What do y'all think of him?? He doesn't appear to be in the Tigers' plans any more. The acquisitions of Casey and then Sheffield (and possibly even Teixiera for Bonderman) reduce him to a AAA/bench role. He'll be 27 next year but only 2 years on his arbitration clock.
There are some things to note about him... First of all, he's done significantly better on the road (struggled in the spacious Comerica). Also, he seemed to get on base pretty decently even after April. The power was almost non-existent but on base skills were respectable.
Would it make sense for the Reds to acquire him (while his value is very low); a change of scenery and platoon with Hatteburg would be very beneficial. Since he has an almost .900 OPS away from home and the Tigers did not give him a chance to rebound (he had one amazing month and two cold months), I think it would make sense. It probably wouldn't take much more than Cormier to acquire him. He then could platoon with Hatteburg... And if he thrives then we can deal Hatteburg in the middle of next year.
What this enables us to do is to trade Votto. Votto is a great player but he cooled off a little as the season progressed. His value is higher than ever... he was just ranked the #1 1B prospect. I mean he's good but he had a season beyond anyone's expectations and the 1B market is strangely weak this year. If we could turn around and deal Votto and a Matt Belisle type to say the Angels for Aybar or even Wood then that would be an incredible move. Even if Shelton failed we'd still have an adequete backup in Hatteburg. We could always resort to short term solutions in 2008-2009 if Shelton tanked. (We could go after another stop gap 1B like Tony Clark or Mark Sweeney after 2007 or the Kevin Millar and Craig Wilson types that appear every year)... or if need be resign Dunn and slide him from LF or slide Ed.E. over from 3B and sign a top notch FA 3B or OF.
Regardless we have options... I am just concerned that Votto will turn into a Ben Broussard type 1B. That's not bad but that production level grows on trees as far as guys go. We should recognize they oppurtunity with Shelton and seize it. Votto is a big enough trade chip that trading him can fill some of our holes. Instead of overpaying for Julio Lugo or Ted Lilly to a 4 yr. 40M deal or something foolish like that, we should at least try to use one of our internal trade resources... THEN, after the big spenders overpay for mediocre players, maybe go after a free agent. Votto's development is a blessing but he's no Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey.... I just think he will be older and regress a little next year and his value will drop. Hopefully he's not a Brandon Larson type "prospect" but remember even he once upon a time was almost worth Scott Rolen (had management not nixed the deal).
Anyways... any opinions on this?