Its rumored that the team offered Rhodes a 1 year deal for ~$4M and also offered Renteria a deal (i am guessing for ~$2M). It possible that the team wouldn't have done both of those deals but it seems there is at least $4M & maybe $6M in the budget. I wonder if its really ~$8M as I can't believe Walt doesn't also have ~$2M set aside for a left hitting outfielder. We have heard all winter that the Reds are 'at payroll'. Yet when we all added up the salary committments we got nowhere near $80M. I suspect the Reds being 'at payroll' included Walt setting aside $6-8M for LF, SS & Rhodes.
Now the challenge! Find the best way to improve the team if the Reds have either $4M, $6M or $8m to spend.
A) My $4M scenario. Pretty simple. Chapman to the pen to take Rhodes spot. Renteria at ~$2M for backup shortstop. Lewis or Edmonds at ~$2M for left field. Not great but it does add some value to the 25 man roster.
B) My $6M scenario. Chapman to the pen to take Rhodes spot. Renteria at ~$2M for backup shortstop. Trade Gomes to an AL team that could use help at DH. The Red Sox might as Ortiz can't hit lefties. The Yankees might as Posada may do a little catching. Rangers seem another possibility. The prospect we get back doesn't matter much. The trade is to free up $1.8M. The Reds use that $1.8M & the $4M left & trade for Kelly Johnson who will make ~$6M in arbitration. Based on what Willingham & DeJesus went for, I suspect a B & a C prospect would get it done. Maybe Valaika & one of our many relief pitchers stacking up in AAA. Johnson leads off & plays left field. He also adds another much needed (IMO) left handed bat to our lineup.
C) My $8M scenario is the same as the $6M scenario except we keep Gomes. Johnson can play 2B ( and maybe 3B?) so Gomes would still get some starts in left versus a right handed pitcher. If Heisey looks great in the spring the team could still deal Gomes prior to opening day (if it looked like he wouldn't get much playing time).
An alternative $8M is to use the 'B' scenario and use the $2M to try to sign a cheap lefty reliever to replace Rhodes in the pen. That frees up Chapman to be in the rotation.
What do folks think? Do you believe the team has $4-8M to spend? If so how best could Walt spend it?