Re: Cliff Lee
I suspect when people hear 'Twins' they think of a team that makes the playoffs a lot only to get wiped out in the post season. this is not what i want the Reds to try & do. while it would be better than the last decade it would ultimately be unsatisfying.
now we would all love for Bob to sell the team to a billionaire who raises the payroll to $200M but thats not gonna happen. the team is going to be a smaller market club. luckilly most of our division rivals are in the same boat.
here is what i would like to see the Reds try: build a team that can compete for the Central division title and/or wild card year after year. an occasional losing season brought about by poor luck & injuries will happen but i want a team that wins at least 85 games 8 out of 10 years. once in the post season i of course want to win. building a team of massive sluggers won't cut it. what wins in October? a team with a couple aces. strong defense. a team that can manufacture runs. sluggers who feast on weak pitching often struggle in the post season due to having to face good pitching night after night. its a bit of a catch 22. lets say you have decent starters but good depth. you have a starting eight full of power hitters. sounds like a great way to get to the postseason yet also a recipe for not advancing in the post season.
so what to do?
1. try & have two TOR starters & two all star caliber hitters to hit 3-4. thats the core of the team. how? draft well & develop well. the 'A' prospects stay in the system. no Cueto for Blanton deals. no Bailey for Dye deals. not every 'A' prospect is going to be an all star but the Reds aren't going to get these guys on the open market. they must come from within. the 'b' & 'c' prospects can be traded to improve the big league club as long as you don't go overboard. the team needs these guys to fill out the 25 man roster cheaply
2. be extremely cautious regarding long term deals. we have all seen the folly of even a 3 years deal (Milton). guys who get a LTC need to be hard working guys who have a clean health history & are not too old.
3. go cheap on the closer. $80M doesn't go very far so the Billy Bean type closer seems better than the $11.5M closer. its not that Coco isn't good. is just that if the team spent $5M on a closer they'd have $6.5M to spend elsewhere
4. try as much as possible to draft & develop the key positions: SS,C & CF.
certain positions are a lot easier to fill on the open market. an example is Jocketty seeming to always get a cheap second baseman when he was Cards GM. left field seems like another position that would be a lot easier to fill on the cheap than say shortstop.
now looking at the current team:
i wouldn't make a blockbuster deal for a rental like Lee. i'd trade anyone in the farm system except Chapman in the right deal. i'd add Alosno to the short list if the team feels he can play LF. but trading for a star player usually involves 'A' prospects. i think that the short term benefit is outweighed by the long term harm. now, if the team will revert to its stinky ways after 2010 then i can see why people want to go 'all in' on a big deal. however, i think the team is on the verge of a multiyear run. why? Votto, Bruce & tons of pitching. so i think 2011, 2012, 2013 are going to be years in which we compete. lets just assume that the Reds could trade Chapman & Alonso for a star player who is a rental. the rental helps this year. we then get 2 early picks in the 2011 draft. the team is better in 2010 but worse in 2011, 2012, 2013, etc. plus its no sure thing the draft picks will be any good. two 'A' prospects close to the bigs are worth tons more than 2 draft picks.
just my opinion bu i wanted to clarify it.