I'd still like to sign both if we could.
Burton, Bray, Affeldt, Weathers, and Cordero is the anchor of our bullpen. Throw in Mike Lincoln, too.
According to the 2009 free agent list,(http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/1...lb-free-a.html
) Weathers and Affeldt are the Reds only free agent relievers. Why not sign those two guys? Lincoln is apparently under contract or does not have enough service time. Neither do Bray or Burton. Sign Weathers and Affeldt and have some continuity in the bullpen.
Do the Reds sign a 5th starter? Or do they just go with Micah Owings or Ramon Ramirez? Not many good free agent pitchers available. Might as well write off Glavine, Maddux, and a few other veterans, such as Pettite, who you know will just re-sign with their current teams. Those guys are old enough that they want to stay close to home to be with their families or end their careers with certain teams. It's not about money with them anymore.
Of the available free agent pitchers, I'd say AJ Burnett, Ryan Dempster (probably re-sign with Cubs), Jon Garland (Angels - and his numbers are just so-so), Randy Johnson (will probably re-sign with Arizona), Kyle Lohse (3.80 e.r.a. - interesting), Braden Looper (4.06 e.r.a. with Cards), Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez (29 years old, 4.09 e.r.a. with Mets, 10-7), Odalis Perez (32, 7-10 with the Nationals, 4.26 e.r.a.), Sabathia (will be courted by teams with more money than Reds), Sheets (same as Sabathia), Smoltz (lifetime Brave), Wakefield (lifetime Red Sox).
Most of those guys will re-sign with their current teams. I'd say Burnett, Garland, Lohse, Looper, Lowe, Oliver Perez, Odalis Perez are the most likely candidates for the Reds if they want to sign a 5th starter. Oddly enough, Lohse has one of the better current e.r.a.'s of any of that final list of 7. Maybe he would come cheaper this year?
One other interesting name on the market who had season ending back surgery is Rafael Furcal. I know the Reds aren't going to eat Gonzalez $4 million they owe him for next year and if there's anyway he can play, they will play him. But if THEY WERE WILLING TO EAT IT, I'd be interested in Furcal, IF HE RETURNS TO HEALTH. He is only 31 years old. Career .287 batting average, .352 OBP, averaged 31 stolen bases per season before this season, and was mostly injury-free and played 150+ games nearly every year up until this one. Might be a good insurance policy to have. Would also be an option at third, if healthy. Sure, you'd lose EE's power. Not sure about Furcal's defense. Story on Furcal's injury/health: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_10442829?source=rss
Another idea would be to trade with Baltimore for Brian Roberts (30 years old until October) for second base, and move Phillips to SS. Roberts has a career OBP of .355 and has averaged 34 stolen bases the past 6 years. A career .284 hitter who hit .297 so far this year. He has nearly an 80% stolen base success rate. More speed on the basepaths. Only committed 6 errors so far this season.