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mth123
12-28-2008, 08:22 AM
Like it or not, Willie Taveras is the Reds CF, Lead-off hitter and designated answer to one of the questions that the team had going into the off-season. The Reds had questions in CF, LF, C, SS and the pitching staff.

WJ has addressed the pen by retaining Mike Lincoln and David Weathers and by substituting Arthur Rhodes for Jeremy Affeldt. The team seems satisfied with its rotation options. Ramon Hernandez was brought in to catch. Indications are that Alex Gonzalez is plan A at SS. That leaves LF as the area most likely to be addressed.

The team has stated that the power bats for the OF may be too expensive to acquire and it looks more and more like the plan is to wait for a few more of its impact kids to fill its holes down the road. The main guys coming appear to be corner guys like Alonso, Frazier, Francisco and Dorn (I know Stubbs and Valaika as well, but not as corner/power bat answers and I know Soto too, but he's farther away). That would probably require a position change for somebody to make them all fit. Frazier or Dorn could be headed to LF (maybe as a platoon at some point). Frazier could also play 3B where the team needs a defensive upgrade. Francisco may be in that some boat. Alonso is strictly a 1B. Frazier, Dorn and maybe Francisco could wind-up at 1B as well. To fit them all in, it seems like a move of EdE or Votto to LF may be in order. Both would seem to be athletic enough to make it happen and since the team likely won't contend in 2009, it seems like a good time to find out. Taveras was brought in partly because he has speed to make "out of zone" plays which would help cover for the LF to some extent and Dickerson is around for defense and as a fall back plan. It seems like the best possible time for an experiment IMO.

The Reds probably will want to go the platoon route with acquisitions to keep the cost down and may already have the RH half of a platoon in house with Jeff Keppinger. Kepp could play 3B against LH while EdE plays LF or he might be a good defender at 1B if Votto is tried out there. Since GMs seem to go back to their past when acquiring players, let me submit my logical choice.

Jim Edmonds, who is obviously in decline, is still a potent bat against RHP (.250/.362/.521/.883 in 349 PA against RHP in 2008) and would seem to be a perfect platoon partner with Keppinger (.360/.412/.489/.901 in 155 PA against LHP in 2008). Edmonds would still be a decent defender in LF against RHP and already has made the adjustment to platooning in 2008. Kepp could play 3B or even 1B against LHP while the team gets a look at what EdE or Votto could do in the OF. Edmonds wouldn't cost much in dollars, would not require any talent to acquire and wouldn't block anybody. He and Kepp could combine to be quite a nice offensive player if used in a platoon. Even a slight decline could still lead to a combined .850 to .875 OPS in their line-up spot. It would be a way to see if a Votto or EdE move might have a chance to work before the kids arrive w/o committing to a full-time switch. What's the downside at this point?

remdog
12-28-2008, 08:40 AM
I was over a Fashion Island (the mall here in Newport) yesterday and Jim Edmonds was there with his kds as well as both sets of Grandparents. He did many a lap on the Merry-Go-Round with his oldest son while Gramps shot a lot of pics.

This was all before I knew of the Tavaras signing. Now, over the years, Edmonds has become one of those players that you have a love/hate feeling about. He's had very valuable talent but I hated the way he dumped on the Angels. Plus, it always killed me that he would seem to make a key play against the Reds when he was with the Cards. Despite all of that, had I known that Walt was about to sign Willie, I might have walked up to him and pleaded with him to call Walt, right then and there, and offer his services.

BTW, Edmonds looked 'thick as a brick'. He appears to have porked up and doesn't look in particularly good shape. Has he officially (or even unofficially) retired?

Even in his current condition he could probably play CF as well as Willie. And, he'd at least get the ball out of the infield more than once every ten AB's.

Rem

PS: Little Edmonds and Gramps were both sporting Boston Red Sox caps. FWIW

mth123
12-28-2008, 09:00 AM
I was over a Fashion Island (the mall here in Newport) yesterday and Jim Edmonds was there with his kds as well as both sets of Grandparents. He did many a lap on the Merry-Go-Round with his oldest son while Gramps shot a lot of pics.

This was all before I knew of the Tavaras signing. Now, over the years, Edmonds has become one of those players that you have a love/hate feeling about. He's had very valuable talent but I hated the way he dumped on the Angels. Plus, it always killed me that he would seem to make a key play against the Reds when he was with the Cards. Despite all of that, had I known that Walt was about to sign Willie, I might have walked up to him and pleaded with him to call Walt, right then and there, and offer his services.

BTW, Edmonds looked 'thick as a brick'. He appears to have porked up and doesn't look in particularly good shape. Has he officially (or even unofficially) retired?

Even in his current condition he could probably play CF as well as Willie. And, he'd at least get the ball out of the infield more than once every ten AB's.

Rem

PS: Little Edmonds and Gramps were both sporting Boston Red Sox caps. FWIW

Interesting. There was some speculation that he may retire so maybe. A blurb on Rotoworld (stating ESPN Insider as a source) dated Nov 1 says:




Free agent Jim Edmonds said last month that he'd consider retirment, but his agent expects him to play next year.

"He's definitely coming back," agent Paul Cohen said. "The way he finished up, why wouldn't he?" The Cubs probably won't have a lot of interest in re-signing him, but he should be able to land a job as a platoon center fielder.



The Cubs are looking for a LH Bat that can play RF. I don't know much about Edmonds arm, but given his ability to hit RHP, I'm not sure why he isn't an option for them. With the depth they have in the IF with Fontenot and Cedeno and Derosa able to play RF, Edmonds as a platoon player seems like a good choice for them. The Cubs have Yankee syndrome and want to sign a bigger name I guess.

And the Red Sox are in need of a 4th OF with Coco traded. Edmonds would make sense there as well.

Of course if he's as out of shape as you say, then teams may be backing off on him (me too). At his age, it may be difficult to get his weight back down.

blumj
12-28-2008, 09:44 AM
I don't think the Red Sox would be seen as a good opportunity for much playing time to a LHH OFer who doesn't also backup 1B. Not that betting on JD Drew getting injured doesn't seem like a decent plan to most of us, but players don't usually see it that way as far as I can tell.

icehole3
12-28-2008, 09:49 AM
crazy as it sounds, if we're dumpster dipping and grabbing Taveras, I've got no problem at all giving LF to Edmonds, I wouldnt lose one bit of sleep.

GADawg
12-28-2008, 10:59 AM
Wow....George Grande would stay in a coma as all his blood would constantly pump to his , uh, nether regions.

Signing Edmonds for me would be akin to that dreadful day when Terry Pendleton slipped into the 'ole red stockings. I can't deal with mixed emotions like that....I'm a sensitive guy.

mth123
12-28-2008, 11:12 AM
I don't think the Red Sox would be seen as a good opportunity for much playing time to a LHH OFer who doesn't also backup 1B. Not that betting on JD Drew getting injured doesn't seem like a decent plan to most of us, but players don't usually see it that way as far as I can tell.

You're right. Not the best fit. They need a RH Hitter with Drew and Elsbury.

kpresidente
12-28-2008, 11:16 AM
If we're not going to address LF in a big way (and it doesn't look like we are) then that changes my position on SS. I like the idea of moving either Votto or EE to LF and replacing their spot in the IF with a Keppinger/platoon. The guy to bring in is Doug Mienkiewicz (sp?). He can play 1B or 3B, will cost next to nothing, and you can simply swap him and Kepp in and out of the #2 hole when the opponents SP gets pulled. I'd say the two of them could combine for a .380 OBP.

Another cheap option is Russell Branyon, who was lights-out last year when he started platooning with Bill Hall. In some ways, it would make more sense because neither Phillips or EE belong in the middle of the order against RHP, whereas Branyon, if he even approaches what he did last year, does. Problem with him is that he's so off-and-on from season to season. Maybe he would sign a minor-league deal?

Then you'd have to get a SS because you've depleted the depth at what was already your wost postition. I haven't been following well enough to know who's still available, but if this was my plan from day 1, I'd have traded for Greene.

None of this would give us a legit chance in '09, though. You're best bet would be to pray that the starting pitching comes through in a big way. That means Volquez pitches all season like he did in the first half, Harang's mysterious loss of velocity vanishes, Cueto stops giving up gopher-balls, and Owings is the Owings of '07, not the Owings of '08.

Jpup
12-28-2008, 11:17 AM
If we're not going to address LF in a big way (and it doesn't look like we are) then that changes my position on SS. I like the idea of moving either Votto or EE to LF and replacing their spot in the IF with a Keppinger/platoon. The guy to bring in is Doug Mienkiewicz (sp?). He can play 1B or 3B, will cost next to nothing, and you can simply swap him and Kepp in and out of the #2 hole when the opponents SP gets pulled. I'd say the two of them could combine for a .380 OBP.

Another cheap option is Russell Branyon, who was lights-out last year when he started platooning with Bill Hall. In some ways, it would make more sense because neither Phillips or EE belong in the middle of the order against RHP, whereas Branyon, if he even approaches what he did last year, does. Problem with him is that he's so off-and-on from season to season. Maybe he would sign a minor-league deal?

Then you'd have to get a SS because you've depleted the depth at what was already your wost postition. I haven't been following well enough to know who's still available, but if this was my plan from day 1, I'd have traded for Greene.

None of this would give us a legit chance in '09, though. You're best bet would be to pray that the starting pitching comes through in a big way. That means Volquez pitches all season like he did in the first half, Harang's mysterious loss of velocity vanishes, Cueto stops giving up gopher-balls, and Owings is the Owings of '07, not the Owings of '08.

Branyan just signed with Seattle, last month, so you are not getting him.

kpresidente
12-28-2008, 11:23 AM
One of my offseason fantasies was to trade for Mike Fontenot, platoon him and Keppinger at 2B, move Phillips to SS, Votto to LF, and then trade for Nick Johnson.

Johnson and the Kepp/Fontenot platoon adds two near-.400 OBP guys to the line-up. Of course, you'd have to deal with Johnson's injuries, but his contract (1 year @ 5 million with a optional 2nd) is a good fit. Both he and Fontenot have had their names brought up in trade rumors.

mth123
12-28-2008, 11:29 AM
If we're not going to address LF in a big way (and it doesn't look like we are) then that changes my position on SS. I like the idea of moving either Votto or EE to LF and replacing their spot in the IF with a Keppinger/platoon. The guy to bring in is Doug Mienkiewicz (sp?). He can play 1B or 3B, will cost next to nothing, and you can simply swap him and Kepp in and out of the #2 hole when the opponents SP gets pulled. I'd say the two of them could combine for a .380 OBP.

Another cheap option is Russell Branyon, who was lights-out last year when he started platooning with Bill Hall. In some ways, it would make more sense because neither Phillips or EE belong in the middle of the order against RHP, whereas Branyon, if he even approaches what he did last year, does. Problem with him is that he's so off-and-on from season to season. Maybe he would sign a minor-league deal?

Then you'd have to get a SS because you've depleted the depth at what was already your wost postition. I haven't been following well enough to know who's still available, but if this was my plan from day 1, I'd have traded for Greene.

None of this would give us a legit chance in '09, though. You're best bet would be to pray that the starting pitching comes through in a big way. That means Volquez pitches all season like he did in the first half, Harang's mysterious loss of velocity vanishes, Cueto stops giving up gopher-balls, and Owings is the Owings of '07, not the Owings of '08.

Branyan already signed with Seattle. I'd like a bigger bat than Doug M., but I made the Doug M./Kepp platoon suggestion with Votto in LF earlier in the year, so I'd be ok with that. Many on here convinced me that committing to a full-time move of Votto could backfire, so that is why I went the Edmonds route. When Kepp plays, Votto/EdE could get their audition, but Edmonds could still be out there the majority of time to help the defense. Edmonds/Kepp would be a more productive platoon. I wouldn't have a problem with Edmonds in the 4 hole against RHP. Phillips ability to mash lefties would allow him to take that spot against LHP:




Order Against RHP Against LHP
1 Dickerson CF Taveras CF
2 EdE 3B Keppinger 1B
3 Votto 1B Votto LF
4 Edmonds LF Phillips 2b
5 Bruce RF EdE 3B
6 Hernandez C Hernandez C
7 Phillips 2B Bruce RF
8 SS of the day SS of the day
9 Pitcher Pitcher


I know Taveras plays everyday, but its my plan.

membengal
12-28-2008, 11:35 AM
I got nothing, mth. If Jock thinks Taveras is an answer, I can't imagine what he thinks will be acceptable for LF.

kpresidente
12-28-2008, 11:42 AM
I like the way you think, mth. I had looked at Edmunds earlier and decided I didn't think he could repeat last season. Re-visiting it, I'm not sure why came to that conclusion. Maybe I just had higher hopes back then. I also thought about the "platooning" of Votto in LF and thought it might be a benefit to sort-of "slow transition" him that way. I think it's a deal that could work. I'm pretty down on WJ right now, though, so I have serious doubts that he could be that creative.

mth123
12-28-2008, 11:49 AM
I got nothing, mth. If Jock thinks Taveras is an answer, I can't imagine what he thinks will be acceptable for LF.

Jerry Hairston Jr of course.

Mario-Rijo
12-28-2008, 11:53 AM
I got nothing, mth. If Jock thinks Taveras is an answer, I can't imagine what he thinks will be acceptable for LF.

I sorta agree. My desire to speculate has been temporarily replaced with the cold hard truth that the F.O. doesn't actually intend on contending.

kpresidente
12-28-2008, 11:55 AM
How about a trade for Beltre? That's still out there, right? I haven't heard his name recently, but I do remember reading some speculations somewhere that if he did get traded, it wouldn't be until the last minute.

Jpup
12-28-2008, 05:06 PM
The Reds are going to have to go get some pitching and defense if they aren't going to get a real bat. Ben Sheets is out there, Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Andy Pettitte and several other guys. If the Reds are going to play great defense, they are going to have to get a very, very good shortstop and another 3rd baseman.

Trade for Adrian Beltre, a rangy shortstop (?), and get another very good pitcher. The Reds can't be serious with their left side and terrible on defense as they are. I think Edwin is fine at 3rd, as far as range, but his arm is a rag. Janish would make the most sense from within, but we all know that isn't going to happen everyday.

Derek Lowe would be nice, but is probably going to cost 3 years and, at least, 36 million to sign. I would love for the Reds to get Sheets, as injury prone as he is. They might get him for 2 years and an option for 25 million. It might be a great investment.

So, more pitching, Edwin to left, trade for Beltre and find a shortstop.

Suggestions? Thoughts?

mth123
12-28-2008, 05:11 PM
The Reds are going to have to go get some pitching and defense if they aren't going to get a real bat. Ben Sheets is out there, Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Andy Pettitte and several other guys. If the Reds are going to play great defense, they are going to have to get a very, very good shortstop and another 3rd baseman.

Trade for Adrian Beltre, a rangy shortstop (?), and get another very good pitcher. The Reds can't be serious with their left side and terrible on defense as they are. I think Edwin is fine at 3rd, as far as range, but his arm is a rag. Janish would make the most sense from within, but we all know that isn't going to happen everyday.

Derek Lowe would be nice, but is probably going to cost 3 years and, at least, 36 million to sign. I would love for the Reds to get Sheets, as injury prone as he is. They might get him for 2 years and an option for 25 million. It might be a great investment.

So, more pitching, Edwin to left, trade for Beltre and find a shortstop.

Suggestions? Thoughts?

I'm all for all those things. My original premise was that WJ is seemingly satisfied with all areas except the OF right now. I'd love to sign Lowe and trade for Beltre and we all know I've been screaming for a SS. It ain't gonna happen.

HokieRed
12-28-2008, 05:57 PM
I will stick with a prediction I made about ten days ago: opening day left-fielder will be Jim Edmunds. I don't think the Taveras move is a disaster, given the unproven quality of Dickerson and the lack of outfield depth. And frankly I am loving the fact that Jocketty seems committed above all to avoid destroying the prospect this team has to contend in 2010 and after. We have no chance to contend in 2009, IMO, because the rotation is not yet a contending rotation. Finally we seem to have somebody in the FO who actually knows what a contending team looks like and has enough clout with the owner that he does not have to pretend (or persuade himself) that the team is something it is not.

Will M
12-28-2008, 06:30 PM
Edmonds as part of a LF platoon makes a lot of sense.
with Dorn in AAA and Alonso/Frazier in AA a one year platoon of Edmonds with a RH hitter is fine. plus he is free in terms of talent.

i have given up on the Reds revamping & competing in 2009. Walt may sign Edmonds and either Hairston or Baldelli and call it an offseason.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 06:35 PM
I'd rather the Reds not tie up $65-75 million in Lowe, but I'd love to add Beltre.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 07:39 PM
LF- Encarnacion
CF- Dickerson
RF- Bruce
3B- Frazier
SS- Kepp/AGon
2B- Phillips
1B- Votto
C- Hanigan/Hernandez

Of course, the big thing I'd do here is find some sort of solution for SS. I'd prefer Kepp as a bench sub and dumping AGon, but there's just nothing out there in terms of SS that I see. With me already switching Edwin to LF, I hesitate to move anybody else off position this season like Phillips to SS. If we manage to bring in a solid LF or 3B...then Frazier bides his time a bit longer and Edwin takes the missing slot.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 07:44 PM
Wait for 2010?

Spitball
12-28-2008, 09:02 PM
Outside of the injuries, I've always liked Mark Kotsay's game. I wouldn't mind seeing him brought in to play left and serve as a back-up in center, right, and first base.

marcshoe
12-28-2008, 09:14 PM
Signing WT increases the importance of the next move bringing a big bat, but some of what we're hearing indicates the chances of that happening are continuing to decrease. The most encouraging thing I've heard today was a soundbite on XM of George Grande saying he thought the Reds still had a good shot at bringing in an RH power bat for left field or third base. Who knows is he's speaking from any real knowledge or not.

RedLegSuperStar
12-28-2008, 09:27 PM
What about:

Homer Bailey and Carlos Fisher to the Fish for Jeremy Hermida and Robert Andino.