Re: Dave Sappelt
Sappelt could be what Farney and Ryan Freel wanted to be. A line of 300/350/425 would be outstanding for a cheap LF that also provides plus defense and speed on top of it.
The question is whether he can learn how to steal effectively (a SB% of 75 or so) and often, rather than just often.
If Sappelt again pulls an 850 OPS out of AAA, he has to be considered the odds-on favorite to lead off for the Reds in 2012. That would put Lewis and Gomes out of the picture and save Cincinnati around $3 million.
Add to that the probable jettisoning of Hernandez and another $3 million in favor of Mesoraco and you've got a nice start in making the team less reliant on older veterans and more reliant on simply good, experienced players.
(None of this mentions possible AAA help for closer [Joseph], 2B [Valaika, Janish, Negron, or others], and back-up corner infielder [Frazier]. These additions in place of older, more expensive veterans could save the team well over $30 million, a monster amount for a team, like the Reds, who have almost everything they need covered. That should allow for a major acquisition or perhaps another LTC. (Of course, many of the younger Reds are enterting arbitration and much of that money may be needed to retain players who've parlayed early playing time and success into larger contracts.)
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