Agree with just about everythng you said Beni. Great job.
I really like the way the farm system is shaping up. I know the strength of the system is generally agreed to be in the A+, AA & AA levels, but I think there are some sleepers in the lower levels that are going to strengthen our depth over the next few years. A couple of top Latin signing would really set things off nicely though.
I think this year was a critical draft year for the club. At first blush, it was a little underwhelming, but it's growing on me. I'm really liking the Leake pick more and more and think he's a solid bet to tunr out to be a solid middle of the rotation starter in as little as two years. I liked the college arms too, but the key to the draft to are the HS signability questions at C & SS. Sign a couple of them and the draft looks fairly solid,
I know Jocketty is going to be tempted to be a buyer this year and most fans would support him. I don't want to be throwing prospects at rental guys like Holiday if they can be packaged to land high ceiling young guys with a future. I think now is whenthey need to really be laying the ground work for the next few years when I think the Reds have a chance to really take off.
I'd be looking to move guys like Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Cordero and Encarnacion and even Phillips too between now and the start of ST. I'm not talking firesale or giving anyone away (I want a solid return(s) or no deals), but with the injury questions, I'd be willing to jeoaprdize chances somewhat for this year to make gains for 2010, 2011, etc.
I believe that now is the time to start making some decisions on some of the young guys too, Who will form the backbone going forward and who will be used to land missing pieces. I haven't given up on Jay Bruce by any means, but any means, but I would float his name some to see how much interest I receive.
I've been anticipating a signature blockbuster deal from Walt since he took over. Something big and surprising that will solidly stamp this as his franchise. It may come next offseason, but I feel it coming and it may be sooner than many think.