Originally Posted by mdccclxix
So I looked over the Reds roster, which is rock solid through 2015, btw. Then I looked over the minors, and it really isn't all that great on the offensive side of the ball, especially. After Hamilton (who still has some experience to gain), there won't be a meaningful addition to the roster for 2-3-4 years (although I do like some role players like Fellhauer, Lutz and H. Rodriguez).
Cingrani and Corcino are arriving near enough to Arroyo, Latos, and Bailey's situations to help out, but after that it's another 2-3-4 years before we will have much reinforcements.
But, that's why they play the games and that's why they draft. 2013-2015 IS the time to go all in, and the Reds have. Their roster is such that it can even withstand a few major injuries, as we saw last year. It will be a comfort when the tide rolls back into the upper minors by 2014-15, though. 2016 and beyond is setup nicely as well, and there will be time to find those top flight players until then to fill in the starting lineup. Lastly, of course, there are players that right now have not emerged, but probably will. For now, the Reds are stacked where it counts in Cincinnati and they are busy reloading where it matters a little less (except to those mavens in Dayton) in the minors.
Agreed, especially with the last paragraph. Now through 2015 is THE window.
After that (if not sooner), the Cubs and Cardinals will likely be back in full force. The Brewers and Pirates may be. And the Reds will likely go through a period of rebuilding that will position them to compete again in the 2018-2020 range, when guys like Stephenson, Winker, Travieso, et al (as well as others who aren't even in the organization yet) are hopefully hitting their primes.
Of course, it is possible the Reds can still be a contending team in the 2016-2017 time period. But they'll have to shell out a LOT of dough to keep several of the guys like Latos, Bailey, Cueto, Chapman and possibly Cozart/Frazier/Mesoraco in order to make sure that happens. And don't forget, they'll already be paying $52MM per year just for Votto, Phillips and Bruce, the latter of which will be hitting FA in 2017 (and the former two who will be well on the wrong side of 30/past their primes).
As an aside (and back on thread topic), I wouldn't be shocked if Walt retires after "the window" - sometime around 2015/2016, mainly because he doesn't have the energy or desire to go through another rebuilding effort. He is the GM to take a team to the next (championship) level, not necessarily the right guy to spearhead a total overhaul/rebuilding effort.