Fair enough, I probably wouldn't be comfortable with that combo. But there are a handful of mediocre backup catchers out there who we could sign for less than the salary we took on and we would not have had to trade anybody. I guess it comes down to what sort of offensive numbers you expect from Hernandez; you're basically paying for the outside shot that an aging, declining catcher recaptures his youth.1. Making Castillo the #2 catcher leaves you with two HUGE question marks at one of the most important positions on the field, not to mention most likely well below average production.
2. Freel and Co. were not going to be primary trade chips to focus anywhere else. There is no reason why you can't "focus elsewhere" beginning now.[/QUOTE]
Nearly every trade needs bit parts. I won't sweat the loss of any of those 3, but that doesn't make them completely valueless. I'd hate for the Reds to drop out of the bidding or a trade for a real impact player because of the money we took on here.
I guess the fact that I keep posting makes it sounds like I'm more "upset" than I am. This is more of a verbose shrug than anything else. I guess more than anything else, I'm just hoping that this the tip of the iceberg instead of another "hey look -- we brought in some proven vets who know how to win!" type of offseason.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
This isn't a sexy move, but I think it does improve the team. I think it puts our catching situation at at least league average, which is a huge improvement from last year. Overall, it's a good start.
I really am going to miss Freel though. I really did love his game, at least leading up to 2007. I do think his best days are done and he's reached his peak, but that guy was a lot of fun to watch while he was a Red.
What's next though? That's what I want to know.
In this case I'd say it's reasonable for us to assume we got a deal that suits us pretty well without losing anything of substance.
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
Wilkin Castillo, noy including the fact he can't hit, would in no way hold up behind the plate for an extended period of time. He's not big enough. As a third catcher he'd be fine, but nobody wants the Reds carrying three catchers.
As far as the beginning of your post (and the end of mine), Freel, Turner, and Waring were nearly valueless. The former had arguably negative value due to his contract and the latter two guys were replacement-level prospects. You can sub guys like Rosales, Henry, Cumberland, and many, many others and get the same net result. By most accounts, the Reds took on $2MM in this deal. I hardly believe that will prevent them from making further trades.
Jocketty's got to do all of it this winter, at least if he wants to turn around this club. As membengal noted, this may finally be the winter where we get to judge the totality of the moves rather than the one-off impact of any single move.
He's managed to grab what might be a solid catcher for three sub-prime trading chits and an extra $1M. That shouldn't prevent him from doing anything else. In fact, I'd say this is the exact kind of trade you make when you've got other, more pressing priorities.
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Jocketty did a few things:
He brought in a guy who can catch and with Hanigan that gives the Reds the best catching they've had in a long time. A very long time.
He evidently didn't take on payroll...all options there remain open.
He moved a guy who has proved he can't stay healthy and was a big - unproductive- salary.
He opened up the third base logjam in the minors a wee bit and did it by dealing the least likely to succeed of the third base prospects.
He added a valuable piece without touching anything resembling a major chip.
This is a good trade all around. It might not be the splashy way to build a team but things ARE improving under Jocketty. Deadwood's getting cleared out, additions that make sense. Just have some patience and some trust, he'll get this turned around.
Let me just type that I'm perhaps most happy with this deal in that we were able to find a taker for Freel and his contract. Adding in that we capably filled a need is just gravy.
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