Ramon 'singles hitter' Hernandez: $2M
Orlando 'no range' Cabrera: $3M
There were certainly not a lot of prime catchers or shortstops available last winter in the free agent market. Walt chose to patch these positions with Hernandez & Cabrera. The money to do so came from selling Mr Enthusiasm to the As for $1.3M and also from restructuring/extending Rolen's deal.
I have a really bad feeling that the Reds flushed $5M down the toilet. There is already a five page (!) post regarding Cabrera's lack of range. Hernandez had a weak year in 2009 & isn't getting any younger.
So you ask: well if the free agent market was weak what should Walt have done? Easy answer. where's Maloney? stuck in AAA. where's Heisey? in AAA and sitting behind Stubbs on the depth chart. Alonso? AA and trying to learn a new position. Francisco? well he is here for now but most expect him to be headed for AAA on Sunday. My point: should Walt have decided last winter who to keep & who to trade from the prospects bunching up in AA/AAA & used a few of these prospects to swing a deal for a shortsop and/or catcher instead of getting Hernanndez & Cabrera. I say he messed up. what say you?