Re: Offseason extensions?
Another thing to consider is what is coming up thru the pipeline. While the old adage of there is no thing as a pitching prospect, only pitching suspects holds some truth, the Reds should have a pretty solid staff in AAA next year made up of the solid young staff they had in AA this season. Can they find at least 1 back of the rotation starter or better out of that group? Can Stephenson become a back of the rotation starter or better in the next 2-3 seasons?
Additionally, Arroyo is in his final season, do they let him walk, do they work out an extension? Arroyo may be a middle of the rotation guy closer to 40 than 30, but he's about as conistant as they get in terms of pitching.
I'd have no problem extending Latos this offseason, buying out his arbitration seasons for an extra year or 2 (team option) beyond. They "gave up the farm" to acquire him, I'd hope they're attempting to lock him up as long as possible. As far as Bailey, the reports of his offseason conditioning to strengthen up his shoulders and upper body paid off this season; it shows the kind of maturity Bailey was often critized (fair or not I don't know) for in the past. I wouldn't be oppossed to rewarding him with an extension; I'm not sure if Bailey wants to be locked up long term in this ball park though. I'd make an offer, but if you're no where close, I'd see what I could get for Bailey on the trade market, especially if you can lock up Latos in the offseason.
As far as Ludwick goes, I'd go w/ the same plan I propossed in another thread a month or 2 back. The option is for $5 mil next season, I'd offer him a 2 year deal w/ a team option for a 3rd season, $6 mil per season w/ a decent buy out in 3 seasons. Worst case scenerio he's a solid 4th outfielder than can play both LF and RF. He seems to like here, talks about growing up a Reds fan, I know this offseason is his last chance to get a decent sized contract, I just have my doubts there are going to be many offers out there significanly higher than what I've propossed above from other teams. At the end of the day, he's still a 35ish outfielder w/ 1 great season, 1 solid season and whatever you call this season, encased with some terrible seasons in San Diego and Pittsburgh.