Originally Posted by paulrichjr
I just can't see the Reds focusing on this during the offseason. I think they see Hamilton, Bruce, Freel, and Hopper as being 4 people that can play center and that will be the end of that discussion. Dunn will be in left, Hamilton/Freel/Hooper in CF and Griffey in RF until the trade deadline and then I would not be surprised to see Dunn and Griffey both traded to make room for Bruce and one of the others from CF. The catcher position, the starters, and the pen is where the action will be this winter.
This is my thought as well. I think Dunn/Hamiton/Griffey is the primary OF next year. I'd like to see Griffey dealt for whatever pitching he can secure and go with Dunn/Bruce/Hamilton. I think Hopper will be around as a bench/platoon player. He can be an asset as long as we get a manager who uses him corrrectly.
As for the list, I think a couple names not yet mentioned for the market come from the big 2 markets. Johnny Damon looks to be very available with Melky taking over in NY and Coco Crisp probably will be moved to make room for Ellsbury.
Damon is signed through 2009 at $13 Million per year and its questionable whether he can play CF anymore IMO. I'd pass, but he is probably out there.
Crisp is a reasonable target. He's still young, has had a pretty good improvement defensively in CF after a rough start in Boston (based on some reports I've read, but I've also read that his defense is questionable maybe M2 and the rest of the Boston contingent can help here). His contract is fairly reasonable at $4.75 Million in 2008 and $5.75 Million in 2009 with an $8 Million in option in 2010 ($500K buyout). That is cheaper on the budget than any of the Free Agents will be. He may be obtainable with the market so glutted. I have to think with Ellsbury on the way and with Drew around as a fallback, Crisp could be had for possibly less than we think. Boston will probably look for a young 1B to allow Youkilis to play 3B and let Lowell walk. That screams Votto and I'm not sure I'd do that. Maybe Boston would want Hatte back to play 1B (he fits the patient plate selective criteria in Boston) and view dumping Crisp's salary in a glutted market while making room for Ellsbury and allowing Youkilis to play 3B (saving salary there with Lowell leaving also) as enough return if the Reds throw in a middling minor leaguer or two to boot. Another option could be Hatte/Freel. Hatte slides in at 1B and Freel provides a bench option, a 4th OF and a CF back-up plan if Ellsbury tanks. The dollars are still a wash and the savings from Lowell would still be there. I'd be all for a Hatte/Freel for Crisp deal. Maybe a young relief possibility or two like McBeth, Salmon, Guevara or even Majewski would be enough of a sweetener.