View Full Version : Walt has his work cut out for him this offseason

08-03-2009, 01:13 PM
With Volquez out the rest of this year and probably all of next, this offseason is going to be crucial for a Reds team that, as evidenced by the signing of Scott Rolen, will be playoffs or bust in 2010.

I've been scanning free agents on MLBTR, and it's sure a weak class coming up. Jocketty's going to have his work cut out for him. I'm going to give him the benefit of Rolen because it was a need at third base. As much as the trade has been bemoaned here, I'm glad to see him on our side. As for the rest of the needs:

Shortstops worth looking at include Marco Scutaro and that's it, Tejada if you're desperate. Look for Scutaro to get a big raise after his solid '09, probably 6 or 7 million/year. You'll have to sign him long term to get him.

Left fielders are Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, who will both be making a ton of money next season. Unless Castellini opens up the pocketbook like he said he would this year and reneged on, there's no way to bag either of these guys. Unless you want to go after Cliff Floyd...hands?...anybody?...didn't think so. This is obviously the spot where that fabled "One Big Bat" would fit nicely, but don't be shocked if you see Gomes/Nix there all next year. The other possibility, though, is that the Rays dump some salary by not picking up Carl Crawford's option. He would look great in Red and in the two-hole.

I would put center fielders here, but we've got Willy Taveras!

The starting pitchers list has some groaners (see Fogg, Josh and Backe, Brandon), and the ones we might actually want Garland, Beckett, Lee all have options that I would imagine will be picked up by their respective clubs. After those guys, you're looking:

Erik Bedard
Justin Duchscherer (who I like and has pitched well as a starter)
Rich Harden
John Lackey
Jason Marquis (hello, Walt)
Kevin Millwood
Brad Penny
Joel Pineiro
Jarrod Washburn
Randy Wolf

These are the guys that will be in high demand, and we've seen the salary trend go up exponentially recently thanks to CC Sabathia.

So assuming the Hernandez, Gonzalez and Weathers contracts all go off the books next season plus Edwin's, that leaves about $22 million new dollars, $11 million of which goes to Rolen, $6 million of which goes to raises to Arroyo, Harang, Lincoln and Taveras. Correct me if I'm wrong with these rough calculations, but that leaves around $5 million if the payroll stays the same, at $73 million. Castellini hinted that the payroll would actually go up to around $80 million this year, which it didn't, but if it was an economy thing, next year he could add around $7 million to that, making $12 million available. Let's assume that won't happen though, and lower that number to around $8 million.

The ideal situation would be to shed Arroyo and/or Harang's contracts, which will be $11 million and $12.5 million, respectively. Obviously, to make that trade happen, the Reds would have to send probably half of that in cash, but that still comes out to a savings of more than $10 million, which would put the space Walt has to work with at about $18 million.

Again, these are rough estimates, and I could be way off, but it seems to me that $8 million is not going to be enough to work with to fill all three (or four) holes, but $18 million would just about do it. I don't think we realize how important it is for Walt to move Harang and Arroyo this offseason. I love both of those guys, but their contracts just don't warrant the way they are pitching, and they are tying Walt's hands.

Thoughts? I'm prepared to be blasted if need be.

08-03-2009, 01:25 PM
I wonder how much it would cost to get Harden or Bedard here..

08-03-2009, 02:13 PM
i think some of you have your heads in the sand. i think the best we can hope for is for addition by subtraction. ridding ourselves of taveras, gonzo, weathers...and hopefully trading some of the bigger contracts, which i doubt happen now since volquez is done for all of next year. the FO wont open their pocketbooks, they didnt do it last season, heck, when they kept talking about a big RH bat, we need more than a RH bat, as evidenced by this year. on top of harang and arroyo probably sticking around, we added rolens 11 mill, which tightens the wallets even more.

time to saddle up and ready for a rough couple of seasons

08-03-2009, 04:32 PM
We have to have some payflex or there won't be any money for Walt to do his work that's cut out for him.

08-03-2009, 04:55 PM
Here is the already commited payroll for next year

Harang 12.5 million
Cordero 12 million
Arroyo 11 million
Taveras 4 millon
EE 4.75 million
Rhodes 2 million
Phillips 6.75 million
Lincoln 2.5 million
Weathers .4 million if the Reds dump his option
Hernandez 1 million if the Reds dump his option
Gonzalez .5 million if the Reds dump his option
And of course Baker 3.5 million

That is 61 million already committed to 8 players. They still have to pay for 17 more. Even at the major league minimum 65 million is already committed. If they pick up any option they either come close to 70 million or go over it which is really close to what they have now. There is not a lot of manuevering room especially in this economy. I really can't see Castellini having that deep of pockets. Considering the performances this year I can't see any team relieving the Reds of these contracts. 2010 will be a very long year.

With the addition of Rolen they will be either at the same place or near 70 million. I still say they should make a hard pitch for Bianchi from the Royals.

08-03-2009, 05:55 PM
After that buffoonery of a trade, it's all irrelevent. Forget about baseball if you're interested in the REDS for the next few years, if you like winning.

There's currently no rudder on this ship. The REDS' ship is adrift.

08-03-2009, 06:13 PM
Walt has only himself to blame for the "work" he has ahead of him.

It's obvious he prefers veterans and wants to model this franchise after the Cardinals, but, uh...he has about 20 or so million less to work with every year.

Good luck with that one, Walter. At least you'll have plenty of time perfect the roster since your boss is an even bigger idiot than you are.

08-03-2009, 07:36 PM
After getting the news on Volquez, do we really think we are building for 2010. I doubt Edison is back before 2011. In my opinion the reds needed to go after a big pitching arm in the off season. With Edison out I can't see the reds putting up the cash to go after two high quality pitchers.