Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?
- I really liked the Cory Lidle move. He was exactly the kind of pitcher (innings eater, durable, keeps you in games) that virtually all Reds fans and observers have said is what we need here. He was a little more inconsistent than I would have liked, but he was a good sign for us.
- Signing Todd Jones was another good move. He had some blow-ups, but finding a guy off the scrap heap to be probably our most dependable reliever was very good.
- I like the prospects we netted in the Lidle and Jones trades, particularly the fact that we got a major-league ready pitcher (Hancock), a talented albeit unpolished middle infielder (Machado) and a solid pitching prospect (Ramirez) who did alright at Double-A at 21.
- Adding guys to the pro scouting end of things is really good for this organization too. I know it got more play in Spring Training and early on than it did as the season wore on, but I like the fact that we're spending more time and money to scout out players across the organizations.
- Finally being the one to step up a tell Larkin "Thanks for everything, but we have to move in a different direction" gets a big plus from me.
- The Reitsma trade is something I've gone back and forth in my assessment on. When the trade was made, I said it was a good move, and I still contend that trading a reliever (albeit a young, cheap one) for two starting pitching prospects is a good idea. Having said that, I've never viewed Bong as a starter. I still like Nelson despite his struggles, but I think Bong is fairly overrated. And in any event, we could have used Reitsma's arm in the pen this year.
- The drafting of Bailey was questionable to me. Not because I abhor all high school pitching draftees but because I think some of the college arms that were available still had stuff almost as good as Bailey's and were perhaps less than two years away from being ready for a permanent spot in the rotation. That's not something to pass up, even though I do love Bailey's ceiling.
- The reluctance to give Encarnacion a shot in September really puzzled me. The kid hit well at Double-A after having a decent showing in Spring Training and deserved at least a few days of big-league life after the playoffs were over.
- I liked the signing of Vander Wal at the time, but once he tore up his knee, that should have been it. There's no way a guy who's almost 40 is going to blow out his knee and come back later that season to be effective.