Originally Posted by Hondo
Really? I would've rather spent $15 Million for a Serious Lead-Off Hitter than $7 Million on a LF.
The Reds need runners on base in front of Votto, Bruce, Phillips, etc...
This team's biggest weakness is no lead-off hitter, period.
Reading now its $7M a year with a $1M buy-out for the third year. So $15M guaranteed over three years. Haven't seen the dollars on the mutual option, though. Those are usually a little higher than the AAV of the contract.
In principle I don't diasgree with you Hondo. But I'd say the Reds offense has been marred by two big factors:
1) Nobody on base in front of Votto
2) No protection behind Votto (knowing Dusty won't bat Bruce there)
I totally agree with you that the OBP department is the more important of the two because of how prolific a hitter Joey is. But that prolificness is negated when the dude gets intentionally walked twice a night. To get the full value of guys in front of Joey, you need to have a few guys behind him. And honestly, I'm not sure that there was a better option for the dollars in free agency, especially since Ludwick came back under market value.
Now, of course, the Reds still need to fix issue #1 to get the full bang out of this Ludwick deal, otherwise we'll be an offense of five hole hitters like we were last year. I still am convinced that something happens this off-season to rectify that area, especially with how frequently Walt's been linked to leadoff guys really since last trade deadline.
My speculation still is that the Reds will address this through a trade. I don't think they wanted to pay market value on anyone for more than two years and, to my knowledge, none of the free agent leadoff guys have signed for fewer than 3 years or a total contract of less than $35M. I think they would rather trade away to get a guy who is already affordably under team control by contract than pay a premium for a bridge option until Billy gets here or in case he is uneffective when he does.
I'm not sure there was a guy to be had for one season, $15M. It might be Bourn now with the market drying up, but honestly, did anyone expect that? Would you have gambled on the wait and see route with a Boras client? I'm honestly on the fence there.
I'm wrong all the time, just thought I'd chime in.