Seeing how Griffey and Dunn will not be here next year, either by trade or just being allowed to walk, the Reds will need 2 more starting outfielders to go with Jay Bruce next year. Are you comfortable enough with Hairston? With Freel? Do you move Votto to LF and feel comfortable with him there? Who would then play 1B? What to do about SS since Gonzalez is most likely out?
Here are the positions that are a lock:
2B - Brandon Phillips (RH) (current age 28)
3B - Edwin Encarnacion (RH) (age 25)
RF - Jay Bruce (LH) (age 21)
SS - plenty of options or do you go get someone else?
1B - Votto or someone else?
Where to play them or do you keep them?:
(LH) - Joey Votto (1B or LF?) (age 24)
(RH) - Jeff Keppinger (1B, SS, 3B, or OF?) (age 28)
(RH) - Jerry Hairston (SS, 3B, CF?) (age 32)
(RH) - Andy Phillips (Utility guy?) (age 31)
(LH) - Corey Patterson (OF) (will be 29 in a month)
(RH) - Ryan Freel (OF) (age 32) - currently on DL
(RH) - Norris Hopper (OF) (age 29) - season ending surgery
(RH) - Jolbert Cabrera (SS - Utility man) (age 36) - currently on DL
(RH) - Paul Janish (SS - Utility Man) (age 25) - Triple AAA
(LH) - Chris Dickerson (OF) (age 26) - Triple AAA
(LH) - Rob Mackowiak (OF) (age 32) - Triple AAA
(LH) Paul Bako (36)
(RH) David Ross (31)
(SH) Javier Valentin (32)
(RH) Ryan Hannigan (27) - Triple AAA
(RH) Alvin Colina (26) - Triple AAA
(LH) Adam Dunn (LF) (28)
(LH) Ken Griffey Jr. (RF) (will be 39 in November)
(RH) Alex Gonzalez - (SS) (season ending surgery - 1 year rehab atleast - most likely will not play in '09)
(RH) Aaron Harang (30)
(RH) Bronson Arroyo (31)
(RH) Johnny Cueto (22)
(RH) Edinson Volquez (25 as of yesterday)
(RH) Homer Bailey (22) - Triple AAA
(RH) Matt Belisle (28) - Triple AAA
(RH) Darryl Thompson (22) - Triple AAA
(LH) Matt Maloney (24) - Triple AAA
(RH) Josh Fogg (31) - Triple AAA
(LH) Ben Jukich (25) - Double AA - 7-3, 2.96 e.r.a.
(RH) Sam LeCure (24) - Double AA - 7-4, 3.46 e.r.a.
(LH) Jeremy Affeldt (29)
(LH) Bill Bray (25)
(RH) Jared Burton (27)
(RH) Francisco Cordero (33)
(RH) Mike Lincoln (33)
(RH) Gary Majewski (28)
(RH) David Weathers (will be 39 in September)
(RH) Todd Coffey (27) - Triple AAA
(LH) Danny Herrera (23) - Triple AAA
(RH) Marcus McBeth (27) - Triple AAA
(RH) Josh Roenicke (25) - Triple AAA
(RH) Robert Manuel (25) - Double AA - 1.20 e.r.a, 45 IP, 57 K's, .181 opp BA
Position Players I keep:
(RF) Jay Bruce
(1B or LF) Votto
(SS or CF - or keep around in case of injuries) Hairston
(SS, 1B, or maybe OF?) Keppinger
Position Player I let go or trade:
(OF) Corey Patterson - should have been gone awhile ago
(OF) Ryan Freel - I'd like to free up his salary - he's an injury waiting to happen
(OF) Norris Hopper - can't we do better and get someone with a little pop?
Indifferent as backups:
Jobert Cabrera - he is 36 years old - we could probably do better going younger
Andy Phillips - solid, but he's really a Third Baseman
Paul Janish - I thought he looked overmatched at the plate
Very hard to project with Arroyo and Harang supposedly available for the right return. If both are traded, the Reds are back to square one. I won't miss Arroyo. But Harang would leave a big void. I really don't want to trade Aaron unless we got good return in terms of solid mulitiple pitching prospects.
??? - Free Agency? Not much out there.
Release or trade the following - Majewski, Weathers
Trade Affeldt if you get good return or you know he will walk after the season. The problem is, he is one of only two lefthanded relievers in the bullpen and he has been pretty solid against lefties.
Bray, Burton and Cordero look to be the backbone of the bullpen. I would have liked to have kept Affeldt for situational against lefties too, but probably won't happen. So more than likely, we are looking to fill 3 or 4 spots. Not as easy as it looks.
If Arroyo is traded, we have atleast 2 question marks in the rotation again. We have alot of potential options in the minors, but we'd be looking at another season of growing pains, IMHO.
Bullpen - solid is the backbone, but have question marks after that.
Infield - 2B, 3B are already determined and we have plenty of options at SS (Keppinger or Hairston) and 1B (Votto or Keppinger)
Outfield - Bruce and possibly Hairston and who else? Move Votto to the OF?
LH Power: Bruce and Votto are going to be counted on to hit atleast 20-25 HR's and provide the LH power.
RH Power: Phillips and EE? I think both should hit about 20+ HR's.
RH Hit for average: Keppinger
RH speed: Hairston, Phillips
This team has 4 potential 20-30 HR guys in Votto, Bruce, Phillips, and EE. No big huge 30-50 HR guy.
Speed: Phillips as a starter, Hairston to be determined.
Offensively this team needs some more speed guys and maybe one 30+ HR hitter. We lose two LH power hitters, and may need to replace one, but I don't see anything out there. Personally, I'd rather have a RH power hitter and hope Votto and Bruce can provide the rest from the LH side.
Things I would consider:
1. Signing or trading for Pat Burrell. Some have said he's another Adam Dunn, but the stats don't necessarily back that up. Burrell played nearly 60 games at 1B in 2000 and could probably be moved there permanently. He K's somewhat less than Dunn and walks almost as much. Hits for a little better average. I think he is better than Dunn, but just my opinion. And it may come down to him being more of a baseball player than Adam, because Adam has the rep of not caring much about baseball, and I've never heard that about Burrell. Burrell seems pretty competitive to me.
2. IF they don't sign a power bat to play 1B, then I stick Keppinger on 1B, reminiscent of Keith Hernandez. A solid average hitting guy on 1B.
2. This means we'd move Votto to LF. Hope he can handle it.
3. This means Keppinger plays SS if we sign a Burrell type player.
4. Need another OFer. Preferably speed.
5. Need a SS if Keppinger plays 1B. Gonzo is out. Hairston isn't getting any younger. Wish we could steal Reyes from the Mets - good OBP, steals, hits .280-.300.