Reds: Don't expect shakeup
By John Fay • firstname.lastname@example.org • December 7, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS - If you were expecting the Reds to wheel and deal at the Winter Meetings, think again.
General manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker spent their sessions with the media Monday downplaying the idea of a shakeup.
“We like our club,” Jocketty said. “We like the club a lot the way it is ... We’re not going to break it up. We spent a lot of time this morning talking about it. We like our club. We want to try to keep together as long as we can. We hope we stay healthy this year.”
Clubs have inquired about the Reds young players.
“We’re not going to trade our core,” Baker said.
Jocketty preached patience.
“The big thing with us is being patient,” Jocketty said, “whether it’s watching young players develop or watching how the market develops. We’re not going to jump in and do anything (now). We may not later.”
Fans are short on patience after nine straight losing. But Jocketty said patience should not be confused with giving up on 2010.
“Even though our club is young, it’s capable of contending in our division if everything goes right,” he said. “We’re trying to use to the young nucleus we have as much as possible and then add to it a little bit with veterans – (Scott) Rolen, (Arthur) Rhodes.
“We’re not going to trade these young guys for a quick fix to win this year. We want to build this thing to where we can be competitive as soon as we can but be competitive for a long time – not just be one-year wonders.”
One of the areas the Reds are looking to upgrade is shortstop. Paul Janish is fine defensively. But he hit .211/.296/.305 in 256 at-bats last year.
“I don’t see a lot of shortstops out there who would help us,” Jocketty said.
But the Reds are looking to add at least a backup to Janish.
“That’s one area we're asking about,” Jocketty said. “We do need to find someone in addition to Janish. Right now, we don’t have that guy available at Triple-A. One of the areas we’ll try to improve is the bench – find a utility player who can play short.”
Jocketty is looking for a Jerry Hairston Jr. type. But the Reds have not talked about bringing back Hairston himself, who is a free agent.
The odd thing is the Reds’ No. 1 prospect, Todd Frazier, was drafted as a shortstop and played there his first two years in the minors.
Jocketty has never seen Frazier play short. He deferred to scouting director Chris Buckley when asked why Frazier isn’t in the mix.
“We had some guys ahead of him,” scouting director Chris Buckley said. “(Chris) Valaika. Zack Cozart, the guy who beat Todd out, was the USA Team shortstop. The feeling was maybe Cozart is the guy down the road.
“I think maybe some people take it wrong with Todd. People misconstrue (why we moved him). He was very good in left field. He was good at third. Now, it looks like he’s getting good at second. Todd’s pretty good wherever he plays.”
Buckley wouldn’t say where Frazier will end up.
“He’s good at second,” Buckley said. “If you get that kind of offense at second, it’s pretty good.”
Some other Winter Meeting notes:
• Former general manager Kevin Towers was in the meeting room with the front office. He has not been hired by the club.
“But go ahead and start the rumor,” Jocketty said.
• Jocketty has not met with Jonny Gomes’ agent yet. He hopes to Tuesday.
“It’s an earn-it business, and Stubbs has outplayed Willy (Taveras), even though Willy wasn’t the Willy we’d seen on the other side. Willy’s legs bothered him. He didn’t hit like he’s always hit. We’ll see how Stubbs makes the adjustment. Very rarely do guys play better at the big league level than the minor league level.”
Where does that leave Taveras?
“As of right now, we really don’t know. We’ve got a couple months to decide.”