Re: Offseason Priorities!
IMO the offseason priorities are as follows:
1. Remove as much salary soaking dead wood from the roster as possible.
2. Utilize the freed-up resources to make large purchases of impact players. The number of them that can be afforded depends on how much dead wood can be removed. With the contracts expiring and the raises due, there is about $8 Million available. A couple of moves to get even a few of the smaller salaries off the roster (Stanton, Freel, Castro, etc) could push that number to $15 Million or so. This is assuming Dunn and Griffey are both back and the Harang, Arroyo and other raises kick in. Big moves with Griffey and Dunn could lead to a lot more.
3. With the freed up resources the first priority IMO is a proven #2 starting pitcher. A staff with Harang, Acquisition, Arroyo, Bailey and Belisle looks pretty good. Ramirez, Fisher, Dumatrait, Gosling etc provide pretty decent depth and with the rotation in order, some decisions on the young guns can be made for the pen (I personally think that Johnny Cueto could be a late inning stud). Livan Hernandez most assuredly does not qualify here.
4. If any resources are still available, an impact pitcher for the middle innings. I'm in the camp that any decent pitcher can come in with the bases empty in the 9th and close. Here I'm talking about "the guy" that you want to bring in during the late inning game situations.
5.Young talent at areas of weakness - Catcher, SS, RH Bats, and of course always pitching.
6. Avoid the bad ideas. Maybe this should be number 1. Don't spread payflex around to mediocrities who are no better than cheaper in-house options. Don't give away too much young talent. (Although trading a prospect or two to get one of the above needs is OK in my book - I recommend Drew Stubbs and Travis Wood as primary off-season trade bait with possibly one of the young pen arms like Salmon or Guevara as sweetener.)
And Redeye, I like the idea of selling high on Gonzalez and desperately want the purge to return a MLB ready SS who has shown some offensive promise (Erick Aybar for example). But if that can't be acquired you have to keep him. I think a reliable SS (not necessarily Gold Glove material) is a must when trying to develop and evaluate as many young pitchers as the Reds will be during the second half (I'm talking about Bailey and the pen guys). As much as I'd like to flip Gonzalez, he needs to stay for the sake of the young pitchers unless a replacement is in hand.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
Last edited by mth123; 06-16-2007 at 08:06 AM.