baker thinks the same way.

Then there’s this article:

Reds manager Dusty Baker could have said yes, and he could have said no.

On Wednesday, Baker was talking about jobs open to competition next year when he was asked if right field, the position Jay Bruce plays, was included.

“It depends on how things go and how he looks,” Baker said. “That’s kind of a loaded question, No. 1. No. 2, it’s way down the line.”

Again, this concerns me that Baker has no concept of the fact that most young players struggle. When the season opens next year, Bruce will be 22. He will likely be the youngest player on the team and he’s going to struggle at times. But he should be this team’s RF…there is no better option.

I would hope that the management of this team would explain to Baker that Bruce is going to be this team’s RF and is going to play everyday.

I understand that this could just be Baker’s way of motivating Jay to have him come to ST next season hungry and ready to improve. But it also could be Baker being Baker and not understanding what seems simple to me.

One other thing from the first article:

Baker said. “We’ll have real competition for jobs.”

He sees the biggest competition for the starting rotation, outfield and bench.

No mention of SS? Does this mean that Janish has won the SS job or what?