Originally Posted by SteelSD
Then objectively debate the point.
Keep in mind that this thead was started to guage fan reaction to O'Brien's first year at the helm.
Argue away. What has Dan O'Brien done in his first year at the helm to make Reds fans feel that the team was better off in 2004 and will be better off in 2005?
And please don't say "He spent a year evaluating the franchise". Good GM's move quicker than that.
Then you should debate as well instead of calling players "crap" when you don't have a clue how they will turn out.
Listen, we all have different opinions, but we must not fall into patterns of self-rightousness because the GM didn't make your fantasy move. Every GM has a plan, whether is works out or not is the question. I contended that Dan O'brien, the new GM of the Reds was handcuffed because of money and value, both of which he had little of entering last season minus players he probably didn't want to deal(AD for example). My suspicions of DanO's rational:
1)The team wasn't going to have much value or money to make many deals so DanO used the money he had to sign "stopgap" player like Lidle and Vanderwal so he wouldn't rush the younger players.
2)Trade away pieces that had value for younger players with further Arb/FA times. Reitsma fell into this part
3)Redux for the "veterens". Casey,Wilson,Haynes,Graves,Larson ete. Bring them back, see if they can bring their value back up and possibly trade them. Haynes washed out, Casey got back on track, Wilson had a better year than 2003, Graves returned to the closer role though all to hittable, Larson washed out. Why was Branyon cut? Because they wanted to watch Larson. If they had intended to contend in 2004, no way is Branyon non-tendered, but Branyon's of the world aren't rare. In the end, nobody from the list was dealt and many different factors could be reasons why. Maybe they didn't want to trade Casey at this time? Haynes and Larson did so bad, they had to be cut. Wilson is the mystery, why wasn't he dealt? Keep grumpy fans happy? Couldn't get a good return? Keep players happy? Maybe a little bit of all. Did DanO screw up by not trading Wilson or even Casey? Possibly, hard to tell however. How they end up being used in DanO's plan will probably be evidence enough(in other words, Wilson being let go off without getting a draft pick or prospect would stink).
4)Bring up the "young players". WMP,Lopez,Claussen,Hudson ete. Players who the Reds had which couldn't quite be called "prospects" but youngsters that could have a good future up in the bigs or have been delayed by injury. WMP and Lopez fit the latter. With Larkin supposedly to "retire" and Griffey's career winding down due to injury. Both these guys were pushed to see if they could fill in the void to a degree. Lopez got used at SS and 3rd base,especially in September when Machado got called up. WMP took over for Griffey in July and didn't collapse like I thought he would in Augest. Getting their performance and AB's like the Reds did, gives DanO some good material on how they fit into this organization. In other words, if DanO is still SS prospect hunting this winter, Lopez didn't grade out well.
Pitching wise, I will focus Hudson and Claussen considering Harang and Hancock are 4/5 fillers. Both were injured in 2003, though hardly anybody figured Hudson would do as well as he did on his return. He didn't pitch alot of innings, but was fairly good and better than most expected. Claussen struggled out of the gate in AAA but rebounded by June and July. He got called up the end of July and posted some seemly poor numbers. But considering this was his first extended time in the majors and still working back from TJ surgury, he obviously flashed some of his talent which made Kullman/Maddox deal for him in the first place. Again, they gave some valuable film and data for DanO to see how they fit in this organization.
Maybe DanO was to "sleepish" he missed on some big deal that would have transformed the Reds around. However, maybe a "good" GM does exactly what DanO did and start from the inside, evaluate the products inside your system and try to move with money and value you got, the best you can. It lead to a few trades and low class FA pickups in year 1. However, we got to see some younger players in extended roles for the first time with "some" success, veteren's rebound and old friends saying goodbye.
This coming offseason will undoubtly test DanO. He has more value and probably will have more money to play with. How he works it will determine how quickly we rise. So my view is pretty simple: The year most posters are saying DanO should have had last year, he will most likely have this year. I think you all were a year to quick considering what DanO had to work with and are just a bunch of bitter die-hard fans in the end. But be carefull what you wish for, you may get it