Ok, so other than extending Jay Bruce, the Reds have had a quiet offseason. I see two main reasons (A Curse and a Blessing) for this and both of them stem from Walt Jocketty. First, some background:
Walt is a GREAT horse trader. To be a great trader you need two skills: You need to be able to properly value the other guy's goods (Buyer) and you need to properly value your own (Seller)
First, he is a better than average buyer. No, not every player he trades for turns to gold, but an above average percentage do. Walt is average aat best at finding diamonds in other folks' systems; his best trades are always when he goes after known commodities like McGwire, Rolen (twice), Edmonds (the first time), Chuck Finley, Will Clark, Daryl Kile, Edgar Rentaria, and Eckersley. He is also probably only average at signing other folks Free Agents.
However, Walt's true gift is as a seller. This is what makes him a great GM. The vast majority of players he gives up lose market value after he trades them. Prospects he trades pan out at a lower percentage than normal, and major leaguers almost universally never live up to potential or drop off a cliff from their proven performance record with a year after the trade.
Goto these pages and take a look at the rundown of his Cards trades : http://www.thestlcardinals.com/Trade...tJocketty.html
In all, Walt trade 110 players away and acquired 99. Of the 99 he acquired are seven players that were all-star quality players after the trade (McGwire, Rentaria, Kile, Edmunds, Finley, Rolen & Wainwright), and 19 other players that contributed significantly at the major league level. So that is 26 quality players acquired.
So 26 of 99 were hits with seven being jackpots. Also note that of these 26, the majority were established major leaguers before the trade. Walt is not so good at spotting prospects, but he can spot proven ML talent that will help his team.
Of the 110 players traded, I could see only eight whose market value went up after the trade (Jose Jimenez, Adam Kennedy, Braden Looper, Rheal Cormier, Coco Crisp, JD Drew, Dmitri Young, and Danny Haren.) That means 102 out of 110 times Walt correctly valued the goods he was trading away. That is fantastic!
Since taking over the reds, Walt has traded away one stud about to become a free agent (Adam Dunn); Three ML bench/role players in Adam Rosales, Jeff Keppinger, & Chris Dickerson); two prospects that we can't judge yet (Brandon Waring and Josh Roenicke [although his ML era went from 2.7 to 7.13 the year after the trade, and 5.68 the year after)]; and ten ML players or prospects whose value has declined after the trade (Norris Hopper, Robert manuel, Jerry hairston, Zach Stewart (went from AAA to AA), Edwin Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez (this one is debateable), Willie tavares (although he really had negative value at the trade), Justin Turner, Jon Coutlangus, Brad Salman, Ken Griffey, & Ryan Freel.
So, of all players traded away from the Reds, I think most would agree that only Dunn (and a few would argue for Dickerson) would have made or will make the Reds a better team in 2010, or into the future... and we would have lost Dunn regardless.
In exchange he has acquired three players that have definitly helped the Reds and will probably continue to be ML contributors: Nick Massett, Ramon Hernandez, & Scott Rolen. He has continued to show his skill in acquiring players that will help the team at the ML level, but not so much skill at spotting diamonds in the rough in other organizations... only one of the eight minor league players he has acquired (Kris Negron) is considered in our top 50 prospects according to the Minor league board.
So what does that tell us about this offseason?
First the Curse, given his proven track record, most GM's will not want to trade for any prospects that Walt is willing to give up. That is going to inhibit trades and may force Walt into overpaying for ML talent, which he has not shown the tendancy to do, hence the inaction.
Second the Blessing, if Walt likes his prospects too much to trade them, that means they are probably pretty darn good.
Because of these two reasons, I am perfectly happy with sitting back Walt letting the market come to him. He is telling anyone and everyone that he has no NEED to make any trades. I think he is right. Could we be better, yes, but Walt is not looking for the "one or two years of contention followed by rebuilding" competitive model followed by other small market teams... he is looking for a consistently competitive team year in and year out. That is good for the team, the bottom line and yes, i think it is good for the fans as well.
Sure, there are lots of ways the team could get better... but the wave of criticism of Walt that has hit ORG and the Deck in the offseason AFTER we finally get to the playoffs for the first time in forever is.... I can't even come up with the right word....