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fadetoblack2880
01-29-2009, 02:22 PM
But payroll concerns may keep team from free-agent outfielder
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com


CINCINNATI -- Perhaps the Reds aren't finished making maneuvers after all.
They still in need some bench depth, and one possibility could be veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez. In recent weeks, it's believed that Gonzalez and his agent also made strong overtures that he would like to play for Cincinnati.

"We're still looking to improve our bench and find the right guys. He's a guy we like," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said, when asked about Gonzalez. "We're exploring every option, and if the right fit comes around, we'll take a look at it."

Gonzalez is 41 and a veteran of 19 Major League seasons and has a reputation for being a positive clubhouse influence. He also remains a productive hitter.

Last season in 136 games for the Marlins, Gonzalez batted .261 with eight home runs and 47 RBIs. Over his career with the Astros, Cubs, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Marlins, the five-time All-Star has 354 home runs, including a career-high 57 with Arizona in 2001.

After the front office announced last week that the Reds had reached their payroll limit for 2009, no more acquisitions were expected. Cincinnati has $61.875 million allocated to 11 players, including reliever David Weathers, who re-signed Wednesday. Add the arbitration case that is pending with third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, and the signing of 0-3-year (non-arbitration-eligible) players, and the payroll is expected to be around the $74 million figure it was in 2008.

However with more than 100 free agents -- an unheard-of number -- still available as of Thursday with about two weeks before Spring Training opens, the market could be teeming with serious bargains.


Among the other veterans still looking for teams that could fill a pinch-hitter's role are Jim Edmonds, Kevin Millar, Rich Aurilia and Daryle Ward.

With the Reds' 40-man roster full, any additions would likely be offered Minor League contracts with an invite to big league camp.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


:confused:

TheNext44
01-29-2009, 03:18 PM
The Reds have no left handed hitters on their bench right now. Their options currently are Lance Nix, Danny Richar and Wilken Castillo. They also have very little depth in the outfield in case anyone gets injured.

I am not a huge fan of Luis Gonzalez, but if he can be had for close to league minimum and in this market, that should be easy to do, he would be a nice addition to the bench and fill a big need as a lefty pinch hitter.

Orodle
01-29-2009, 03:48 PM
I like Gonzo but at this point in his career I dont think he brings anything that we couldnt already find in our own organization.

Slyder
01-29-2009, 03:57 PM
Don't risk giving Duhhhsty any more rope, he's got enough to hang himself with. Just gow with Laynce Nix if youre that worried about the bench he couldnt be much worse hitting than Gonzo and is actually young. Gonzo has no future, if youre punting this year at least go with the guy who could maybe stick around if the cards fall.

WildcatFan
01-29-2009, 04:25 PM
Nix is actually MUCH worse at the plate than Gonzalez was last year. You're right that Gonzo has no future, but the Reds wouldn't sign him for the future, they would sign him for this season. If he would come for less than $2 million, I would try it. He had a better offensive season at 40 years old last year than:

Corey Patterson
Willy Taveras
Norris Hopper
Ryan Freel
Jonny Gomes
Juan Rivera

I'd say he's a proven LH bench bat with an occasional start in LF. I'd rather have him at the plate in a close game than Gomes.

tommycash
01-29-2009, 04:37 PM
I say that as long as we are looking at him as a bench player, and that we don't give him any big money, I am more than fine with Gonzo. He brings a good LH bat off the bench, and he brings experience (World Series experience at that).

CRedsLarkin11
01-29-2009, 05:12 PM
I don't like this at all. The main reason is because of Dusty. If he was signed to be a left handed pinch hitter and very seldom used outfielder, that's okay. If he is brought in and looked at in any way to start I would be disgusted. Somehow Dickerson needs to get his chance, maybe he implodes but I at least want to see him get a shot. You didn't sign any quality outfielders to play left field... so give Dickerson a chance to play his way on or off the field in 2010 when we hope to have some reinforcements from the minors.

Ghosts of 1990
01-29-2009, 05:30 PM
Dead end street.

Plus if we sign him we all know he'll end up being pushed as an everyday player where he's no longer effective. Come on Reds. Its wasted money

dougflynn23
01-29-2009, 05:49 PM
Luis Gonzalez should platoon with Jonny Gomes, let Jerry Hairston platoon with Chris Dickerson and trade Willy Taveras.

Slyder
01-29-2009, 06:16 PM
Luis Gonzalez should platoon with Jonny Gomes, let Jerry Hairston platoon with Chris Dickerson and trade Willy Taveras.

Thats the one scenario I could actually agree to signing Gonzo :D.

Jerry Narron
01-29-2009, 06:50 PM
Signing Gonzo will mean Dusty batting him 3rd out of respect.

mlh1981
01-29-2009, 07:03 PM
Ugh, mark me down for someone who would flat out PASS on LuGo. Too many teams out there who are in the Reds' situation sign guys like him for "veteran" leadership" reasons, but beyond the name recognition, what you have beyond that is just an old guy desperate to stick around. I would rather go the minor league route or actually go out and make a real move on the free agency marked than paying tribute to a guy who peaked long, long ago.

Captain Hook
01-29-2009, 07:35 PM
Nix is actually MUCH worse at the plate than Gonzalez was last year. You're right that Gonzo has no future, but the Reds wouldn't sign him for the future, they would sign him for this season. If he would come for less than $2 million, I would try it. He had a better offensive season at 40 years old last year than:

Corey Patterson
Willy Taveras
Norris Hopper
Ryan Freel
Jonny Gomes
Juan Rivera

I'd say he's a proven LH bench bat with an occasional start in LF. I'd rather have him at the plate in a close game than Gomes.

Good point.I'm not a big Gonzo fan but he would be a ok addition.More then anything I'm happy to here that there is still a possibility the team might still add at least one more guy.

Steviejoe
01-29-2009, 07:51 PM
I would say "sign him",as mentioned it will most likely a minor league contract.He bring the experience we need off the bench,can still start once in awhile,what do we have to loose.

mroby85
01-29-2009, 08:47 PM
I'm sick of trinkets, If we don't get a middle of the order power bat, it's all pointless anyway, they might as well find the 25 cheapest guys they can, and have a 160 mill. payroll next year.

roby
01-30-2009, 01:38 AM
I'm sick of trinkets, If we don't get a middle of the order power bat, it's all pointless anyway, they might as well find the 25 cheapest guys they can, and have a 160 mill. payroll next year.

Yes! I agree. If this is the best the Reds can do, why even bother?

fadetoblack2880
01-30-2009, 01:49 AM
i say forget this guy and get nady or swisher. gomes will make this team, he can be the guy off the bench. i know hes not a lefty, but at least he's not 41.

thatcoolguy_22
01-30-2009, 10:53 AM
Good point.I'm not a big Gonzo fan but he would be an ok addition.More then anything I'm happy to here that there is still a possibility the team might still add at least one more guy.

Good point? Did you look who he named he had better seasons than? There are minor league players in our system right now that could have better years than those guys. If L. Gonzalez is signed it will be screwed up by Dusty Baker. He'll show too much respect for his steroid induced 2001 when he OPS'ed 1.117 and start him for 120 games in LF while batting him 3rd.

There is no way that this will work out to benefit the Reds for 2009.

Jerome
01-30-2009, 11:22 AM
I agree with most others here. I think "the veteran presence" certainly isn't harmful, but may be a bit overrated. Sure, we're young, but we have some veterans (Hernandez, Gonzalez, Harang). And most of our players are high character anyway (Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Volquez, Cueto). It seems they have a very strong team bond. So I don't think bringing in Luis Gonzalez to strike out in the 9th inning of every third game is worth his "veteran presence." :thumbdown

http://www.jeromesredscare.blogspot.com/

WildcatFan
01-30-2009, 02:57 PM
Good point? Did you look who he named he had better seasons than? There are minor league players in our system right now that could have better years than those guys. If L. Gonzalez is signed it will be screwed up by Dusty Baker. He'll show too much respect for his steroid induced 2001 when he OPS'ed 1.117 and start him for 120 games in LF while batting him 3rd.

There is no way that this will work out to benefit the Reds for 2009.

I tend to agree with you about the minor leaguers thing, but I also think that they (Stubbs, Dorn, etc.) will need at least half a season in the minors this year before being called up. My point with the guys that I named is that they are players who either played last year or will play this year outfield for the Reds. I also threw in Juan Rivera because some RZers wanted Cincinnati to sign him.

I stand by my opinion that a contract lower than $2 million for Gonzalez would be worth it for his LH bat on the bench, and when one of those minor league guys is ready, trade him or let him go.

Think about it like getting Griffey back for 80 percent off what we paid for him last year, plus not as a starter. Their numbers from last season were pretty comparable — Gonzo with a slightly higher average and Griffey with slightly better power.

Slyder
01-30-2009, 04:50 PM
Speaking of Griffey maybe bring him back for a bench role for the min plus whatever we have defered from his previous contract? Anyone interested?

TheNext44
01-30-2009, 05:07 PM
Speaking of Griffey maybe bring him back for a bench role for the min plus whatever we have defered from his previous contract? Anyone interested?

If Griffey would be happy with that, I would love it. He would be much better than Gonzalez, and bring in some fans. Griffey still crushes RHP, and would be a great option off the bench. Just don't know if that is what he wants.

fadetoblack2880
01-30-2009, 06:21 PM
the reds need someone to bat lefty off the bench. at this point their in-house options seem limited unless they sign someone. i'd be ok with gonzalez for that role. as long as he knows that is his role barring injury. griffey, on the other hand, still thinks he can play everyday. he may still be able to, but i don't think jocketty should bring him back. this team is trying to move past that and i don't believe griffey would be happy in a bench role. this team doesn't need that type of a negative presence. i'm just speculating there, but i truly believe that's how griffey feels. i enjoyed watching him play for cincinnati and one of my biggest regrets is never getting the chance to see him homer in the many games i attended during his tenure in cincinnati. i hope for his sake he can catch on with an AL team as a DH and end his fine career.

fitz1
01-31-2009, 08:06 AM
I'm satisfied with Dickerson being #1 in left. A one year contract with Gonzales would be okay, but I'd be more interested in Nady but I guess the finanaces rule that out. If you could sign Gonzalez at rock bottom prices, go for it. The competion between Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston/Hopper/ Gonzalez would be interesting. Hopper had a great '07 but certainly seems to be a long shot in making the team.