The reds may well be involved in another deal or two before opening day, they need to do something to salvage the disaster that was this last off season.
None of the major problems facing the reds got addressed.
This year’s bullpen looks exactly like the bullpen Wayne inherited from DanO. Too many overpriced veterans with too many innings on their collective arms. Stanton, Weathers, Guardado, Hermanson…one can only assume that Mercker is going to be in the mix AGAIN. That’s a bunch of money spent on over the hill nothings. Again the reds gave away a minor league closer shipping David Shafer off to Oakland who will promptly turn him into a useful reliever while we get to watch Mike Stanton give up gopher balls.
Since July of last year, the reds offense has looked terrible. They needed a rightfielder with some serious sock and a firstbaseman that can hit. Instead Krivsky played spin the lefty on Hatteberg and is moving our centerfielder to right, replacing him in the lineup with a powerless fly catcher. Hatteberg outperformed all expectations last year and while it’s nice when one of your guys has a career year, expecting him to duplicate it as a 37 year old is just wishcasting. If you aren’t going to bring in a hitting first baseman, the obvious solution would have been to put Joey Votto into the mix, but he’s going to season in AAA for a year. The problem with moving Junior to right is that we all know he WILL go down again and when he does…..that means TWO punchless flycatchers in the outfield….That’s gonna do wonders for scoring runs, two punchless flycatchers batting in front of the pitcher….
Or playing time for Jeff Conine. You have got to be kidding me. You need a corner righty in order to soak up 300 at bats or so and you go dig up the remains of an allstar from the 1994 team? I’m just guessing that Kevin Mitchell wasn’t available. To make matters worse, they traded warm bodies for Jeff Conine. That’s unthinkable.
A contract extension for Juan Castro? Who thought that was a good use of the front office’s time. Signing Chad Moeller? Huh? That’s the definition of replaceable talent.
Where is the #3 starter? Ok Arroyo and Harang have worked out, but the reds are really planning on plowing another 30 starts into Eric Milton? Kyle Lohse? Everybody who think Lohse is a big game playoff pitcher raise your hands….yeah, that’s about what I thought too. But those two are expected to be consistent starters all year long! We are well beyond wishcasting and clearly playing fantasy baseball at this point.
So what was the big free agent signing? The reds needed a shortstop you say? That’s Pokey Reese out there folks. Why not….Why not move Phillips over, resign Aurillia and give him the second base job? Or heck, if Rich doesn’t want to come back and you’re into fossils, Ray Durham could have been had or any number of second basemen. Heck, why not give Ryan Freel a real full time job and put somebody in the outfield who can HIT! Instead of moving Phillips, they bring in a guy who struggles to get his OBP up to 300. You know, if you want that kind of player and you really think Juan Castro can’t play every day, why not just hand the shortstop job to Rey Olmedo? He’s cheaper and we don’t KNOW that he can’t hit any worse than that. Heck, if you’re going to settle for that why not just bring back Royce Clayton and his patented “who screwed that up” bobblehead look around the infield.
For the second year in a row, the reds dumped a fan favorite for magic beans. Last year they sent Sean Casey packing for the immortal Dave Williams who they sent packing for…well, for nothing. This year they PAID money to send Jason LaRue to the Royals. Not content to count on a career year by Hatteberg, they put all their catching eggs in the David Ross basket and sent the longest tenured red, their catcher of the last 6 years away for a player to be named later. That’s a classic example of selling low. Let’s hope the player to be named latter turns into more than Cody Ross.
The big addition to the reds family this offseason? Marty’s kid and Jeff Brantley on the broadcasting teams. That’s right, instead of signing players to play baseball, the reds spent their time finding playmates for George Grande. That’s what this franchise is all about anyway. Trade away fan favorites, let the talking heads trash Adam Dunn all winter long, the franchise is in good hands…..because Marty’s kid is signed to a long term contract. I wonder if Joe Morgan’s kid is interested?