This is a clip from a Jerry Crasnick article on ESPN. He interviewed a few GM's about their opinions on a variety of hot stove topics. I've attached their thoughts on a few options that the Reds (and every other team) have to consider.
6. Which "second tier" starter do you like best: Adam Eaton, Ted Lilly, Gil Meche, Vicente Padilla or Randy Wolf?
Responses: Lilly 8, Padilla 6, Wolf 3, Meche 1, Eaton 1 and one undecided.
"They all have their little hickies, don't they?" one NL GM said.
Of course they do. That's why they'll have to muddle along with three- and four-year deals in the mere $24 million to $40 million range.
Wolf is still 17 months removed from Tommy John surgery, but he proved he could pitch well in a bandbox in Philadelphia. A Wolf supporter called him "a baseball player who just happens to pitch."
Eaton and Meche are talented guys who've never put it together, for an assortment of reasons. Eaton has yet to stay healthy enough to pitch 200 innings in a season, and Meche projects an outward passivity that doesn't match his above-average stuff.
Then there's Padilla, whose reported alcohol problems and loner personality make people wonder just what makes him tick. He's a career 66-61, but his 15-10 record in Texas could be a springboard to the next level.
"I like Padilla," a scout said. "He has the best stuff of the bunch. He's a mean son of a gun. He's willing to pitch inside, and he had very good success last year in a hitters' park in the American League."
An AL East executive chose Lilly on a hunch that he's going to break through and win 18 games one of these years. Lilly's fastball can hit the low 90s when he's right, and his curveball can be a knockout pitch. He just doesn't bring it to the park as consistently as, say, Zito.
"He's not a touchy-feely lefty," a Lilly backer said. "He's a four-pitch guy with legitimate stuff. Consistency is the only missing piece for him. When he's right, you know you have a chance against the Red Sox or Yankees. When he's not, Kansas City has a chance, too. He makes you scratch your head."
Teams have experienced so many multiyear disasters in the Russ Ortiz-Carl Pavano mode, any starter who can stay healthy and win 12-14 games with a sub 4.50 ERA is considered a decent investment. Lilly wins out as the safest, if not the flashiest, choice in the group.
If you were going to rank these guys, how would you rank them?