Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
I still don't think these are all the right questions.
Is Ryan Freel a better bench option than whoever would have taken the last spot previously?
Is Ortiz better than Josh Hancock, who would have been our fifth starter with no signings?
I think the answer to both of those questions is yes. Therefore, I think the team is better than it was a week ago.
Name for me a team that's been reliant on the last guy on the bench. Doesn't work that way. Last guy on the bench is a fungible item. What wins you games is the quality you get from the guys who play the bulk of the time.
And the contention of the rf30's post was that the Reds had improved the team over last season. Lidle was the guy in the shoes Ortiz has filled. As for upgrading Hancock, IMO the Reds could go scrapheaping in a few weeks and get a pitcher every bit as good as Ortiz (in whom I have no faith) for cents on the dollar.
Using your definition, every team improves in the offseason because every move is an addition to the current mix.