Originally Posted by mdccclxix
It's going to be tough to find a 200 inning pitcher on the FA market, but I would be thrilled if the Reds landed one. Cordero's option wasn't picked up, so that's a start. If you take out the deferments from Rolen and Arroyo, you may have 17+ million after arbitration to sign FA's. Adding a 14+ million contract like Buehrle would certainly stave off a Phillips contract and in 2013 you'd have to find a 2b. Votto's 19 million in 2013 is doable.
Trade Bailey and Volquez for a top prospect in the infield. Save Wood for injury insurance and/or to takeover when Chapman reaches innings limit.
It's one way to do it. Lot's of ways to do it, though. Adding a FA bat while trading for a more affordable pitcher with pieces like Alonso, Stubbs, Heisey, Frazier, Bailey, Volquez, and Sappelt is another way to go.
I think Phillips is a goner. His resume, age and status have reached a tipping point. His resume and status suggests a free agent deal in the 4 year $50 Million range after 2012 is complete. His age and the Reds finances says the Reds should pass no matter who else they sign or what type of season Phillips has in 2012. Phillips contract status shouldn't have any impact on what the Reds do with the pitching staff IMO. If Phillips won't sign home town discount in the 3 year $20 Million range, I just don't see how the Reds could keep him. I like Phillips a lot. I think he's the best defensive 2B the Reds have had in the time I've been watching, which spans back to when Tommy Helms played 2B for the Reds. He deserves a big payday. I don't think the Reds can or should be the team to give it to him.
I don't think Buerhle will get that much. I'm thinking 3 years, $35 Million would get him. The Reds could afford more in 2012 and should approach that with a somewhat front loaded deal with say a $5 Million signing bonus and Salaries in the $10 Million per year range. They could do it this year and I think it would be a move to go for it that I would applaud, but I understand its fairly risky to spend the entire playflex on one player so I really expect that a trade is more likely if they do anything at all.
As I said earlier. I'm not optimistic about Chapman in the rotation for a couple years. He won't give the innings needed until 2014. He'll probably get hit fairly hard for a season or two as he figures out how to get hitters out while dialing his stuff back to the mid-90s. I'm just not optimistic that a guy like him who seems to get outs with a 100 MPH+ fastball setting up his low 90s slider. If he's starting and trying to get through a line-up three times, he won't be throwing 100 MPH + and if he's working at 95 or 96, I'm not sure that his slider will be nearly as effective as it is today. He's going to have to add to his assortment and figure out how to work through opposing line-ups multiple times and that will take a couple of seasons IMO. After 2013, he'll be arb eligible and the remainder of his current deal will convert to a signing bonus and then they'll have to sign him all over again or go to arb. The team will be dealing with paying that bonus as well as paying the new contract just to keep him until free agency comes around and it will only be a matter of time before he's priced himself out of town. Add that they'll also have to spend to replace him in the pen and that will cost money too which means they'll have to settle for a lesser starter. That means moving Chapman, in the short term, actually weakens two rotation spots - one devoted to Chapman as he takes his lumps and another where a lesser starter is added because some of the money needed to get help form outside will be reallocated to the pen to replace Chapman. They've been through those growing pain years with Bailey and now just as they are ready to realize the reward for sticking with him they're going to give his rotation spot to Chapman and start the whole process over again all while creating a hole in the bullpen that will require pricey help from the outside? I understand that Chapman could go on to a great career as a starter once this process is complete, but IMO that career will probably be mostly for teams that are not the Reds. Why go through all the short term set-backs just to let some other team with a bigger bank account swoop in and reap the rewards? Pass on the moving Chapman to the rotation. Let Bailey have that spot. Forget about acquiring a pricey reliever and use the cash on an established starter.
I'd be all for a scenario where the Reds deal Alonso, Grandal and some other excess parts for somebody effective and less pricey like Shields and use the savings to sign somebody like Willingham to play LF. I'm just beginning to think that it will take more than Alonso and Grandal and lesser guys. There aren't many starters who are effective and cheap like that and probably even less that match up with the Reds for a deal. Signing Buehrle, even if they have to expand the budget a couple million, means that Alonso can play LF and the Reds can hold on to their trade chips for whatever other need may reveal itself. Even if it costs more on next season's budget, it may be the best fiancial move in the long run.
All I know is, they need to bring in at least one established starter. The worst case scenario IMO is a rotation with Cueto, Arroyo, Leake, Bailey and Chapman. Too many question marks for me. I'm guessing those 5 will be the rotation though unless they make a spot for Volquez instead of Bailey.
I agree that dealing Volquez for a prospect to save cash and sure up a weakness should be on the to do list.