Originally Posted by TRF
Assess the Reds needs/question marks for 2010, then fill those positions with players under the Reds' control or in the system. Any player that finished the year employed by the Reds is eligible.
I see the needs as, and in no particular order, SS, CF, LF, 5th starter and at least 1 bullpen spot.
SS - Janish's to lose, but Cozart could impress out of ST. no one else in the system can defend like Janish. He needs to bat 8th.
CF - Stubbs made a strong case to be considered, Dickerson needs to be healthy. Why did he miss the last part of the season?
LF - A bat is needed here, and Gomes certainly made a case to be that bat. However after thinking about it for a while, I'd let him walk. Francisco will likely play winter ball, and the Reds can request that he plays LF. He dominated last year, and I believe he's headed to the instructional league for more LF training. He's a darkhorse, but he's got a ton of potential. I give him every opportunity to win the job in ST, Wlad becomes my 4th OF/backup plan at LF.
5th SP - Matt Maloney certainly made a case for himself. Lehr doesn't have the stuff to get big league hitters out, but he might make a fine pitching coach, especially if Powers gets Pole's job. Slot Leht in as the Dayton pitching coach if he's ready for that part of his career to start and promote from within. LeCure has really disappointed me, as I thought he was a steal in the draft. Ramirez didn't follow up on his great 2008. Viola should have stayed a starter. I think he's much better as a starter, better than Maloney IMO.
Bullpen - Burton and Rhodes. Will Rhodes be back? Can Burton stay healthy? I think Owings is the new long man in the pen. Viola is probably the second LH to DRH if Rhodes is gone. One of Burton or Fisher is back in AAA or traded.
Again, this is just my opinion on a scenario where the Reds seek no players outside the organization. Just a fun little exercise.
I'm not sure how CF or LF could be considered a need. I don't argue both positions couldn't possibly find even better options, but both positions could have above-average production next year with players there currently. A Dickerson-Gomes platoon in left would be above-average combining offense and defense overall. Drew Stubbs, even if he dips to slightly below average offensively (which in 200 PA's this year he was not for his position), is still an above average player overall. I don't consider those needs.
As far as Gomes specifically, I don't know why we'd let someone walk like that. He will cost, probably, no more than $2 to $2.5 mil. Even assuming an average or slightly below average OBP, his slugging alone makes him a great value either as a starter or platoon guy. That's the kind of value teams with limited financial flexibility should be seeking.
I won't argue catcher and shortstop could stand to see some upgrades. I'm not as worried about catcher simply because Hanigan has been so good defensively, and it's rare to get a ton more offensive production, the Reds would not be handicapped to use him as their main option. But shortstop could stand to upgrade significantly on offense without sacrificing too much defense.
I'm not worried about 5th starter. Throw out a replacement level pitcher (i.e. Maloney or Owings) as I don't think the money it would take to find an upgrade would be worth the limited productive about replacement you could find.