It’s not just us. Grantland’s Jonah Keri has nothing but praise for Walt Jocketty’s off-season moves – particularly the Ryan Madson signing.

The lead:

Here’s what we knew about the pitching market heading into this offseason: There were exactly zero elite free-agent starting pitchers available, and roughly 83,000 closers. Any time there’s little separation in talent between different players, a team can make one of two logical moves: Go to Plan B, or wait patiently for a great deal to fall into your lap.

The Reds have now done both. In so doing, they’ve established themselves as legitimate playoff contenders, and fired the first shot in the new year’s bargain-hunting season.

The rest of it’s worth your read.