Originally Posted by mdccclxix
Hey! Season's over!
Here are some quality FA's that I think the Reds could benefit from signing in 2012:
Grady Sizemore: Total Stud. With depth in CF, the Reds could roll the dice he stays healthy for 4-5 million. Injuries are a concern, but players with this talent only need to be 80%.
Johnny Damon: This guy still has 2-3 years left and can probably still hit 15 HR in GABP while providing a tough out in the lineup. 3-5 million.
Josh Willingham: He'll probably get close to 8-10 million since there isn't much else out there and he's never OPS'd under .800. No doubt he'd help this lineup as a cleanup hitter.
JD Drew: Another premium talent. He knows the K zone. Coming off an injury year and going to be 36. He's a winner. 3-5 million.
Roy Oswalt: His retirement talk is probably him coming to terms with an aging body. Maybe he would hang it up early, but I doubt it. 3 years, 36 million.
These are the types of targets the Reds need. Similar to the Rolen acquisition, this team will benefit from another veteran with a consistant bat or arm. Making room in the OF shouldn't be an issue, and the rotation needs more stability. Perhaps they have 10-15 million to spend if payroll goes to 85 million and they don't keep Cordero.
Starting pitcher first. Vazquez is retiring. Oswalt has too many injury issues. Buehrle is the guy I'd like to see them add. If they could add a strong starter without dealing Alonso, Votto or Bruce, then I don't really think they need to do anything with the position players they have. The primary weakness they had in 2011, as far as position players are concerned, was a lack of middle of the order depth and guys who can hit well against RHP. That weakness is addressed with Alonso replacing Gomes as the primary LF and with Heisey as a strong 4th OFer. The bottom of the roster is much stronger with Cozart replacing Janish, Mes replacing Ramon and Francisco and Frazier replacing Lewis and Renteria. The only reason they may need to add a position player would be if some need to be dealt to fix the rotation. If they could sign Buerhle while leaving Chapman in the pen, I'd say they are all set. Deal Volquez for a prospect or two and be done with it.
Cairo and Frazier round out the bench as utility guys. Beyond that, they may look at dealing Stubbs if Sappelt forces his way in. Sappelt in CF and the 2 hole looks alot better, but they wouldn't need to force the move.
Fortifying the rotation with another effective innngs horse like Buehrle will do wonders for the bullpen and if Arroyo can bounce back to the 200+ league average innings guy that he has basically been while taking the gloves off as far as limiting Leake's innings and that pen should avoid imploding under the weight of overuse in April and May. Bailey would be the biggest question mark they have because of his health, but if he can stay healthy, I still think he'll be the ace by the end of the year. If his health falters, they still have Wood and Lecure as options.
They should sign some vets as insurance for AAA. This year's version of Willis (my vote is Scott Kazmir) and a steady defesive SS who could come up and field the position every day should Cozart be injured or awful should be things they look to add on the cheap.
If they must spend money on the bullpen, I hope its for cheap experience along the lines of Jason Isringhausen rather than sinking multiple years or anything over $2 Million into a reliever, but if they keep everyone but Cordero and leave Chapman in the pen, I don't think its necessary. Brad Boxberger will be on the scene by June and if used correctly he and Chapman might be dynamic at the end of the game (think Kimbrel/Ventors in Atlanta as an example) with strong arms like Arredondo, Bray and Masset really solid in the middle.