Continuing our discussion on the 2010 season, we’ll take a look at the Reds bullpen. Even with the trades of four relievers last season, the Reds are still looking at a long list of possibilities for the 2010 bullpen. They have a lot of depth, and after Cordero a lot of inexpensive options.


Closer: Francisco Cordero. The Reds would be best served to move him this offseason and use the payroll on a position of greater need and impact. I’m encouraged that he can be moved given that at least three teams signed closers to 8-figure salaries last offseason. Brad Lidge, Kerry Wood, and Brian Fuentes all received multi-year 8-figure salaries. Cordero has 2 years and $24 million remaining.

Internally, the job could go to Nick Masset. Externally, the Reds could look at a less expensive option like Rafael Soriano. J.J. Putz had his option declined by the Mets and is another interesting name to consider, but I think his closing days, if not his career, is probably behind him.

Multi-million dollar contracts: Arthur Rhodes and Mike Lincoln are due $2 million and $2.5 million, respectively, next year. Rhodes definitely stays with the team. Assuming he is deemed healthy enough to recover this offseason and play next year, Lincoln will be given a chance to earn his contract, too.

Arbitratiton eligible players: Nick Masset and Jared Burton just barely qualified as super-2’s and will have fours years of arbitration eligibility. Both players will and should be retained. The first year arbitration figures shouldn’t be too expensive.

40-man relievers: If all 5 of the above are retained, the other relievers on the 40-man roster will be fighting for just two positions: Daniel Ray Herrera, Carlos Fisher, Pedro Viola, and Bill Bray. Herrera and Fisher are the leading candidates.

40-man “5th starters”: The following players may be competing for the 5th rotation spot or for one of the few bullpen positions: Matt Maloney, Micah Owings, and Daryl Thompson. Micah Owings just barely missed super-two status and is not arbitration eligible. Thompson’s career future is in the bullpen, and the organization should shift him there this year to see if he could handle 8th/9th inning duties.

Minors: And even more internal choices, though most likely not on the opening day roster, are the following minor league pitchers: Logan Ondrusek, Sean Watson, Enerio Del Rosario, and even possibly Justin Lehr.

Past discussions in this series centered on the 2010 Reds outfield, the 2010 Reds infield, and the 2010 Reds starting rotation.