With the season almost 1/4 over, I am back to thinking about what our new GM has up his sleeve these days. I posted a thread awhile back, before the WMP deal, in which I speculated about how Kriv would re-situate the team's strengths around defense and pitching. Now that he has done that, at least in part, with the Arroyo acquisiton, I find myself wondering what will be next.
Here's my guess what that next big move will be: trading Dunn, Kearns, or FeLo for pitching, perhaps around the July deadline.
Clearly, parting with any one of these players pains me immensely. I love the Reds offense and I get excited about their developing young core of talent. I was devastated when they traded Wily Mo, too, but now I have come to realize that it was for the best. Even if Bronson ultimately levels off as a sturdy #3 starter, he is valuable to this team because he keeps them in games. As much as I would hate to see any of the three young cornerstones move on, they are realistically our best shot we have at getting above league-average pitching in return.
1) Dunn: He is reasonably priced and signed for a couple of years. He is a one of a kind talent that other teams clearly covet, especially those who look past traditional statistics and espouse the moneyball approach. He would probably provide the best immediate value in return. He is expendable with both short-term (Denorfia) and long-term (Bruce) prospects in the pipeline.
2) Kearns: He is still young and cheap, and he seems to be coming into his own once again after battling weight and fat relief pitchers for two years. He is a better all-around player than Dunn, and is hence appealing to AL and NL teams equally. He is expendable with both short-term (Denorfia) and long-term (Bruce) prospects in the pipeline.
3) FeLo: He is one of the best young offensive shortstops in the game (15 steals?) but plays shoddy defense and has a hard-ass agent in Boras. Though players of this type are rare in the Reds organization, he may be more expendable now that the slick-fielding Phillips has asserted himself. A Phillips-Aurilia middle infield could be what we're looking at quite soon.
My own preference would be to keep Dunn (a rare talent and my vote for the face of this franchise going forward) and to shop the other two, taking the best offer within reason. What do you all think?