Re: Reds Top Prospects- June Edition (post-draft)
Beni, this is a nice discussion. I like threads like this and mostly agree with your assessment.
So lets consider the situation for a minute. The Reds currently are struggling mightily to score runs and the future of the offense depends on big time production from a 22 year old kid who seems to be struggling a lot under the pressure and a currently sidelined young hitter whose situation suggests that he probably doesn't need the pressure of being the centerpiece. Many would like to see the Reds trade some vets and bring in more young talent, but with all their problems, the Reds are 2.5 back in the Central and only 1 back in the wild card. I just don't see this team dealing off guys like Arroyo, Harang, Cordero or Weathers and dumping the season. I think its more likely that the Reds will be dealing off some of the near ready minor league depth to bring in a bat or two. Its a win now move, but if the new guys become the focal point, it may end up paying dividends down the road if Votto can get back in there without having to be the savior and Bruce can continue to develop without trying to hit 5 run homers every time up.
That begs the question of who to deal. I think your idea of eliminating guys over 25 is probably a place to start and some deeper areas also need to be considered. IMO the Reds probably could deal from the following areas:
Bullpen arms: Fisher is up and seems like a keeper, Masset is still young and doing well, Herrera has been pretty good and Burton is looking better lately. With Cordero, Weathers and Rhodes probably in place for contention it seems like there won't be room for kids on the verge like Roenicke, Manuel and Viola. With Bray on the DL and guys like Ramirez capable of pen duty and Stewart a potential impact guy should the Reds need to make that move down the stretch, there is enough depth to deal a couple. I'd say Roenicke, Manuel and maybe Logan Ondrusek and Sean Watson would be guys to try to deal for some major league help.
Mid-Level Hitters looking for a position: Chris Valaika, Todd Frazier and Drew Sutton fall into this group. In all probability, there will be a super sub spot for one of these guys and if EdE is dealt maybe two. I think at least one of these guys could be moved and whichever one completes the best overall deal from the Reds perspective should be the one to go,
Third Base Depth: Juan Francisco and Netalfi Soto look like players who may command some return back and IMO neither may ever be better than EdE is now. I'd deal at least one (my preference is keep Soto and deal Francisco).
Centrfielders: Heisey and Stubbs. Stubbs and Heisey. With Dickerson available to platoon if the one the Reds keep falls short, I'd deal one for sure and groom the other. I still think Stubbs probably has the most trade value even though Heisey may not be far off. I'd include Stubbs in a deal and attempt to make Heisey the guy. If Heisey hits a wall, he could platoon with Dickerson and the combo would probably still provide adequete offense and defense at the position on the cheap until Yorman Rodriguez is ready.
Near Ready Starters I'm one of the few who still thinks Homer Bailey is the best long term option of the minor league starters, but he will be out of option years after the season and if he can make a deal happen that brings something back for multiple seasons he may need to go. Matt Maloney has looked OK but his HR tendancies are concerning. He's another guy I'd part with if necessary. Micah Owings has been OK as a back end guy, but he's replaceable and with Maloney and Bailey (as well as Wood, Stewart and Ramirez) around to backfill, he's a good candidate to deal if he can fetch a nice return back. Mike Leake will be coming on the scene and may make it easier to deal one or two of the AAA or AA starters.
In summary, I'd deal for a couple of bats. One that can play OF or 3B and hopefully a younger guy who can play SS. The guys I'd deal: Roenicke, Manuel, Watson, Ondrusek, Stubbs, Francisco, Valaika and one of Maloney or Owings. I'd deal Bailey, Wood, Frazier and/or Soto only if the return was for multiple years at a position of need. I wouldn't deal Alonso or Stewart at this point. Anyone not mentioned would probably not have much value.
"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