The World Series may look like a small-market nightmare. After all, you've got the $201 million New York Yankees playing the $113 million Philadelphia Phillies.
You had two pitchers the Cleveland Indians couldn't afford - CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee - starting Game 1.
But the other side of it is the Phillies are where they are because of homegrown talent. The team is built around Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard - all drafted and developed by the Phillies. Last year's series MVP, Cole Hamels, is another drafted-and-developed player.
The Indians had that great run in the 1990s because they drafted and developed well and then signed players to long-term deals when they were young. They didn't do that with Lee and Sabathia.
For the Reds to turn it around, they're going to have to draft and develop players.
That's not to say the system doesn't need some fixing. All four teams in the league championship series had payrolls topping $100 million.
The Reds have people looking at the collective bargaining agreement to find ways to make things more equitable for small-market teams.
I've always maintained that if they can win, they'll be in a good position to sustain it because they'll draw well. The Reds never will be in the same financial district as the Yankees. But if they draw 2.7 million instead of 1.7 million, their payroll could creep into the $100 million range.
TOP 10 LIST: Doug Gray at redsminorleagues.com came out with his top 40 prospects. Here's his top 10, with my comments on each:
1. First baseman Yonder Alonso. The Reds' top pick last year. He's struggling in the Arizona Fall League.
2. Todd Frazier. I didn't list a position because the where-does-he-play question remains. He's playing second base in winter ball.
3. Right-hander Mike Leake. Gray saw Leake throw in the AFL and was impressed.
4. Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez. The $2 million, 16-year-old outfield from Venezuela held his own with Billings.
5. Third baseman Juan Francisco. The only one in the top 10 who's played in big leagues.
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6. Outfielder Chris Heisey. You'll see him in Cincinnati some time next season.
7. Right-hander Brad Boxberger. He's also pitching in the AFL.
8. Left-hander Travis Wood. He was a combined 13-5 this year in Triple-A and Double-A.
9. Shortstop Zack Cozart. He's hitting .350 in the AFL and has a very slick glove.
10. Shortstop Billy Hamilton. Baseball America rated him as the second-fastest runner in the last year's draft.
ROSTER MADNESS: The Reds need to set their roster by Nov. 20 - i.e., get the players they want to protect from the Rule 5 draft.
Wood, Heisey and Chris Valaika will be put on the roster, but space is tight and the Reds will have to leave some prospects unprotected.
OUT IN LEFT FIELD: Left field is the most crowded position on the Reds' roster. Francisco is playing left field in winter ball, and Frazier can play there as well. There's also Chris Dickerson and Wladimir Balentien, as well as Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix if the Reds offer them arbitration.
My guess is they'll make an offer to Gomes but not Nix. But money is so tight, Gomes might be non-tendered.
ON TO LYNCHBURG: The Reds' high Single-A team will play at Lynchburg, Va., in the Carolina League next year. The Sarasota club is being sold to the Pirates, who will move it to Bradenton.