Re: Why All The Negativity?
Great discussion. This is the first offseason between Oct-Opening Day in years that I've actually had much of an interest in the franchise since rarely was a pulse measured. I'd even go months without posting...
I think the difference is that if you can't develop pitching then you must overpay in the market even to find middle of the rotation guys. Wilson's contract looks like a steal for the Reds given all that transpired -- given the empty cupboard and need to run some short term CC debt as WOY eloquently stated. $4M for a #3 type starter is a BARGAIN for this franchise in its current state.
high risk/high reward -- Milton. Fortunately this is only a three year deal. Quality LH are few and far between, heck Milton was 5th among LHP in K/9IP last season. Milton's a fine addition (albeit at a steep cost). For a franchise that relies on the season tix/gate as much as any in MLB and with the putrid rotation of the post 2000 era, a worthwhile roll of the dice.
low risk/high reward -- Hudson, Claussen. They are cheap and high potential and if one of them hits you're golden.
low risk/med reward -- Harang and his med-ceiling. He's cheap and serviceable until something better. Almost a godsend for a small marekt team with little home grown MLB talent like the reds.
med risk./med reward = Wilson. Almost certain to post a low 4 ERA and deliver you a ton of QS. With a better pen the Reds easily have a chance to win (and probably will win) the majority of his starts. Finding a Wilson was a must have for 2005, few names fit the bill at a $4M per year rate.
med risk/med-high reward -- Ortiz. Worth taking a flyer on someone you can control for two years if he pans out.
low risk/high reward on the open market. Good luck via FA... Agree with M2 that creative trades are the path to fill this magic solution. Teams can bottom fish for 2M per and someone out of 30 might find a Loiaza 2003 or an injury flier, but that's a high risk venture given the number of blind darts you have to toss at the board.