I know we're in the hunt this year, and I'm excited about it. But I also want to be in the hunt for years to come.
I've read some speculation on the Sun Deck and more on the Minor Leagues forum about Votto possibly moving to LF next year to accomodate Yonder Alonso, who after an atrocious start probably due to coming back from injury, has turned it on in a huge way the last month+. Could Alonso be the quality bat that could fit the 5-hole behind Rolen and maybe bat 4th when Rolen sits? If Alonso could hit around .300 with some modest power, it would be a deadly middle order.
I've also made up my mind and I prefer Heisey over Stubbs in CF. I also love the idea of batting Heisey second in the order. He bunts often, has decent speed, and does all the little things.
So here's my adjustments for next year so far:
I'm fine with an OCab/Janish situation. I'd like to see Janish backup 2B and 3B more often. I think his bat is good enough to play more. And defensively he's topnotch. I'm not a big OCab fan, but I read repeatedly about his leadership impact on the team, so I give in.
Let Harang walk and give him the $2M buyout.
Pick up Arroyo's option. I hope the Reds don't go the money saving route in regards to this decision and just buy him out. He has probably put up his best season ever this year and continues to go 210+ IP every year it seems. His WHIP and hits per innings pitched are very good this year. And he spares our bullpen most of the time.
The other 4 spots are Cueto, Volquez, Leake, and Wood's to lose.
I'm fully expecting and hoping they trade Bailey in the offseason. The problem will arise in the '12 season when they don't re-sign Arroyo and then we need another quality starting pitcher in the rotation. This might play into keeping Bailey and buying out Arroyo after this season. But I hope not. I'd rather re-sign Arroyo for '12 and beyond. But the $$$ might not be there with so many young guys coming due in arbitration.
Poor Maloney. He seems destined to be a triple A insurance policy for when our major league starters go down with injury. It just doesn't seem fair to him.
I wish we could trade/unload Cordero. You never know 'til you get there, but Logan Ondrusek is looking like the closer of the future that Todd Coffey and Nick Masset were never able to secure.
The acquisitions of Isringhausen and Springer make me wonder if Walt won't actively pursue salary relief in the offseason in the form of trading Cordero and sending some money along to split the last year of salary. If the Reds sent like $4M or a little more along with him in trade, I think some bigger market team in need of a proven closer would take him. Just my $.02 cents.
My projected '11 team:
OFers: Votto, Heisey, Bruce, Dickerson, Gomes - 5 players
Catchers: Hanigan, Hernandez, Miller (Minors) - 2 players
1B: Alonso, backups Votto - 1 player
2B: Phillips, backups Janish - 2 players
SS: OCab, Janish - 1 player
3B: Rolen, backup Francisco - 2 players
13 total position players. I think Rolen will need more time off next year and Francisco has nothing left to prove in the minors and gives us a LHed power bat who can spell Rolen for about 40+ games or PH off the bench.
SP - Arroyo
SP - Cueto
SP - Volquez
SP - Leake
SP - Wood
CL - Ondrusek
RP - Rhodes
RP - Masset
RP - Smith
RP - Bray
RP - Springer or other
RP - Isringhausen or other
Possibly use free agency to bolster the bullpen depending on how Springer and Isringhausen do the rest of this season. Also, Jose Arrendondo should be back recovering from TJ surgery. He was very dominant before his injury.
It sucks letting Cairo go after such a productive season he's had for us this year.