After the amazing 2010 season and winning the NL Central To reverting back to old habits and becoming a sub .500 ballclub will have the 2012 Reds poised to get back to winning baseball. Here is a look at what the team will look like:
Brandon Phillips * (2012 option)
Aroldis Chapman/Edison Volquez/Travis Wood
Carlos Fisher/Jared Burton/Brad Boxberger/Nick Masset
Francisco Cordero * (2012 option)
In my opinion this team is attempting to maintain its 3rd place stance and battle the 162 season for 81 wins. Now going with the rumblings that the Reds are in the hunt for a Top of the Rotation guy and a Power Bat for LF while keeping in mind this team isn't the Red Sox or Yankees when it comes to cash. This team would likely overpay for guys on the Free Agent market and may not find a suitor for the type of player on another team. Lets keep in mind the Reds do have key prospects who could tempt any GM pallet. Here is a list of potential prospect the Reds could dangle:
Naftali Soto - Kid (Only 23) batted .278 w/ 31 HRs 80 RBIs & OPS'd .909
Daniel Corcino - Started off super hot but cooled as the season ended yet still posted a 11-7 record w/ 156 Ks 34 BB in 139.1 innings
Brad Boxberger - Closer material with a good opponent BA & K/BB rate.. Could be bait or could be 2013's Reds Closer
Yasmani Grandal - .301 hitter through 3 stages of the minors w/ 14 HRs & OPS of .901 He is still a year to 2 years away and needs to cut down on his strikeouts as he K'd 97 times out of 374 ABs
Then the obvious players who are blocked by big league talent: Yonder Alonso, Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier, Dave Sappelt, Chris Heisey, Chris Valaika, Travis Wood, and Edison Volquez
Now with the obvious out of the way. How does the organization improve without breaking the bank? Well lets focus in on areas of concern. That being LF & Backup SS. We can look at the Free Agent market and names like these fit the "Moneyball" moto and should be in the ballclubs range:
I'd look at one SP and that is CJ Wilson and he is going to cost around 15 Million a year. Now if this team is going to look at the likes of Cliff Lee, James Shields, & Ubaldo Jimenez.. This team will have funds for CJ Wilson.
Ways to free up cash:
Cordero ($1 Million buyout) - Brad Boxberger (League Min.)
-Savings of $10.5 Million
Phillips ($1 Million buyout) - Kelly Johnson ($2-4 Million)/Todd Frazier (League Min.)
-Savings of $6.5 Million
Trade Bronson Arroyo & $6 Million ($3 Million in '12 & $3 Million in '13) to Red Sox for Rich Hill (Tommy John Surgery in June)
-Savings of $7 Million (Guessing based on arbitration for Hill)
That is a total of $24 Million for this season and could be used to sign everyone listed.
Is that a possibility? I doubt it based on reports the Reds will pick up Phillips option and are working on a 2 year deal with CoCo. As for the Arroyo deal.. you never know but the chance of him being moved would be if the Cincinnati Reds relocated.
I would try to bring in Carroll and Willingham as I can see them helping this club as well as provide leadership in the clubhouse. Willingham is huge in the community as well. Carroll would provide a decent backup at SS and he knows how to get on base.
Make room for Carroll I'd designate Janish. I'd likely move Heisey to make room for Willingham.
I also revisit the Joey Votto / Jose Bautista trade aswell as that places Alonso back at 1st base.
Here is to what should be a memorable offseason!