Well, you if were waiting for your first over-the-top, the sky-is-falling, we-need-to-trade everyone thread, here it is!
But hear me out first.
2008 is all but lost. I've gone from really believing in this team in the spring to having no faith at all. I have ZERO confidence that we can bounce back from this 12-20 start and contend. ZERO.
So, the ONLY thing I care about at this point is the future of the club. And for the first time in long time, I think we actually have at least a handful of guys worth watching down the road.
Here's how I look at it:
List of guys I would NOT trade and would try to build around:
--Phillips (having a terrible year, but still a guy that can be useful in the future)
--Keppinger (it may seem odd to have him on a "no trade" list, but I don't think he has a ton of value on the market, but DOES have value on the field)
List of guys I would trade for a bag of baseballs:
--Arroyo (anyone that wants his salary can have him)
--Griffey (see above-- plus, I'd like to see Jr. play for a contender)
--Hatteberg (I'll take whatever)
--Any of our catchers
--Freel (time has come to say goodbye)
The problem with the guys listed directly above is that pretty much all fans would like to see them traded, yet no team in their right mind is going to give up anything of substance for them (maybe Junior, but I'm not even sure about him). So, I'd trade each of them with the idea to simply get rid of them rather than get a certain return for them. If you stumble into a prospect, then great. If not, no worries.
List of guys I would definitely trade, but not give away:
With his performace this year, I'd lean towards keeping EE, but I'm certainly not opposed to listening if there is interest. As for Dunn, it just seems like time. I really don't see him as a cornerstone of this franchise, and I'm not willing to pony up to keep him. It would be somewhat tough to let him go, but if we got a decent return, I could live with it.
Now, if we REALLY want to build for the future, I think we dangle these two guys:
Both of these players are in their prime right now and are pitching VERY well. Both have SERIOUS market value. Both could REALLY make certain conteding teams salivate. Harang could easily be the most desireable player on the trade market if we made him available. Cordero's contract may turn off a few teams, but clubs start getting a tad desperate as the season moves on.
I really like both of these guys, but I have a really strong feeling that they may both be past their optimum peak by the team the Reds are ready to contend.
I can see it now....everything comes together in 2010, and Harang takes a nosedive.
Like I mentioned above, we have a decent core of young players to build on....
I am not going to name names, but imagine this:
I bet we could get a Volquez-type pitching prospect, a Votto-type offensive player, and a Keppinger-type prospect for Harang. Let's say we can land a #3 starter prospect for Cordero.
Now, you take the core add ANOTHER Volquez, ANOTHER Votto, ANOTHER Keppinger, and a legit 3rd starter....you have just sped up the process of rebuilding.