Affeldt would be strong addition
Could be in line for spot in the rotation
Some fearless predictions 27 days before pitchers and catchers report:
Jeremy Affeldt's imminent signing could go down as one of Wayne Krivsky's better moves. No. 1, he's a left-hander. No. 2, he had a 3.51 ERA pitching for the Colorado Rockies last year. Coors Field rates slightly higher on pitcher fright scale than Great American.
The best thing about signing Affeldt is it probably means the Reds aren't going to sign one of the remaining free agent starters.
None of the free agents still out there - Josh Fogg, Livan Hernandez, Steve Trachsel, Kris Benson, Brett Tomko - put up very good numbers last year. Fogg (10-9, 4.94 ERA) was the best of the bunch, in fact.
Tomko, for instance, was 4-12 with a 5.55 ERA. If Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto can't put up those kinds of numbers, the Reds should have gone ahead and traded them.
Affeldt's signing would mean the Reds would have five guys competing for two spots in the rotation. That can be a good thing.
The Reds' new spring home will be the same as their old spring home - Sarasota.
We'll know a lot more Tuesday. That's when the Sarasota city and county commissions vote on whether to go forward with the new plan.
The reality of the Reds leaving has sunk in in Sarasota. A poll by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune shows that people in the area favor the new plan - just slightly.
So this is no slam dunk. Two of the county commissioners went on the record as saying they were against the plan. And, as the rules stand, it takes a 4-1 vote to approve the new plan.
There's been an informal lobby effort to make them to come around. I think they will.
If they don't, the Reds likely will end up in Arizona.
Other cities in Florida face what turned Sarasota against the original plan: A housing downturn, rising insurance rates, a lot of foreclosures. That's not a climate to get taxes approved. So it's unlikely that any city in Florida can match the offer the Reds will get from Goodyear, Ariz.
Jay Bruce will be the starting center fielder on Opening Day. Bruce is a bright guy. He has a firm grasp on the opportunity before him. He'll be ready from the start, he'll put up big numbers in spring training and win the job. He's going to have to do that because the Reds' baseball brain trust would be content with him starting the season at Louisville.
The Reds will sign Brandon Phillips to a long-term deal before he gets close to his arbitration hearing.
It just makes too much sense not to. Players like Phillips will almost always take a lot of security for less money up front. (Aaron Harang and Adam Dunn did.)
That means the Reds probably could get Phillips for closer to the $2.7 million they're offering than the $4.2 million he's asking for this season. So don't be surprised if a three-year contract for, say, $20 million or so gets done before the Reds head south. The breakdown would be something along the lines of $3 million, $6 million and $10 million per year with $1 million to sign.
Phillips is very happy in Redsland. Remember how well he took it when the Reds renewed his contract last March?
Phillips is a guy the Reds definitely want around long-term. One of their marketing people told me he's the best guy they've ever worked with. The fact that he's on the Reds Caravan speaks to that.
Hitting .288 with 30 homers, 94 RBI and 32 steals isn't bad, either.