Re: Reds sign Pena to 1 year $1.25 mil. deal.
I'm really curious who the rudder is on this ship. It seems it has been Barry for a decade, followed by Casey and nobody else really fits the profile. The most talented guys on the team simply don't seem to be interested in being leaders.
Junior is, but in a very deferential way and he's not somebody you can build around at this point in his career. LaRue, I believe, is the official guy, but he seems more in the Aaron Boone mold and is on a 1 year contract. Dunn just doesn't seem interested in being a leader.
Now, typically I don't buy in to the whole intangibles argument -- as winning generates chemistry, not the other way around. But in terms of building a nucleus, you need to be able to sell those guys on the idea of leading the team in to the future. I just don't think we've got the type of guys who want to make that kind of commitment. I suppose the ownership change could change everything, but I'm not holding my breath.
I expect Dunn to test the FA market when he's available and unless Kearns has nailed down a permanent spot in the Reds OF, take the highest money/lowest pressure combination he can find -- perhaps Houston as they'll have the money with Biggio, Bagwell, Clemens, and possibly Pettitte off the books. As for the Reds "core", I think we're looking at Lopez, Encarnacion, Harang, and possibly Claussen. I wouldn't count on any of the outfielders being a permanent part of the Reds future.