After watching this Reds team perform in the last month of the season I feel pretty good saying we aren't THAT far away from being a contender. I still think we need a SS, a slugger, a catcher and another SP. Here are some moves I would like to see.
1. Cut Willy Taveras, let Ramon Hernandez walk, and permanently move Brandon Phillips to SS.
2. With the payroll how it is your going to have to deal one of three players: Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, or Francisco Cordero. The guy with the most value and who I could tolerate losing would be Bronson Arroyo. The team who needs him and could give us a decent return would be the Texas Rangers. Arroyo for Saltalamacchia and a couple PTBNL sounds fair enough.
3. Now that we have our catcher, we need a 2B with Phillips moving to SS. A guy who is on the block is Dan Uggla. I could see a trade of Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Chris Valaika and a PTBNL for Uggla working out well for both teams.
4. Sign some quality free agents without spending entirely too much money. IMO we would need 2 SP and a RP to be contenders. My picks are: Brandon Webb and Jon Garland. Webb is coming off an injury and will cheap to come by and Garland who has had a down year will be a quality arm for cheap as well. The reliever we need to add is Joaquin Benoit. I think Webb will garner maybe 5-6 mil a year and Garland possibly 7 with Benoit making about 5 mil a year as well.
1. CF Drew Stubbs
2. 2B Dan Uggla
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. SS Brandon Phillips
5. 3B Scott Rolen
6. RF Jay Bruce
7. LF Johnny Gomes/Juan Francisco (platoon)
8. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1. Johnny Cueto
2. Homer Bailey
3. Brandon Webb
4. Aaron Harang
5. Jon Garland