Krivsky's smart...baseball smart. He knows how to build a team and has a plan for our Reds, I believe and we're beginning to see it fleshed out. What is exciting is that he is making moves that give the Reds a chance NOW and also takes the future into account. Bill Bray, a strong 23 year old lefthander with two seam and 4 seam varieties of 91-94 mph fastballs and a slider that is the definition of an "out pitch" is probably going to be a reliever although he may develop into a starter later if he can improve his mediocre changeup (Mr. Soto, are you listening?). I really like what I've researched about this kid. He's effective against both lefties and righties, and has a strong build with smooth mechanics. He is undoubtedly the centerpiece of this trade for the Reds. He has the potential to be dominant now and into the future.
Daryl Thompson is the unspoken of player that everyone seems to toss into the "injured prospect - toss in" category and then forget about. Well, researching him turns up the fact that he throws low 90s heat with good movement, has a plus curve and a good changeup. Three above average pitches at age 20. He's been compared by scouts to Dennis Oil Can Boyd in physique and mechanics because of his slight build and funky delivery. I think Krivsky took this kid in the deal specifically - not as an add-on but because he saw a very high reward/high risk player that might be untouchable in a year when he has a chance to fully recover from Kremchek's shoulder surgery. Because he's just 170 pounds and has a stringbean build I see him more as a relief prospect but a very good one. Patience is the key here - and he seems to be responding to his recovery better than the Reds in house top pick Chris Gruler.
Majewski is a league average reliever but better than most of the middle relievers the Reds were trotting out there and reliable enough to give David Weathers and Todd Coffey a chance to rest between appearances - something I think was sorely needed for them to be effective. Maj is probably just a slight uptick for the pen but I think Bray is a real plus addition that will just get better.
Clayton and Harris were the real throw ins in the deal. Clayton is just for this year and his value will be more in teaching what he used to be able to do in the field because his actual play has slipped a bit. Castro, Clayton - they both begin with C, can't hit a lick and have slipped on D a bit but both are patches on this year's infield and not part of K's future plans for the Reds. I would not be surprised though if Harris is given a shot at second base next year. Bergolla gets a competitor who can hit a bit although Harris needs to learn to take a walk if he is going to stick. Freel is never going to be the Reds everyday anything - I think the Reds feel he is most valuable being the man without a position who can play anywhere and therefore still play most of the time.
This trade has been praised and ripped but I'm in favor if it overall. I know some of the board's most respected posters like Steel and MWM are against it but I am going to respectfully disagree with them this time. This deal wasn't about getting more talent in return - it was about taking this team in a new direction and fixing a glaring problem. I don't know that it was enough if a fix for this year (I tend to think not) but I like that it helps the pitching long term and begins to move the Reds toward better fiscal strengths and better on field balance.
In summing up, I'd point out that not all moves K makes will be popular, or even good ones. Even Rickey made some big mistakes in his time, but everything I've seen shows me we finally have a GM who has the cajones and the baseball acumen to make moves when its obvious they are needed and a plan to keep the future in mind while retooling the present. A decent GM can build a team for the present year, or he can assemble a talented cast for the future, but the great GMs do both simultaneously. I'm hoping Krivsky will fit that category - and having an owner who lets him pull the trigger on deals like this helps. Whether you love or loathe the trade, its exciting to be on the cusp of a new era in Reds baseball - an owner and a GM who not only want to win but are willing to act decisively.