"We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn
Oh there will be some trades made if for no other reason than to improve that shotty defense. They will mostly seem to be smaller deals with perhaps one solid deal for a true closer. It's not what you trade for that matters but what you can get out of that trade. Case in point Brandon Phillips, David Ross and the like perhaps some of those others will turn up as well like Coutlangus or Gil.
The defense has got to improve dramatically or we don't get anywhere. Jose Guillen wouldn't be bad for this team on the field offensively and defensively. But it's his inability to stay healthy and happy that would hurt this team the most.
Let's see the likely defense and where and how it can improve. For arguments sake I am going to start with players where they are currently because no matter what we believe could or will happen they already have a position on this team.
C Ross (Could still improve some aspects but still a decent defender)
1B Hatteberg (Solid glove, avg to below range and only 5 ft 11)
2B Phillips (A gold glover in the making)
3B Encarnacion (Look for errors to cut in half, should be the next big thing)
LF Dunn (Not the worst defensive LFer in BB IMO, but is below average)
CF Griffey (His years in CF should be over if not then we have troubles)
These are your starters people and no matter how much some would like him to be Freel is viewed by his own manager as a 4 game a week player and that is the only opinion that matters right now and in the near future. Phillips could be moved to SS and I would not mind seeing him given the opportunity, as it is easier and cheaper to find a full time 2B than it is to find an everyday SS. Griffey should be moved to another position but who knows if that will happen.
So in essence then you need a CF (Freel/Deno?) a 2B/SS and either move Jr. to RF (Not sure how much that really helps the defense) or find a way to rid yourself of him (There are ways), And then get a full time RF.
Maybe something like this would improve us a great deal w/o much wheeling and dealing or expense.
1B Hatteberg/Craig Wilson/Eduardo Perez???
2B Mark Loretta/Jerry Hairston Jr./Adam Kennedy
SS Brandon Phillips
RF Jr. or maybe a Shannon Stewart type.
I don't know all the answers w/o knowing who all is available but improving defense should be the main priority as it is cheap and effective. I might even consider dealing certain untouchables not named Homer to get that one pivotal piece whatever the powers-that-be decide that piece is! My gut is that we need a RH impact type bat in a position of need that will improve us defensively. Miguel Tejada would fit that description if his defense wasn't plummeting. Jermaine Dye in RF would be solid if the Sox have not already p/u their team option (likely have). I also like the idea of pursuing Ian Kinsler more and make him the 2B with our dearth of bullpen options.
Not sure but throwing some things against the wall might help us understand a bit better.
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
We filled the SS void not with a big trade but with a small FA pickup.
We didn't swing a big deal for a closer.
We really don't have any big trade bait other than Dunn.
I would be suprised if we traded Dunn seeing that our offense needs a boost even if we don't trade him.
The free agent market looks weak.
Here is what we will likely have ( IMO ) at best in 2007:
1B Hatteberg/Eddie Perez or Craig Wilson or someone similar
( Votto starts in AAA )
CF Deno or Freel
RF Griffey vs RHP, Deno or Freel vs LHP
Utility IF Castro
5th OF Crosby/Hopper
3. Wolf or Padilla ( some decent FA pitcher but not Jason Schmidt )
( Bailey starts in AAA )
RP: Coffey, Majik, Cormier, Belisle, Stanton, EZ
Defense: better but not great.
SS, CF & 2B will be strong. I think EE will be better in 2007.
But catcher, 1B, LF & RF are still soft spots.
Griffey and Dunn in the same outfield is brutal.
Offensively... below average. Potential for really bad - Griffey goes down, Ross is a one year wonder, Phillips is a one year wonder, etc.
Staring pitching: a strong point if a #3 is obtained and a really strong point if a #3 is obtained & Bailey arrives.
Bullpen: better than 2006 but average. depth of decent major league pitchers but no lights out closer.
Now... this team looks average to me. Not bad but not good.
Does anyone have a realistic plan they could see Krisky employing to improve on my 2007 Reds?